Op-Ed: Politics – The weight of our votes

We all know someone who hates it: here is how we can avoid the radicality of it.

Op-Ed: Politics - The weight of our votes

Elizabeth Kaiser graphic

Let’s be honest. How many people do you know that dislike talking, in any degree, about politics? Average citizens whom I have talked to mainly do not like talking about the politics happening in Washington D.C., but they do not mind keeping up with their state’s politics. Why is it that people who do not like politics do not mind their state’s being, but they do not step near Washington D.C.?
I believe my job as a citizen, even as an Exponent general reporter, is to bridge people together with controversial topics that could influence the future of our society. Most of the time, I have talked about actions done on behalf of a group of people, which is the definition of politics.
To relate some of the most recent events, such as Iowa’s Caucus Chaos and Nancy Pelosi ripping Trump’s agenda at the end of the State of the Union, Impeachment, we should realize the importance of staying informed about our government—OUR government. The State of the Union address may seem like a political move – and it is – but did you know that you are involved in politics outside of our government?
The definition of politics can be explained as a decision that involves invoking power upon a group of people. Take your family, for example. Let’s say your parents ask you to clean the house in time for an upcoming party. You clean the house and, therefore, you are cleaning it for a group of people. That is a political decision, because your parents are asking.
Let’s say you do not want to clean the house. This serves your self-interest and, therefore, is not political. However, if you were to justify the reasoning with another person, such as your sibling, then it would be political.
Politics have been present since the foundation of our country’s government, especially with our first governing document. During our country’s revolution with the British, our country’s structure followed the Articles of Confederation written by that guy with the kite and key, Benjamin Franklin in 1777 and ratified in 1781. There were many constructs between the sixteen individual articles that would gridlock the Continental Congress’ decisions including taxing the people, not having one type of currency (there were 14 different types of currency), and the representation of the colonies (there was one ranking member per colony).
Although the Articles of Confederation were not the greatest, our current Constitution utilizes some of the outlines, including Congress regulating the U.S. Postal Service. After the Continental Army defeated the British, Virginia invited all colonies to come together to revise the old governing documents to prevent more state conflicts. The Annapolis Convention did not have enough states in attendance, so five states motioned for all states to sit down and create our Constitution. On September 17, 1787, the Constitution was signed. The document consisted of a Preamble and seven articles that established elements of our government including the duties of the government, the importance of federalism, the amendment process, establishment of the Constitution as the supreme law of the land, and most importantly the process for establishing a proposed new frame of government. The next step was to have 9 out of 13 states ratify the Constitution in order to be a unified nation. It would not be until June 21, 1788, that 9 out of 13 states would ratify the governing document.
So, what exactly is my point? It is important that we unite as Americans and do the necessary thing of pushing away the social norms of politics. Let’s not identify as left or right, democrat or republican; let’s identify the candidate that aligns with our beliefs.
I cannot say how many times I have heard, “You are a socialist?”, “You want to be in a country where communism controls all?” or “Trump is a homophobic slob.” Just stop. We are the future, and our country depends on us for reform if it is needed. This is what the skewed media outlets are trying to do. Do not watch only CNN or only Fox News. Be uncomfortable and watch both.
Do not sit back and let your parents, friends, or even colleagues pressure you into thinking one way. Speak up for what you would like to see in your country and of your fellow Americans. Have you ever been to a town hall or dug deeper into the candidates’ profiles? In all seriousness, if we have people that do have strong backgrounds into the current political situation but choose never to vote, does it not seem contradictory into making change?
The solution to fixing our government is to vote. Our people should not only be voting during the general election, but they should also be voting during midterms and during local elections such as school board, county board and city board. These votes should be cast with more knowledge of the candidates. For example, who is likely to change their views if someone yells at them? They would want to do the opposite to upset the yeller, and they most likely think it is funny.
How do you think our current president was elected? Yes, by the electoral college, but the electors looked at Hillary’s background, which was not the greatest. She also had a lot of coverage of the smallest actions she has done in the past. Those actions are cherry-picked up by the media and exploded in the electors’ face such as her supposed cover-up of the Benghazi incident, her husband’s previous decisions and more.
Trump had more going for him. The incidents held against him were his remarks on women, especially Stormy Daniels. The media did not cover a lot of his smaller actions. Why? Because he was a businessman in the private sector. Not a lot of things are covered behind closed doors. Am I agreeing that we know all of Hillary’s actions? No. However, we tend to know more about her closed-door decision of handling things.
Moving on to America’s values: Equality, Freedom, Liberty. I could ramble more of the American-rhetoric. Let us make the decision of doing the humane action to help the majority of Americans rather than the one percent. Just think, if we were happier with our basic human needs as Americans, would we not want to help our country more? In order to qualify or pay in for social programs, do you think the government in the future would not want a doctor’s monthly follow-up appointment or pay stub information if some Americans are on welfare, so we do not have them “cheat” the system? If our government is meant to be “of the people, for the people, by the people,” why are we not fixing it?