No matter who you are or what your job is, politics will always be important in your life, no matter how much you might want to avoid the topic. Taxes, healthcare, corporate restrictions, the FDA and the police force are all a part of everyone’s life. Decisions that may seem too distant for you to care about will eventually affect you. For example, college students might not worry about how many tax brackets there are. However, in about four or so years that will begin to drastically impact us all. People play the most important part of a democracy. While some feel their voice does not matter in huge elections, there are ways to get involved at many different levels to make a difference. When a group of people gather and rally for a cause, no matter how small or how big the issue, it can result in big change. For the following reasons, everyone, and especially women, need to care about politics.
1. Change. There are many things in our society that we wish we could change. A lot of people can agree that we want to improve our education system. By going to local school board meetings and speaking up for improvements, a change can occur. For a bigger example, calling and emailing your state representatives to tell them your opinion about a bill on the floor of the congress will improve the way your representatives sees her or his constituents. Change can occur, but it takes persistence and involvement. If no one tells people their grievances, then nothing can be done about them.
2. A voice. Everyone likes being heard and politics give people the voice they may be looking for. The heart of democracy promotes speech and expression of people. All voices are equal, and while we may not believe or everyone’s opinions, listening to them will improve everyone’s understanding of the situation at hand and allows better opportunity for a resolution to arise.
3. Representation. Those who are in office should best represent their constituents. However, only 19.8% of Congress is represented by women. The male to female ratio is just about 1:1 in the United States. There are 323 million people live in the United States and half are women, but with such a small percentage in Congress, the female gender is underrepresented. This causes discrepancies. Women can bring different perspectives and different values to politics. This array of input can result in laws that are more well-rounded and better executed throughout the country. Perspective is always important when deciding which laws should or should not be passed. All voices are equal, but it’s hard for all voices to be heard when they aren’t represented.
4. Importance and Relevancy. The importance of politics is difficult to fit in one online article, but I think it’s obvious that recently American politics have been characterized as a joke. That’s not how it should be. During the 2016 presidential debates, many Americans saw the deep political divide between parties as well as many inappropriate behaviors from both parties. Having more serious figures in the world of politics will hopefully help Americans understand the that the political system is deeply impactful and meaningful, and not simply a source of jokes for next week’s episode of SNL.
Politics is more than just what happens on the news. However, I do suggest starting with the news; read a few different articles on different news sites once a day and you will become more informed. There is something everyone can do to become a better voter and citizen. Politics and the government are not going away, thus the more you know about what is going on around you, the more aware you are when things will affect you. And I will let you in on a little secret: political events will always affect you in some way. From small things such as regulations on labels, to bigger things such as taxes. Being well informed is the best way to contribute to society. Nobody wants to be blind to what their government is doing.
I leave you with a quote that I will always admire:
“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt