The Privilege in Politics

“Politics just aren’t my thing”

“I just can’t get into politics”

“I just don’t really care”

 

It’s not unusual to hear statements like these from countless Americans on a daily basis, yet with this year’s election, many were hoping to see a change. It is completely understandable that some avoid politics because of the anxiety that it can cause, or to otherwise preserve their mental health, but not all of those who make these statements fall into this category. A portion of these people are simply, as they have said, disinterested.

While there is nothing wrong with being disinterested in politics, for other Americans, being disinterested with politics is not an option. Especially throughout our most recent election, the rights of certain groups of Americans have been directly threatened, and for these groups, impartiality is simply not an option. The rights of immigrants have been threatened with threats of deportation, the rights of women and their reproductive health have been threatened, the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community have been threatened with threats to their rights to marry, and the list goes on and on.

These groups of people live in fear of their rights, and have taken action in visible ways across the country and the world–through phone calls, marches, protests, and innumerable other actions–yet still, these people who dislike politics see no reason to get involved. Being impartial towards the world of politics is a choice made for personal reasons; yet, even the ability to make this choice is a privilege. Certainly there are members of marginalized groups that feel similarly uninterested with the world of politics, but on the whole, these people cannot be impartial towards politics – in order to protect themselves, their families, and even their livelihoods, they must act and make their voices heard.

By being outside of these groups, it is only natural that these privileged few do not feel the need to become involved in politics–their rights are not being threatened, and the effects of the biases held by some politicians are not being felt in their daily lives. Despite this, however, it is important to understand that while you may not be personally suffering, others are, and these others could use your help. A society, especially one like the Unites States that claims to be inclusive and accepting, cannot survive if its members are only concerned with their personal interests. Groups that do not have the privileges that you do should not be ignored–as members of your community they need, and deserve, your help.

While politics may not be your thing, please, please, consider taking action not for your own benefit, but for the benefit of others. Although you may not feel interested or threatened by what is going on in our country and the world, know that others have no choice in whether or not they are interested—they must be in order to protect themselves and the ones they love. The United States of America should be just that–united–and in our unity we should work to protect and support each other at all times, regardless of personal opinion and investment. Together we can change and protect the world and ourselves, but in order to do so, we must act together.

Image Credit: The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Rachel Lee Smith Photography, Reuters