Why I Can't Stand When Someone Says They Don't Like To Talk Politics

I get it.

You probably just read the word politics in the headline and groaned. Honestly, I’m proud you even clicked on the article in the first place. Almost everyone likes to avoid the topic of politics, including anyone around them who starts to remotely bring them up. And let’s face it, we’ve all scrolled past that annoying friend on Facebook or avoided that one relative at Thanksgiving that corners you in order to target your personal beliefs. But the real question is, why are we all so afraid to talk about something so crucial to the way our world actually works?

 

If you haven’t taken a communication or business class before, here’s a mini-lesson about some basic terms and theories.  The term “groupthink” means that when in a group, individuals make decisions collectively without individuality or creativity involved. When we discuss our opinions in a group setting, we are infinitely more likely to downplay our own personal beliefs in order to blend in with the group and not cause too much controversy. According to another communication theory, commonly referred to as the “Spiral of Silence”, if people believe their opinions are not reflected in the majority of the individuals around them, then they are less likely to voice their own. Sadly, many of us have probably been in a situation like this: we were too uncomfortable sharing our opinions because our peers, a person in a position of authority or even our family expressed an opinion drastically different from our own. Or maybe you are simply one of those people who just believes that you shouldn’t talk politics in general. But why?

We are predisposed today to believe that we should hesitate before bringing any topics of discussion up that could be potentially offensive or controversial, and it drives me crazy. While we should always be mindful and respectful of others, there is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing your opinion and political beliefs to others, regardless of where they stand. As a nation, we were founded on the principles of freedom and the right for us to believe what we want to believe. Our entire political system relies on the understanding that we all have different opinions on what is best for us as a people, but we must come together and agree upon a mutual compromise in order to get important decisions made.

 

The political climate today is a very rocky area to discuss, and believe me I understand that -- I take a number of political science classes for my minor, after all. But if we don’t talk about what’s going on, how can we expect anything to change?

 

For my friends at Virginia Tech, if you have any interest in hearing a talk from Senator Bernie Sanders on the importance of voter turnout, come to the “Get with the Times” HerCampus watch party. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 3rd from 7:30-9:30pm in Pamplin Room 30. Come out to get some free pizza and enter a raffle for some New York Times swag!

Check out more information and giveaways on our instagram!

Image sources: Pexels