Let’s be real- being politically aware demands more from us than what we learned about politics in high school. I’m sure many of us will hear about politics during holiday dinner debates or from someone we follow on social media who is very passionate about social justice. But other than that, many of us just haven’t really delved into it, am I right?
That is, up until now. There has always been chaos and cruelty happening around the world, but these last few years, it has become overwhelmingly apparent. Because we are in quarantine, we’ve had no other option but to watch the news, to really see the political headlines (amongst everything else 2020 had going on). It was really this year that society has been further exposed to the importance of being politically aware: being knowledgeable of our laws, our rights, and what we are all advocating for from what we see on the news.
However, if politics is one thing, it’s controversial. Despite the very vague reasoning that society just expects us to know how to vote, who these politicians are, and how every nook of our government’s structure works, not everyone really knows what’s going on, especially those who just turned 18. So the question is, how can we even learn about it when the subject of politics is perceived as something we should all tiptoe around?
One thing that I’ve learned is that the hardest conversations are often the most important ones to have. Don’t get me wrong, it’s different for everyone. Some have people they can openly talk to, and others don’t- at least yet. There is no wrong answer when it comes to political views, but simply, different and varying opinions. It is inevitable to stray away from this because politics are structured to be this way. It may be easy to say that staying up to date with politics is common sense, but really, everyone is coming from a different place. Let’s try to open up the conversation and normalize speaking on important issues.
Our intent to vote should come from the change we want to see from the ongoing current events we watch on the news, whether it’s on a local or global scale. Your vote is not only for your own voice, but others’ voices, especially those who do not qualify to vote. As we’ve seen from this year alone, it’s important to vote: it is not only our right, but it is our beliefs, our values, and what we are choosing to fight for. Above all, it is who we are choosing to advocate for.
If there’s any easier way I can put this article, listen to this song: ‘Dear Mr. President’ by Kiana Lede and empathize with the diverse groups of people across our country.