Conversations about the upcoming Presidential election have been popping up practically everywhere I go. News stories and opinions fly off the handle from people of all ages, and stated beliefs and facts tumble into some incredibly interesting debates.
I absolutely love discussing news and politics with anyone willing to sit down for a minute and chat with me, but just as the rise in the well-informed debates pop up around the election season, so does the apprehension of that fact that there are many individuals out there that don’t even have a clue about who our past presidents were.
After graduating high school, and encountering a variety of individuals from all over the globe, I have realized that I have been very fortunate in my upbringing, and was able to build an extremely strong educational foundation before moving off to the University level.
I look back at the years during my adolescence and I remember the growth that took place in my amazing school district with my slightly nerdy friends. I can tell that the extent of my political knowledge would have been entirely different if I had not had the passionate instructors that were willing to put their all in to informing their students about our civil rights and liberties as well as the American government such as I had the privilege of having.
My geeky-high-school-self led me to join our school’s We The People team, which only pushed me to acquire more information about political philosophy, to become a better member of society by raising the level of my civic competence, and to become aware of my civic responsibility, and I continued to surround myself with people who genuinely cared about what was going on the world and how our world leaders were using their appointed political power.
Of course not everyone has had the background that I bring to the table, or the opportunities that were available to me as I formed and shaped my own personal beliefs that are based on researched facts and education. I recognize that not having that initial push toward further educational advancement sets you up with a great disadvantage. What able individuals can do is find a local library or a laptop and become politically aware for their own sake and for the advancement of our nation. It always helps to know who or what you’re voting for if you do decide to participate in electing our country’s leaders. Not only will you actually know what to say during a conversation about the election, but you can get your voice heard, make a change and know what the heck was going on in your life.
I honestly disdain hearing the phrase “I hate politics” because excluding any political examination, whether it is a private research session on current issues or a heated We The People hearing at the nation’s capital, hurts you and your country greatly when you stand idly aside. Your rights can only be protected with knowledge and getting out there and actively voting. You can give a good fight and try to keep the corrupt out of office if you gather enough of the same opinionated voices to go out there and do something about the current issues. You have an active role as a citizen in the government, and you should always know your rights.
So go ahead and learn more about the elections, look at the candidates and their stance on the current issues, keep up-to-date with political news, if you can, try participating in the We The People program or Mock Trial team if you’re still in high school, learn more about government and our constitution, and then register to vote if applicable. It’s extremely important, and it only helps you out in the long run.
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