Pressures of Society and why I sometimes like it

I am definitely not the most politically active nor the most politically aware citizen. I hear what I hear through the grapevine, through snippets of new clips that I happen to stumble upon while I’m at the cafeteria or when I’m browsing the web. It’s sad, yes, and it’s a problem. I’m sure I’m not the only person who is like me, and I’m sure there are more than a handful of students who feel like they don’t have time to do extensive research and keep up-to-date with the news. I am disappointed in myself, but I still haven’t tried to become active in society as a politically active and aware individual. But, things are starting to change. Election is this Tuesday. I am eligible to vote. It doesn’t seem right to me that I don’t really know what’s going on. I mean, I have some type of awareness, but I’m sure the majority of it is slightly biased. This election is getting me off my lazy politically unaware ass, and I’m actually starting to do something. Why is this? Well, I personally feel guilty that I don’t know anything, but I think this is attributed to some type of standard or argument that society has instilled in me. Individuals who are unaware is a problem in society, I’ve heard that, it’s been thrown at me, especially as a part of youth, a student as a university. This is, as Schudson explained, kind of like civic infrastructure, part of everyday life. It’s everyday life that I am reminded that being aware and active in the current events, the political news in the United States, is good; you are intelligent and responsible, and truly a PART of society, not just a slum kid wasting away in the ocean of wannabe citizenship.  I want to be a part of society because it’s been instilled in me that not being a part of it means I’m dumb, and I don’t want to be dumb. I don’t think anybody does. I guess that’s one good thing about society; it makes me care about being intelligent or not, and it tells me that being politically aware about what is going on in the nation and in the world is smart. I want to have a voice. That’s what rhetoric is all about, being able to voice my opinion and HAVE an opinion to argue. There are discussions and debates set up, civic infrastructure, that promote opinions to be voiced and contemplated. I want to be a part of that civic infrastructure. I want to feel included. My feeling of guilt about not knowing about what is happening outside my dorm is an emotional cry for wanting to be heard, to feel included, aspects that are humanely innate and pushed through society. It’s ironic and funny, for some reason, that something so raw, something so vulnerable about humans, wanting to feel a part of a whole, can push us to do better things. Vulnerability at its finest.

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3 Responses to Pressures of Society and why I sometimes like it

  1. Sarah Summers says:

    Sarah, like Matt and Amy said, I definitely don’t think you’re the only person who feels this way! All of the sudden, you turn 18 and can vote. But, that doesn’t mean that you’ve really had to think a lot about it in preparation. The thing that your post made me think about is the other possible reasons for voting aside from just choosing a leader. It helps remind us that we’re part of something larger and that we have an important place in our community. I wonder, though, if the hatred that accompanies political election somehow hinders this other side to voting.

  2. Amy Ketcham says:

    Sarah, I agree with you that it is extremely difficult to be an active and aware citizen in this election. It is so easy to simply read a headline or two or see a few news clips or watch a funny youtube video about the candidates. We really should be taking it into our own hands to find this information, which cannot be easily given to us with many bias news sources even though we have literally endless access to news and information. Democracy is a democracy because the citizens work for their rights. If we no longer take the time to find out more about candidates and for whom we are voting, then we are no longer fighting, and democracy may die (even if that sounds a little morbid and overdramatic).

  3. Matt Swatski says:

    Sarah, I know from personal experience that for the past four years my involvement with politics has mostly been from what I’ve read on news sites and what my parents tell me. In fact, I barely listen to what the candidates actually ever say, because usually it is never completely true. I think that you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself to know everything about every candidate and every issue. I think that you should just try to read newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Economist (which is a really good, unbiased, British interpretation of the news in the US and the world) to get a grasp on the issues and the candidates. Its not your job to know everything to make policy, because you aren’t making policy. Its your job to choose which candidates would be the most fit to make best choices with the knowledge they possess. If you do that and vote, you are in a better position, sadly, than most of Americans.

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