Amid the plethora of political news stories accompanied by endless commentary responding to such turbulence from both sides, it is easy — and practically anticipated — to become immune to such hackneyed commotion. We live in a world in which this coverage runs on a nonstop basis, etching our fears, distinguishing our concerns and inevitably determining our attention spans. It’s not surprising many Americans are switching the channel when this constant pandemonium emblazons their TV screens or rolling their eyes at the incessant headlines that greet them as they sip their morning coffee. There comes a tipping point at which vast over-saturation manifests into profound lack of interest altogether.
But as our former president Barack Obama reminded us at a recent rally in California, the biggest threat to our democracy lies within this apathy. The political detachment sweeping our nation that leaves waves of passiveness and shrugged shoulders becomes detrimental to the country’s political identity — the very ideals that created the roots of this nation in the first place. In this period of information-overload, our numbed concentrations signify the death of our nation’s democratic values.
We must vow to fight the ill-fated languor that has plagued modern-day politics by remaining politically active and meticulously informed during this age of political indifference. We cannot maneuver the tumultuous seas of political uncertainty by merely turning a blind eye during a time in which our undivided attention and augmented understanding is more important than ever.
Apathy may be a direct result of political hopelessness, but we cannot discredit the remarkable political power we yield as individuals — no matter where you comfortably lounge on the political spectrum.
We have the ability to build coalitions — to support or resist. Binding together with like-minded individuals only deepens this power. Don’t get lost in the headlines; find yourself in the headlines. Pinpoint your beliefs, uncover your passions and fight like hell to live in the kind of world that you want to live in.
The power of voting must also never be forgotten — especially as the midterm election rapidly approaches. Our votes are the codes that enable the democratic system — surprising notches of hope in an unpredictable world. But more importantly, we must remember that for the democratic system to truly endure, we must hold our elected representative dutifully accountable far beyond Election Day.
And most of all, we cannot forget the importance of being informed. Even when we feel as if we have no control, knowledge fuels us. Fight the feelings of relentless bewilderment and dispassion with well-rounded news coverage, allow public radio to become your savior and don’t ever let newspapers die, for they are the true instruments of power. Information is the stepping stool to understanding — the very antidote to apathy.
The political chaos scourging our nation may seem unending, but so is our ability to become more politically involved — no matter what age you may be. Seasoned political participants must persevere through these unexpected political times just as hard as blossoming proponents of the political system. It’s important to render political involvement from all demographic sectors. This includes the political parties themselves.
Apathy must be battled from all sides because democracy is not a factional characteristic — it’s a necessity that encompasses all party politics. In a nation that’s vastly disconnected by the party system, let us be unified by these democratic ideals — by the power to speak our minds to become the creators of our nation’s unwritten history.
All differences aside, we can build the pillars to support what our nation can and should be. We can no longer have apathy for our own apathy; we must come together to make America care again.