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Americans too passive and apathetic towards politics

Beau Smith

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It’s pretty often that we Americans are unsatisfied with our government, especially our president. It seems we’re always finding fault in our appointed leader’s actions and offering our advice as part of the solution. This is the loyal opposition: let’s be unsatisfied enough to become angry, but too satisfied to riot. For a long time, this has been the strength of democracy.

It must be a government fueled by people who desire to make it better. But nowadays, things are different. How so, you ask? Partly because our voices have been quieted by an overpowered Congress, and partly because we are simply too uninterested and unconcerned to make any noise in the first place.

Maybe that’s the problem with Americans: we’re too satisfied with the way we live to care about our government. I feel that part of this is the federal power imposed on us. We’re each just one voice drowned in 300 million voices. We take up a lax attitude, thinking we’re better off without dirtying our hands with politics.

However, with devolution (the increase in power of the states) we become much louder, a voice among only a few thousand. Then our participation means much more. We’re much more readily heard. But this devolution won’t ever happen if we’re too wrapped up in the supremacy and the necessity of a federal government making our decisions for us. It seems we’d rather go on being instructed instead of instructing.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, “So we have little influence, big deal.” Well, that’s exactly the point that I’m making. We don’t care. We’ve been reduced to white noise because we’re too stupid to articulate our thoughts. I don’t want to be close to government. I don’t want to make decisions. All we need is a little coaxing and we’re sold. Obama did just that. He appealed to the uneducated and the youthful with his campaign: appearing on Rolling Stone and MTV and making his image up to be some celebrity icon.

Many voted for him only because he’s Obama and were convinced he is a great man: a legend of his time. A rock star. By electing Obama, we elected a man who told us what we wanted to hear and then did what we didn’t want him to do … but we don’t seem to care. He’s a genius because he knew we would not retaliate.

We should be protesting. We should be yelling in the streets, campaigning for new laws, pulling up the roots of his administration—but we aren’t. We’d rather make empty threats and accept our mistake. Let’s wait until the next election … Well, it’s not much of a democracy when you only vote once every four years.

We are not a loyal opposition at all; we’re just slaves to the system, detrimentally loyal. As I mentioned before, democracy must be a government fueled by people who desire to make it better, but we don’t wish to make it better. We don’t wish to make it worse. I just want my job to stay the same. I just want my life to be unaffected by the actions of Congress.

Let Congress handle it, I’m too busy. It’s pathetic, apathetic, mindless obedience. When will we raise our voices in protest? When will we riot in the streets and demand the change we were promised? Hopefully soon. Total opposition is better than total loyalty.

Comments on this opinion can be sent to kbsmith.sav@gmail.com.

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Americans too passive and apathetic towards politics