I Hereby Forbid the Phrase “I’m not into politics.”

To those of you who eagerly refresh my blog home page five times a day expecting some new profusion of wit and magical hyperlinking, I am sorry. To the rest of you who don’t even look at it when I post links on facebook and twitter, shame on you. I thought we were friends. And friends don’t let friends write to imaginary audiences (something created in the minds of bloggers who are too cool for imaginary friends).

So, now that I’m back from my spend-days-in-sweats-only-watching-TV-having-a-mental-breakdown-about-my-impending-graduation-and-being-single-forever-because-no-one-could-ever-love-a-blogger hiatus, let me ask you  a question. How many times have you mentioned politics, a law, or a politician as it’s relevant to the conversation, only to have someone say, “I’m not into politics.” Unless you are that someone, the answer is probably way too much. On a normal day, I might let this slide, but today is Wednesday, and Wednesday makes me grumpy. 

Here’s the thing: because we have a democratic government, “politics” is not a hobby or a form of entertainment. You can “not be into cat farming,” and you can “not be into the holographic performance of 2Pac at Coachella,” but like it or not, you’re in politics (although honestly, if you didn’t think that hologram was cool, I question your life choices).

Whether or not you stalk Lady Gaga won’t change your environment. Same with that sports team. No matter how fanatic you are (< D.C. people, do yourself a favor and click that link), the team has no idea that you exist. Politics, on the other hand, is one of the biggest factors in how the world around you works. Politics controls what you can and can’t say in public. Politics controls what you can and can’t do with your property, what you can and can’t do to other people, and what you can and can’t do to other people if they harm you in some way. Politics is the system in which the various parts of our daily lives (property, jobs, rights, etc) are organized.

IThe political system will affect your life whether or not you participate in it. You don’t have to be fantatical to be involved. You don’t have to campaign for a candidate or issue, but you do have to be aware. So get educated on the issues, get an opinion, and if what’s going on matters to you, then talk about it with friends and vote to make sure your voice is heard by those in charge as well. 

As my man Plato once said, “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”

If, after that magnificent call to action, you still think you can say “I’m not into politics,” here’s a little quiz (dating magazine aptitude nonsense style) to clarify things. Answers are under the image. Don’t cheat!

1. Do you live in America?
a. Why yes, I do.
b. No, but I live in a democratic country.
c. No, I live under the rule of a monarch or dictator of some sort.
d. Dunno, I live on a desert island.

2. Do you want to have any control over your own actions?
a. Of course I do.
b. Yeah, I guess so.
c. No, I get a thrill from being ruled with an iron fist.
d. Doesn’t matter. I’m all alone on this island anyway.

Do you know people who say this? Are you one of those people and want to defend yourself? Do you want to discuss how cute that cat picture is? Then sidle right on up to that attractive “responses” button below, and make something beautiful. 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “I Hereby Forbid the Phrase “I’m not into politics.”

  1. Pingback: Ezra’s Incredible Terp Blog Questionnaire « Ezra Won't Shut Up

  2. Our governement is so corrupt at this point and time and our finacial system in such a crisis, that we might even be able to live through a drastic political makeover in the United States. When people get poor and hungry, which they will, they also start making changes. This will be an interesting next 50 years.

  3. I have also created an imaginary audience for my blog!!!!! (I’m soooo glad I’m not the only one!) But in reality, I’m pretty sure only about 4 or 5 people read my blog. That includes myself, my sister, and you (hopefully!).

    I also believe that it is the responsibility of all Americans to immerse themselves in politics and make an educated vote. If one chooses not to engage in voting, I’m sure it’s not something they talk about because they know the wrath they’ll receive.

    Have you been to Rock the Vote? http://www.rockthevote.com/
    It’s an awesome way to get people ready to vote without crossing partisan boundaries.

    P.S. I loved the Caps Rap!

  4. Honestly, I used to be one of those “not into politics” kind of people. Naturally I’m kind of conflict-avoidant. Then I started volunteering at a horse rescue and I saw how unneccessary horse slaughter is in this country (I am consciously stopping myself right there because I could talk about that for like 50 pages). Then I started reading up on other food industries in the US, and I was similarly disgusted. Then I started reading The Economist, and the NYT, and other reading material of similar ilk. I even wrote to my representative about the threatened discontinuation of a medicine that a friend of mine needs to live a normal life, and about the bill that reinstated horse slaughter in the US. It’s all interesting now that, as you said, I’m educating myself on the issues. Plus, now I have topical stuff to talk about when faced with social situations and I get to feel fancy for saying things like, “I just read this thing in The Atlantic about X.”

    So maybe a better tack to take would be to just encourage people to read about stuff that interests them in the real world (ex. if you’re interested in crotcheting cozies for everything you own, maybe check out how the yarn is made and how it gets from sheep to teapot-garment). It’s nearly impossible to not have an opinion on something you’re already interested in.

    • That’s a wonderful point. I totally agree. People think being “into politics” means getting into fights about the top politicians, but really, it’s all about exercising your right to participate and change things for the better.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s