Southeast Missouri State University student publication

This is your invitation to get involved in politics

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

With midterm elections coming up, it's about time the millennial generation takes a full stride into the governing-sphere, so what's stopping us?

Far too often I hear "I'm just a _, politics isn't my thing" as though an individual's profession or interests has an impact or effect on their ability to participate in democracy.

Listen here.

If you are a member of this democratic society, it's your responsibility to represent your experiences and your background in politics -- and nothing can take that away from you.

The thing I hate the most about our division of labor is that it ferments specific political expectations. For some reason people think individuals in the entertainment industry aren't "allowed" or "qualified" to have a political opinion. Some people think that because they are studying chemistry they are incapable of providing commentary on policy.

It's wrong.

Before I was a journalism major, I was going to be a forensic chemist. I had little-to-no political knowledge, and I never voiced my opinion, brushing it off as "I hate politics."

Then I became a journalist.

All of a sudden I was thrust into politics, and within months had to become an expert while covering the 2016 presidential election.

There is nothing, I repeat nothing, that changed within me that suddenly qualified me to speak on behalf of politics, but a simple change of majors thrust me from "I hate politics" to that annoying girl on Facebook you unfriend for expressing an all-too-loud opinion surrounding local and national policy.

There is no special invitation sent to your door qualifying you to become politically adept. You just arm yourself with information and passion, and you get out there and get involved.

As Malcolm X once said: "If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything."

Don't let the loud opinions of others drown out your individual voice. It doesn't matter what side of the aisle you stand on -- just stand for something.

The beauty of politics is that it's all-encompassing. Politics affects everything, including you. So why wouldn't you affect it?

Your experiences have created your intricate viewpoint that no one else has. You are able to see things through a different lens than anyone else on this Earth, and if you don't believe that viewpoint qualifies you to be an active contributor to our democratic society, that's a damn shame.

Voice a politically-charged opinion, write to your legislator, attend a city council meeting, vote, run for office... use your experiences to your advantage and make a difference.

Your viewpoint needs to be recognized, get out there and represent it.