While #Trump16 started as, what most thought to be, a joke, the reality of Trump potentially becoming the next leader of the nation we live in couldn't be more "real."
But, while I am not personally a Trump supporter, I won't sit here to write about what I think should be your views on the political election this year, nor will I list the reasons why I support the candidate I do, instead of another. However, I still urge you all to heed this message.
Our generation is plagued with technology. You've heard this claim before, but hear me out. Information has become so widespread and readily available, but our absorption of this knowledge hasn't. More than ever, our generation of society has resorted to what I view as "superficial understanding" of what is going on around us. The real problem is not that there is a lack of motivation to understand, it is just that we fail to take the time to develop our ideas and expand our knowledge.
That was cryptic, so let me explain. Many of us, and I see it, have the intent of expanding our knowledge. We download the NY Times apps, BBC, CNN and other news outlet apps in an effort to become more aware of what is going on around us. We read our notifications as what they pop up on our phone, but it is what follows that really matters. It is rare that we take the time to open that article, read it, analyze it, to see not only how we feel about what has recently occurred, but also what the other side of the issue is. And, I take fault to this too. Our demanding lives, time and effort-wise make the time needed to do this seem futile when compared to all of our other responsibilities, but its effect, nonetheless, impacts us tremendously.
Now that I have prefaced, I would like to get to the main point here—political literacy. With increased polarization of the parties of our nation, and more and more modern issues rising in society that need to be dealt with, the need for greater enlightenment on what is going on around us is greater than ever. It is no secret that this Presidential election will influence many issues in our nation, most of which will influence us as students, and soon to be young adults.
But, more and more, I have heard students say that they are "indifferent" about what is going on around us, and are simply interested in "seeing" what happens. But, the majorpoint that is missing here, is that what happens depends on us.I know that many of us voted on Tuesday in the primaries, but it is these students that are indifferent that could have possibly made the difference between what kind of healthcare will be endorsed by the government, or how our student loans will be dealt with in the future. There is no room for indifference, and it should not be tolerated.
So, here I'd like to tie up my points. Indifference is not OK, and neither is superficial knowledge. Our generation is responsible for educating ourselves on what is going on in the world—the town we live in, the towns next to us, our state, our region, our nation, the world. All the policies that are put forth by our government—be it municipal, state or national—affect our day-to-day lives, whether we acknowledge it, or refuse to. Civic participation is not only a major part of our American identity, but also our identity as active members of the society we live in—whether you look at the smaller picture or the bigger picture.
My advice: Open up that New York Times article, or the CNN notification, or listen to the live BBC broadcast when you're sitting in the LIRR on your grueling two-hour commute home. There was an earthquake somewhere in the world? What is the socio-political situation of that area? Oh, they lack resources to deal with it? What is America doing about it? What is the world doing about it? What do you think should be done about it?
Get educated, and start thinking, and soon you can be as proud as Mindy: