If you had asked me about a year ago for my opinions on America’s political climate, I might have scoffed and shook my head. While I’ve never been entirely apathetic when it comes to politics — there have always been prominent social issues that I have followed the political responses to — I could never bring myself to take an active interest.
However, with the start of the presidential election season I’ve begun to reconsider my stance on the subject. While I am still by no means an expert on which candidate might be the best for handling the nation’s issues, I have at least started to develop a curiosity for the subject and a cursory knowledge on the state of the election — names, faces, proposed policies, and the like.
I’m sure that there are plenty of students who feel the same indifference for politics that I once held. After all, politics can be rather dense and complicated for those who don’t actively study the subject. However, I believe this lack of interest stems primarily from the belief that national politics is somehow far beyond our reach.
As students, we all have personal responsibilities that take up much of our attention. We have classes, homework and projects. We have clubs, sports and other extracurricular activities. We have friends and family. With all these elements and more that factor into our daily lives, could we really be blamed for lacking interest in the goings-on of national politics?
I feel that in order to develop as members of society though, we should move our perspective beyond strictly focusing on the personal or community level. Although focusing on individual issues and concerns, as well as those of the community, may feel more relevant and rewarding in the present, it probably won’t help as much when moving beyond college into the world at large. With this in mind, I feel that now is the time to start considering the broader picture. Sure, America has a lot of problems, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that we can’t be part of the solution.