I do not particularly like political discourse. I’ll be the first to admit it.
I don’t enjoy watching people who both have good intentions tear each other apart, and I can’t even listen to people state their misguided opinions as facts, but no matter what I encounter on my Facebook wall, there is something I hate even more. Three words that can take me from zero to a hundred real quick, and have made me want to flip a table or two at voter registration drives:
“I don’t care.”
Samuel Adams didn’t dump all that tea into the Boston Harbor so that you could say taxes don’t interest you. Susan B. Anthony wasn’t arrested for voting so that you could sit at home on Election Day. Martin Luther King did not march from Selma to Montgomery so that you could say “our work is done here.” The work is just beginning.
The notion of apathy is an epidemic among young voters, even though a record number turned out to vote in this election. What I have found, working with political clubs on a college campus, is that “I don’t care” is more often than not a cop-out for “I don’t know and I’m afraid to ask.” No one wants to be wrong. No one wants to be criticized for their beliefs or looked down on for their ignorance, but frankly, it’s your job to care.
As Honest Abe said “…government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” And he should have added “As long as we continue to fight for it.” There is a growing misconception among people that your right to NOT do something, gives you a free pass to take a passive stance on every matter in life.
Maybe you’ve been living in a bubble you’ve created of like-minded individuals, or you’re guilty of dismissing all opinions that differ from your own. If you’ve been taking your rights for granted or you’ve used the excuse that you’re too busy or confused to keep up with what’s going on in the world: this is your wake-up call.
If we want to be the open-minded generation, then we have to practice what we preach.