Change needed for more knowledgeable

Seth Harris

Healthcare, Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid and gas. Which one doesn’t belong? As many people most likely know, the media has been covering the minute and grand details of politics for the last, oh, century. But let us focus more on the current media storm.

With the presidential elections nearing, everyone and their dog is analyzing the presidential candidates, from what they say or do not say and what they do or do not do. The issues they are taking a stance on directly and critically impact college students, students’ parents, grandparents and their future children. Gas being almost four dollars is not a major issue, but that’s beside the point.

What does matter is everyone’s reaction to the political candidates and the skewed, melodramatic reporting of various agencies.

Since I graduated in December, I have spent a decent amount of time perusing various websites looking at news articles and the comment threads that go along with them. I do this to catch up on current issues because college tends to be an insulated microcosm without much acknowledgement of world issues: you go to class, you eat, you study and you sometimes sleep. The constant theme and monotonous chorus in any comment thread is always an argument between Democrats and Republicans.

A news article could be about fluffy kittens and how cute they are but someone will invariably digress away from the cute kittens and blame something on Democrats/Republicans (because we all know that the problems of the United States are caused by the party opposite of ourselves). The verbal shindig usually begins with someone insulting Obama or Republicans, in which people literally SCREAM at one another about how stupid the other person is and how Republicans hate everyone but large companies.

You do not even want to mention healthcare because each individual believes he or she has the ultimate solution and that Obama caused the United States to go down the drain. Democrats hold that it was Bush, but either way things are circling the toilet bowl.

But let us all forget what I have said so far and focus on what really matters: unity. Even though the possibility of each person in the United States seeing eye-to-eye on an issue is one times 10 to the infinite power, it does not mean people should attack one another in any form. Each person has a right to express his or her views without fear of gnashing teeth or hurtful words. What people must realize is that our once king-of-the-hill nation is not about being a Democrat or a Republican, Christian or Muslim, black or white; it’s about being an American.

With this in mind, people should burst from their confined ideology and truly pick apart the issues and stances of politicians. Do not merely be a puppet of a large party that does not care about you, but delve into the inner you and discover what is important to you, not what is important to your parents, friends, religious leader, political leader or any one of your professors.

We as a generation, which the media calls “lazy” or “entitled,” need to discover our passion for something besides our own conceitedness. Too many of us sit back and let the decision making be done by older people who will not be around to see the repercussions of their mistakes. This is our time to take a stance, our time to make our voices heard above the clamor of the herd.

The most important part, though, is to be educated and informed on the issues. Spouting erroneous facts will only lead to more bickering of ignorant people. So, before you decide to call yourself a Republican or a Democrat, take a look at what those terms really mean and where they come from. Above all else, do not wait for someone else to be the catalyst of change. We are all responsible for what happens in the future and if we do nothing now, we can only blame ourselves when our world crumbles.