Today one turns on the news whether it be on CNN, Fox or MSNBC and find themselves bombarded with loud-mouthed people talking about potential bridges to nowhere, healthcare reforms, taxes, education, political scandals, employment, spending freezes and spending increases. All equally deserving of the American public’s attention, right? But has one ever stopped to consider why?
The fact of the matter is most people do not really care to look into things waiting to be moved along in that mess known as the “journey of a bill.” They just let it sit on Capitol Hill, making School House Rock videos, until it is suddenly and sporadically shot to the floor of the House where it is voted on by a congress comprised of 535 elected people. And we the constituents do not bat an eyelash. That is until we suddenly realize we are all wearing pink suits because our politicians passed the hypothetical equal appearance act with the intent to help eliminate racial profiling. And what do you and I do at that point? We complain and ask, “how could we have let this happened?”
In all reality it is partially us the constituents’ fault. Perhaps you were one of the few people in the United States that was not energized by the 2008 election, and now sit in your political science classes counting the number of kids around you sleeping and then twittering about it. That does not change the fact that every decision made up on Capitol Hill will affect you, either directly with things like tuition subsides, or indirectly through things such as new taxes. You might be saying to yourself,
“I’m just a simple college student at this very moment, so why worry about all that political crap?”
Well there is a simple answer to that. Unless you are Van Wilder and plan on attending Marquette for the rest of your life, you are training for the real world. A world that will tax you more, a world you will have a greater influence on, and one that you must safeguard for future generations. The point being, whether Democrat or Republican, Independent or Moderate (a.k.a too scared to have an opinion) the world will soon be in your hands. And in the United States we are blessed with the opportunity to have a direct impact on those who we elect to make decisions for us.
So next time you turn on the news do not be so quick to flip the channel because Bill O’Reilly or Anderson Cooper is talking politics. Take two minutes, even make it a study break, and just listen. Hear what’s going on in our country. Or rather your country. If you do not like what is happening, call up your representative and tell them, it’s their job to vote for the America you want to inherit. So that way, when we walk across that stage and Father Wild hands off that piece of paper that unlocks our future, and grants us safer passage through our countries ups and downs, we will personally know we did our best to make this country something we can be proud of.
by Wade Balkonis