A surprising number of people often claim they have no interest in politics. Yet, whether or not they are interested, every day they feel the influence.
Unless you are a child, you should at least pay attention to politics. Youth is not an excuse to remain ignorant.
This is not to say that everyone should talk politics all the time, because as 24/7 news networks have shown, this can devolve quickly.
Yet, almost all aspects of life are affected by the government in some way. The policies set in place by federal, state and local governments, affect everyone, whether you care or not.
For example, traffic laws, taxes, roads, schools and food are all controlled or regulated by the government, and impact nearly everyone in the country.
In the U.S., we have politicians, political parties and groups contending for power and influence.
Unlike dictatorships and monarchies, we, the people, have a say in which parties, groups and politicians get that power.
It is important to understand that power and influence are the main goal.
However, not every group gets elected, and many go unseen.
Political Action Committees, or PACs, are groups that use private money to influence politicians and voters, and Super PACs, which require no transparency and benefit from unlimited fundraising.
Their goal is a selfish one.
By using money to buy ads in key voting districts, and by donating to political campaigns, these groups are attempting to win support for their cause, often by attacking the opposing viewpoint.
Ultimately, it comes down to the voters.
In a democracy like ours, national politics are important. Everyone with a right to vote, should not take for granted what many around the world fight to the death for, including our military.
As the citizens they fight for, it is our duty to protect this democracy, even if it means a bit of homework and going to the polls two times a year.
Most people have some feelings about certain policy such as taxes, but if they do not make themselves heard on the matter, nothing will be done to help them.
With our country split on so many hot button issues, it is as important as ever, to use your voice. And no, that does not mean reposting memes on social media.
Rather, using democratic power to make an actual impact on the issues that impact society.
Every citizen has a right to free speech and peaceful assembly. Make yourself seen and heard on the issues that are important to you.
Support organizations that fight for the policies you wish to see enacted.
You don’t need to have an opinion on every issue, but to have no opinion on any issue, only hurts yourself.
Don’t allow ignorance to kill democracy. Think. Participate. Vote.