It’s not uncommon for college students to say things like “I’m not political.” This is actually very normal and very typical. College offers people an opportunity to join new social groups, where they hopefully meet people different in many ways from the friends and family with whom they grew up; where they can in the process experience new ideas. All these things may be true, however, it is an inescapable fact that if you are part of a society, you are a part of its politics.
Politics in the United States has become extremely polarized over the years. Where once people of different political ideologies worked together to solve problems, this is sadly no longer the case. Young people are being drawn into ideological conflict often without having had sufficient opportunity to learn and reflect on different points of view. The following essay presents a humorous look at our contemporary political landscape, as it explores the idea of how people attempt to rise above the fray and remain “not political.”
Listen up guys, I get it. You hate the orange guy with the crazy hair. You love the old guy with the crazy hair. You think Hillary is a woman but she sends too many emails. Wow, you’re soooo political. Good for you. I just don’t like to get into that sort of thing. I’d rather abstain from all the petty name-calling and meme-swapping because I believe that life is about more than just politics. (Also, because I’m pretty sure that whatever happens will not affect my day-to-day life in any way because I’m not a member of a historically oppressed group.)
I guess politics has never appealed to me because I just don’t enjoy arguing (things I do enjoy: massages, sriracha, extreme privilege as the result of a class system rigged in my favor, NOT ARGUING). I don’t need to spend hours debating what led to the Iraq War—it feels like it went by super fast anyways (since no one in my social circle had to join the military to pay for college). It’s not important to me that I understand the best solution to economic inequality—my great-grandfather invented steel.
While some people need to always be right, I would rather always be kind. Maybe if everyone were always kind, we wouldn’t even need politics (I don’t know what poverty is because my father invested in soybean futures).
Honestly, if more people were like me (low-key, rich, able-bodied), we wouldn’t have to have these fights about things that don’t affect me and never will.
Another thing I don’t like about politics is how it divides people. I believe that we are all the same (almost all my friends went to the same college). So I think we should be able to find common ground when it comes to the major issues affecting our lives, whatever those may be. My best friend is actually a socially conservative libertarian and I have never once let that come between us because I have never asked her what that means and she always has weed.
If you’ve been on social media lately, you know that it can seem like politics is impossible to avoid. But imagine for a second what would happen if we replaced all the angry rants about healthcare and immigration with pictures of kittens and puppies. I, for one, would definitely feel better. I already have healthcare and don’t know why anyone would want to change countries—it sounds like it would be really difficult!
In conclusion, I know it’s fun sometimes to get all riled up and scream at the TV. But I’m pretty sure that, come November, whether we elect the guy from The Apprentice or the guy from Curb Your Enthusiasm, everything is going to be okay (at least for me).
Essay reposted from The Reductress – “I’m Not Political (Because I Assume I Will Retain All of My Privileges Forever)
Do you ever find yourself saying things like “I’m Not Political?”
If so, can you see how declaring yourself as such is a marker of privilege to some degree?