The Belvedere Journal
Politics: Does it affect all of us?
Updated: Mar 2, 2020
In the age of social media, we are constantly aware of everything that's happening everywhere all the time. But, does this mean that these issues can affect us all?
“ It’s ignorant to think politics doesn’t affect us all”
For our generation, it’s become virtually impossible to avoid politics. This comes as bad news for those who prefer to tip-toe around the subject, those who discretely cough and attempt to steer the conversation elsewhere every time the dreaded 'P' word crops up in conversation.
The overused excuse that I find myself hearing all too commonly, used by those who are desperate to change the subject to virtually anything other than politics, is the classic ‘I don't know enough about politics’.
Personally, any time I hear these words muttered by someone who wants to avoid political talk- I lose a certain amount of respect for them.
That’s not to say that I immediately think less of anyone who doesn’t share the same opinion that I hold, but simply put; no matter how hard I try, I could just never imagine trying to attempt reasoning with someone one could only describe as ignorant.
Because it’s ignorant to believe your vote won’t matter.
It’s ignorant to think politics doesn’t affect us all.
It may be hard to digest the fact that there are people in society who genuinely hold the belief that politics will only affect those who are actively involved. This is far from the case. I find it easy to lose respect for someone blinded by naivety, someone who believes that politics won’t affect them, and overall prove themselves as the human embodiment of the phrase 'ignorance is bliss’.
Of course, ignorance is not bliss. How could it possibly be so, when we live in a time where political activeness is more important than ever? With political/social issues ranging from climate change to the Syrian refugee crisis, proving their importance by making the headlines of ‘top news stories' we wake up to every day, it’s morally impossible to ignore.
More importantly, the reason this excuse is used to its degree of extension is because of the validity it appears to hold. This is probably because, hearing this, one most likely assumes that the fact that someones ‘doesn’t know enough about politics’, can be blamed on several different things, such as not receiving adequate education about politics or lack of political involvement from their family.
Consider the fact that parents, and anyone else who we may consider as role models, are where the majority of our ideologies stem from. Whether it’s you supporting a particular football team because the enthusiasm for this team runs in the family, or whether it’s a religion that you’ve been baptised into, a decision that your parents made for you which now affects your religious beliefs, parents’ political beliefs, or lack thereof, could easily influence your own opinions, or be a factor of why you don’t involve yourself in politics.
Or maybe the reason this excuse is used so often is due to the lack of political discussion with others. Understandable as Brexit, Trump and Johnson don’t exactly qualify as suitable dinner table conversation topics. But why not? We’re living in a time where political activeness is more important than ever. Knowing this, why is it that the social stigma behind discussing politics is still so active? It’s the unspoken rule that stands in many families across the country; avoid any controversial topic in conversation, as it may just possibly, lead to disagreement amongst the family. And who would want that?
This rule isn’t limited to the household either, but can easily be applicable to many different places where ‘political talk’ would be deemed inappropriate, such as the workplace, as it could lead to conflicting opinions. But isn’t this a good thing? Discussing politics regularly, whether it’s something as simple as just chatting current events with colleagues, will undoubtedly encourage political activeness and also allows people to recognise how politics does affect us all.
Regarding education, it’s understandable that some people may have been lucky enough to receive a head start in getting involved in the political scene. Maybe they found it interesting in school and developed a liking for it, whereas for the rest are left with little to no knowledge about politics, simply relying on the vague and bias articles tabloids offer. Or more likely in this generation, being reposted, shared and spread like wildfire on social media. Sometimes it’s difficult to spot fake news. With the media acting as a catalyst in making ‘fake news’ stories go viral in a couple seconds of it being posted, it almost makes it impossible to encourage young people to get more involved with the politics. Should we be considering ways to make politics more accessible for young people, or is it already as easy as it can get?
Despite the flaws in our system and country, being a member of society, it’s your responsibility to do your own research. Talk to others. Form your own opinion. It doesn’t matter how much you know about politics, it doesn’t even have to interest you. As long as we as a society can grasp the basic understanding that no matter how much politics may bore you; it affects us all. With no exceptions.