Politics Aren’t Scary, I Swear

Jenn Harrington

Claiming that you are uninterested in politics is a weak excuse for being misinformed about the government structure, current political debate, and domestic and foreign policy.

You should care. If you are working part-time, taxes are being taken from each paycheck and that money is used toward government sponsored programs. Do you even know if you support those programs? Probably not, if you are one of the students who claim that politics are unimportant.

If you are guilty of bashing any law or policy without having taken the steps to become informed on why it was created and the mindset behind the person who proposed said law or policy, then your argument is invalid. To reduce the legitimacy of anything without proper understanding is not only unfair to those being attacked, but unfair to you as a member of society. Don’t just say you are a citizen of the United States, be one.

Taking an interest in politics is not about choosing a political party or a person to support, it’s about finding the ideals that you stand behind, and how those ideals translate into the way you envision a successful nation.

It’s quite easy to get started on affecting change. As an individual you are part of many communities: your family, your friends, your school, your job, your town. In each of these subsets you work with varying ideas and visions that are competing for the last word. It is important that decisions in these communities are chosen based on what is best for the majority.

You are one voice, but your voice is important. You may not always find yourself agreeing with the majority of your respective community, but from that you learn about what may be a stronger alternative, or you are fueled to take a stand for your beliefs and help influence change in the community.

Did you know that the city of West Haven is heading toward their Mayoral and City Council elections in November? Well, the hot topic of last week’s mayoral debate was economic development. The town, which has a large portion of land in the university’s hand, is asking for continued growth and development.

One of the candidates feels that our university expansion is beginning to encroach on residents. Well, the parking lot you so desperately want added to our university may not be looked upon kindly if said candidate is elected into position. How do you avoid this? Get informed, take a stand, learn about politics, and vote.

Politics are only scary because young adults don’t take initiative to be informed. As students we are already given the advantage of courses specifically designed for informing us on government and politics. We have newspapers delivered to our front step with updates on local and national politics, and we have workshops and campus discussions on current events.

I challenge you to go into your community and find out what it is that is affecting your hometown, or even the town of West Haven. There are people running against each other to make significant changes, but each has their own perspective on what will bring success. You have the unique gift of deciding whose voice will be the stronger and the ability to decide the future of your community. Take a stand; start caring.