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LJ Idol Week 7: Brouhaha

Where the hell is the brouhaha?

In my mind, there is a significant lack of interest in the United States when it comes to current events. We are a country at war, yet I rarely hear anyone around me discuss it. Fifteen million children live in poverty, but you wouldn't know it from the lack of discourse. A bill to support 9/11 first responders was being held up in the Senate so that a tax break could get passed, but where's the outrage? There is so much going on in our country, in our world, but when I discuss state elections with a coworker, she can't tell me both of the candidates in our governor's race. When I mention a current event to a friend to get her take on the issue, she's never even heard about it. When I ask why they haven't heard about it, people tell me they don't have time, or they aren't political. Are you kidding me?

I suppose my sense of duty to be informed and be civically engaged comes from my mother. My mother, though she has lived in this country for about forty-four years, is not an American citizen. She is a permanent resident, a Cuban refugee. She has been actively working with lawyers to obtain her American citizenship for what feels like a century. My mother isn't allowed to vote, but she is more engaged in her surroundings than most people I know. She campaigns for candidates she supports, and spends time researching different amendments and points of view. She reads and watches different sources of news to hear varying opinions. My mother cares, yet she is limited in how she can express her views. Do you see why it breaks my heart when my friends won't even go to the polls, or say they "don't have time" to read one news article?

Although there are millions in the United States who have very little, we do have something that other countries do not: we have the privilege to pretend that what is going on around us isn't actually happening. We're privileged enough to be able to ignore an election, instead of being told that we MUST vote and that there is only one name on the ballot. Some of us are able to pretend there is no war, while other families we know are reminded of it every day. A number of people can look away from poverty, while others experience it daily, or are reminded when they look into the faces of their students, patients, friends, neighbors. We can pretend nothing is happening, but there is so much to see. In my opinion, if you're not just a bit outraged, you're not paying attention.

This is my entry for therealljidol. Thanks so much for reading. If you enjoyed this entry, please remember to vote for me. As always, I appreciate everyone who has supported me in the past and allowed me to get this far.


( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 18th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
There are certainly a lot of apathetic people in this country. I think a lot of that stems from the belief that what we say or think doesn't matter. It's sad, but true. At least, in a way.
Dec. 18th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
Out of curiosity, is there a, what's it called, lowest margin of attendance on an election below which it is done again?

I think (am not sure) that there are none anymore in Russia. For any election. O_o

That is, less than 25% of voters can 'choose' whatever. Is it not cool?
Dec. 19th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
That's an interesting question..if there is one, I have not heard about it.
(no subject) - kehlen - Dec. 19th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
I agree, Americans can be quite complacent. They can get stirred up and be verbal about it for awhile but when it comes time to do something about it like voting that senator who is 80 years old and been their senator for 40 years out with his archaic views and put new blood in the Senate and Congress they sit home on election day or go to vote and vote for that name they recognize.

A well written piece.

Dec. 19th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
Basically, yeah. Although I'm happy when people vote at all...I think it's crazy that our voting percentage for the 2008 election was about 56%.
Dec. 19th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, as long as we allow people to teach kids that it's "rude" to have political beliefs or voice them or debate each other, this is going to continue to be a problem.
Dec. 19th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC)
That's an amazing point. I mean, there is definitely a way to have your political beliefs and talk about them without being a jerk. Thanks for that.
Dec. 19th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
I'm a lot outraged. This was a spectacular entry.
Dec. 19th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Dec. 19th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
Good for you! I have never understood why people don't use their opportunity to vote. I vote because I can.
Dec. 19th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
Absolutely! It's a real privilege. Write your dog's name down if you have to...just go!
Dec. 19th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
I've voted in every vote I could except for 1 since I've been of age to vote. There's absolutely no way in hell I'm not voting.
Dec. 19th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
Good to hear! It's so important, and we are really fortunate to be able to vote for the person we choose. Thanks for commenting!
Dec. 20th, 2010 04:55 am (UTC)
*applauds* THANK YOU! I am very interested in politics, very passionate about current events. I am so disgusted by people that don't even know what's going on around them, those who vote blindly based on a television ad or for a specific party without knowing WHO or WHAT they are supporting!

It's pure and utter ignorance.
Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)
You are welcome! It drives me crazy when I can't even talk to people I know about current events because they don't care enough to get involved.
Dec. 20th, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
Wonderful and much-needed reminder. Thank you.
Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
Thank YOU for reading! :)
Dec. 20th, 2010 10:06 pm (UTC)
TPeople who don't vote just make me insane. Especially those who then complain loudly about the state of things.

Don't like the world? Change it, or at least try to. *Vote*.
Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
In my mind, you can't complain unless you vote. If you don't vote, you have no right to bitch.
Dec. 21st, 2010 12:38 am (UTC)
Excellent entry. This one gets a vote!
And the apathy is here in Canada, as well.
Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
I appreciate the vote! :) Thanks so much for reading. Sometimes I idealize Canada and think that everyone is the opposite of here...but I guess apathy is everywhere!
Dec. 21st, 2010 08:31 am (UTC)
I'm glad you brought up the news story about the stalling of the first responders bill. McCain trivializing it and saying that we had to focus on *tax cuts* really pissed me off. So many of those first responders died trying to save others and many others who didn't die on 9/11 had dealt with horrible illnesses like lung cancer from breathing in all the smoke for years. I find it sad how your mom battles to get her citizenship when others won't even vote or know much of what is going on in the world. My parents had to study for their citizenship exam. It's not even like most Americans know what the original 13 colonies are!
Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
It disgusted me when I heard about it. I mean, these people say they are patriots and wear their flag pins, but when it comes down to it, they won't vote to help this country's heroes. It's despicable. No matter what side of the aisle you're on, you should support that bill. Jeez.

It saddens me about my mom's citizenship, too. She knows more about this country than a lot of the US citizens I know.
Dec. 21st, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
It is really sad how apathy and ignorance seem to run rampant in our society :/ It is so important to be informed and to vote!!
Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
Absolutely! Thanks for reading.
Dec. 21st, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
Voting is a privilege and one that we could lose if we don't engage. :) It makes my angry and sad. :(

Completely agree!
Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
How sad...that's just ridiculous.
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