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

Nostril flaring decreases among informed voters

By Shirlett Warren/editor-in-chief
Politics is a dirty word to a lot of people. Just bringing up the name of a particular politician or an opinion on a certain issue can elicit flared nostrils. With a presidential election right around the corner, even the youngest members of our society can’t escape being pulled into the jungle of competition for influence, power and control.

My friend’s 11-year-old daughter asked him for a definition of politics the other day. Being the thoughtful and caring father he is, he looked his baby girl in the eyes and told her to ask her mother.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary currently lists five definitions for the word with twice as many sub-definitions, and they’re not all necessarily limited to government. So it’s easy to understand why politics is hard to explain.

In rustic terms, politics is about people getting what they want in the way that they want it and keeping control over what they have for as long as they can keep it. The nose flare-factor occurs when the nefarious nature of playing politics creeps into the actions of our elected leaders.

Things like candidates using money to support a pregnant mistress during a presidential campaign, presidential candidates refusing to release tax returns and mayors threatening to block chicken sandwiches from being served in their cities because of a CEO’s personal position on marriage are all part of playing politics.

I recently spoke with a 15-year-old who said he was a much happier person before he studied government and started keeping up with politics in the news.

Between now and November, we will witness a spectacle of political coverage because of the presidential election and the catalog of items up for votes. It is important not to let a lack of understanding or even frustration with politics keep us from taking part in the voting process in November.

My friend’s inquisitive 11-year-old took the first and most important step in understanding politics. She chose to be informed.

I wish I could guarantee her young nostrils won’t eventually flare.

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