Sorry, You Can't NOT Be Political Anymore

Whenever I tell people that I'm a political science major, I usually get the same general response: "Oh, don't talk to me about politics. I'm not political." Aside from how rude this response is (trust me, I don't particularly enjoy talking about it either), it's also very ignorant.

People that can afford to not be political or pay attention to politics are very lucky. They aren't constantly on the edge of their seats, trying to see whether the government is going to decide to screw them over that day. From what I've noticed, these people tend to be white, middle or upper class, Christian, straight, abled, and either young enough to still be supported by their parents or old enough to be retired. They don't have to worry about their race or religion being scapegoated, or their insurance disappearing, or the security of their family being threatened despite the strength of their relationship with their significant other.

I cannot stress enough how absolutely vital it is that people be invested in politics. In my hometown of roughly 3500 people, only about 150-300 show up to vote, depending on the topic of the vote. That's only 4-8% of the town. The turnout on a national scale isn't much better. Over the summer, when the town was attempting to resolve a budget crisis caused by the state taking education funding from us, barely 100 people showed up to vote. Barely 10 would show up to Board of Finance or Board of Education meetings. This resulted in a lot of anger at certain line items that were being reduced. I can remember, in particular, one parent complaining about not knowing that a bus route was being removed, despite it being discussed not only at every meeting but also in the local paper. It is this lack of political efficacy that leads to destructive policy on the national level.

There are a number of destructive policies trying to push their way through Congress at the moment. There is the tax bill, which cuts taxes for billionaires while piling them on lower class people along with trying to cut the ACA mandate and define life at conception. There is also the attempts to repeal net neutrality, which Congress can block after the FCC votes on December 14. This also comes amid a number of sexual assault accusations within the government, as well as the Mueller special counsel finally making arrests (and Trump possibly obstructing justice). In short, the government is slowly falling apart, but there are so many people that don't even realize what's happening.

With the upcoming attempts to repeal net neutrality, as well as the tax bill, it is important that people begin to pay attention to what is happening in our government. Keep calling or emailing your representatives. Sometimes, they'll even respond (I got a response from Sen. Blumenthal just last week). Let your representatives know that if they vote to take away your healthcare or raise your taxes while giving billionaires tax breaks, they'll be losing your vote in the upcoming midterm elections, that you will not support them in office any longer.

And if you need any more reason to oppose the tax bill: Donald Trump is worth 3.1 billion dollars. If he had to pay 99.9% of what he's worth, he would still have 3.1 million dollars left.

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