The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

U.S. citizens need to realize politics matter

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January 22, 2020 | Jill Bold | editor-in-chief

When it feels like you can’t change a thing in the world through political engagement, apathy, a total lack of interest, can set in quickly.

However, ignoring what the people in power and political parties are doing is a dangerous gamble.

Apathy is a threat to democracy, but it’s difficult to care when both parties fail to act in a way that benefits those in their community. This system has made people throw up their hands in disgust and exit the political discourse altogether.

The 2016 U.S. presidential election highlighted this problem. Many voters were not only disappointed in the candidates put forth by both political parties, but also outright rejected them on many levels. As a result, many voters stayed home on election day. In the end, neither presidential candidate received enough votes over the other to declare a landslide victory. 

But when a citizen doesn’t feel as though they have good choices, the urge to quit caring is tempting. Not caring is easy. It’s zero effort, but in a zero-sum game of politics, putting one’s head in the sand harms society. 

There’s more to be done beyond getting into the voting booth and selecting a choice on a ballot. Translating politics into sound laws that support communities across the country is vital work. Voter turnout was up to 80% back in the mid-1800s but today, it hovers around 55% at best.

It’s hard enough to combat the obstacles to voting, such as voter ID laws, but simply saying that one doesn’t care and won’t vote or participate is giving up power that shouldn’t be relinquished. 

Caring about the ability to have access to healthcare is a power that should not be just ignored. The power to live a college tuition-free life is worth the effort. The option to thrive in a world where caring for the environment and working toward sustainability is a thing that must be valued.

These are the things that fall by the wayside when interest and participation fades. Edmund Burke echoed this sentiment when he said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

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