Today is July Fourth, which means that the beach is going to be packed, there’s at least one barbeque happening on every block, and every major city in the United States probably will have a fireworks extravaganza going.
In the face of all the celebrations, it’s easy to forget the historical significance. As I sit and reflect on how America’s founding fathers fought for no taxation without representation, the one prominent thought is that we, as American citizens, have a civic duty to be more politically aware of what is happening within our society.
When 2019 started, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to become more politically aware of all the issues our society faces. Not only are the political machines working overtime these days, but there is also an election coming up in 2020. It’s easy to skim headlines and to develop an opinion from small tidbits, but as an American citizen, I feel that I have an obligation to understand the grit beneath the issues so that I can fully participate when the time comes.
During my deep dive into the issues, I realized just how complex they are. A headline could never encompass a whole issue, because there are too many perspectives to cover all at once. Throughout my life, I never believed that there was only black and white, but I never realized how many shades of gray existed. Moreover, I’m sure I have yet to discover them all.
I know that it seems like a lot, but the monster of politics must be digested bit by bit. It is also important to understand that all of the issues will evolve and change on a daily basis.
One approach that has made this easier is to start with an issue that you’re passionate about, because your interest is what is going to get you through all the complications of the issue. I’ve also found the opposite to be true. By starting with an issue I’m not really interested in, I get through it quicker. Quick enough so that I am educated in the matter, and then I move on to a topic that I may be more invested in.
Here are a few articles that I have written with some relation to politics. They’re more local than they are widely applicable, but I believe that they showcase the small efforts I have made toward understanding politics a little bit more.
- Introducing Kyler Gray and Madeline Mills: Your SGA President and VP-Elect
- Breaking Down Title IX
- Why I March: Karen Caudillo Attends the 2019 Women’s March in Washington D.C.
- Sierra Scoot: Senate President of SGA at UCF
- SparkNotes of the Florida Amendments
Within the spirit of today, I wanted to take the time to implore that everyone learn the political intricacies that society functions on. It would be great if one day, everyone took the time to see and understand the other side and have an open conversation about it. I know it sounds like a daydream, but I would .love to see a world where we have conversations about our differences instead of jumping down each other’s throats.
Share your thoughts. What are you thinking about this Independence Day? Which political issue are you most passionate about? Is there a change that you want to see in society, and what is it?