Politics is an interesting monster. It’s complicated. It’s overwhelming. And it’s frustrating. This year’s presidential election is unlike any I have experienced and unlike any I anticipate experiencing again. Maybe it’s because I am about to graduate and begin a full-time job. Or maybe it’s because I regularly talk about how racism, sexism, and other systems of oppression exist in this world. Or maybe it’s simpler. I think it is. I am drawn to this election because I have an inexplicable connection to people. To you. To your family. To people I have never met.
How does that relate? Because empathy is the foundation of change.
Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of another being. Without this understanding and sharing of emotion, what would motivate us to make change for the betterment of all people? That’s why empathy is the foundation. It’s the primary motivator to make this world better; to make the lives of other people, better.
On the surface-level, politics is about policy. Politics is defined as “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.” But more simply, it’s about power. Power to control. Power to maintain power. And ultimately, power to determine whether your life is valued or not.
Take for example some of the top political issues in this election: income inequality, health care, immigration, and same-sex marriage. These are personal issues. They deal with your body and the bodies of people you know. They are controlled by politics. And political people have power, not to simply write and pass laws, but to control other people. And rather than be overwhelmed by the enormity of it, it’s important to realize at the most basic level, you’re a part of it.
Yesterday I textbanked my friends. You know, like phonebanking. But not regarding any specific candidate, just about voting in general. Because Wisconsin’s primary is this coming Tuesday, April 5. Moral of the story, it’s important to vote.
If you think voting is useless, that you don’t actually have a voice, I’m right there with you. But hold up, because that’s the whole issue. I think superdelegates are literal nonsense. Superdelegates are delegates who are seated automatically and choose whichever candidate they want, regardless of the popular vote. Why should I even vote if they’re going to vote for whoever they want? And while I realize it’s counter-intuitive, I think that’s exactly why you should vote.
By not voting, you give in. By not educating yourself on the political candidates, you allow the media – which if you haven’t figured out yet, is undeniably biased – to make the decision for you. You make it easier for the people who already have power, to keep that power…whether you agree with them or not. Whether they truly represent you or not.
Agree (or agree to disagree), but U.S. politics are corrupt. Money dictates outcomes. Money buys support. Money controls lives. My response? Politics (& the voting booths) need more ethical, moral, honest, respectable, and informed people to participate.
So yeah, this isn’t about politics. It’s about your life. It’s about my life. It’s about the lives of people you will never know, but at the same time, the lives of people you will affect – whether you cast your vote or not.
“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” [Rush]
My PSA for the day. Cheers.