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.