The topic of politics is unavoidable. Everything we do as citizens has been shaped by political actions and has been taken up as political issues. It amazes me that people, yes I know of some, try so hard to stay away from the subject. Not too long ago, I tried to bring up the issue of the 2008 election to a friend, only to be told that she didn’t care about what was going on. She didn’t care about what was going on in the nation or the world, because, get this, it didn’t relate to her and her life.
As taken-aback as I was, I had to stop and assess my way of thinking. As a student with a part-time job and two internships I was not being a very good citizen in the political arena. I didn’t know much about the 08’ candidates, only the names of the big contenders such as Obama, Clinton, Edwards, McCain and Romney. I didn’t know what issues they had taken up, or the focus of their campaigns, I skimmed the paper when I could, but did not make time to actually read about anything. Politics has always been an area of weakness and confusion for me. I always feel behind, and green, thus I shy away from ever discussing the topics with anyone. In an effort to gain experience in this field, and a new field in general, as I hope to attend law school next year, I obtained an internship at the Seattle City Council. I started in October, amazing timing as the local elections were held in November and I was there to see all of the action. This, though it allows me to see a little more behind the scenes, hasn’t really helped me in feeling any more involved with the subject.
For this reason, and others I have signed up for a class that will force me to engage in and know more about it. I am also going to make an effort to read and discuss something political everyday, with five intelligent roommates, this shouldn’t be too difficult. Being at a top University, one would think that everyone could care about these types of things, though in talking to people I have found that a large number do not know much and do not seem to care. For a topic that has such a big impact on everyone’s lives it’s surprising.
So, from this day on, I will begin my quest to be a more responsible and informed citizen. Since I have not yet made a New Year’s resolution I will make mine now: Make a conscious effort to engage in political discussion each day with someone new and read the paper everyday.
If all goes as planned, the entries to follow will be much more informative and interesting.