Giving politics a second chance

Seton Hill University students and professors gather for a photo before going to the courthouse for the April 10 equal pay rally. Photo courtesy of M.Nealon.

Please, don’t turn the page. Don’t make a run for the hills. I come in peace. I promise that this political discussion will be nothing like Thanksgiving where you end up fighting about politics, divide the table and an uncle makes everyone else feel very uncomfortable. Okay? Good, you’ve decided to stay. Now, what I have to say is very important and quite frankly needs to be addressed.

There has been a very disturbing trend ever present in our culture for the last two years now that needs to be dealt with once and for all. Since the 2016 presidential election, there has been such an increase in the disdain and hatred for politics more and more each day. Of course there are political concepts and decisions that you won’t agree with. Sure, some might have caused you anger or may have even made you decide to keep politics at arm’s length all together. However, politics are truly one of the most important things that you can ever get involved in.

Whether you contribute by donating your time or money to a political campaign, take the time to engage in political discussion or even do the bare minimum and just become politically informed enough with current events, you have a civic duty to contribute to society by using your voting powers and voicing your educated opinion.

Politics are nothing to be afraid of. Politics are not something to be shut away in the closet because of who your company is. Politics are in everything that we do. Politics are the first step to bridging the divide of understanding. For those of you who are still skeptical and need a little more convincing, please allow me to tell you the best ways you can get involved and the reasons to do so.

Getting involved is the easy part, trust me. Wherever you look, there is a cause out there. And where there is a cause, there is a political cause. I told you, politics is in everything we do. Every person has a passion and every passion can be found out in the world of politics. Are you interested in preserving nature? Fighting for gun control? Helping down and out vets get what they deserve from the government? The greatest thing about politics is that there are so many subjects and causes out there that deserve the same level of importance! Whatever your passion is, you will be able to find an outlet.

Cafe Politika, a political discussion group, goes on a trip to Harrisburg. Photo courtesy of M.Nealon.

What do you do from there? Find some people who share your passion. You can find that in a political party, a campus group or even just in an individual. At Seton Hill, we have several political clubs that can be the gateway for your political experience. Don’t know what you’re feeling? How you should vote? Go to the Seton Hill Democrat or Republican meetings! Start getting involved and see which way you lean! If you don’t end up identifying as a Republican or Democrat, that’s okay too! Come to Café Politika, a group that simply discusses any and all politics! Knowledge is power and so is your vote. Make it doubly powerful by educating yourself.

After you find out where your passions lie, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Now listen to me. Politicians aren’t monsters. Let me rephrase that, MOST politicians aren’t monsters. Being a politician is a very thankless job. No matter how hard you work or try, there are going to be hundreds of polls out there showing just how much of the population hates you. Nobody gets into politics to be universally liked. They get into politics because they have passion. Passion just like you.

Unfortunately, some politicians lose their passion and that’s when you get the monsters. That’s why it is up to you to find the politicians that you feel are just as passionate as you and help them win. How can you help? There are a plethora of ways! One of the easiest ways is to donate. No matter how much you donate, it will be appreciated. However, I know my audience. Not every college kid can afford to donate to every campaign that they support.

That brings me to a second option. Get out there. No matter what, if you look, there should be a campaign office near you. If not? Find out if your candidate has a website. Go there. You can enlist and make a difference. You can make calls trying to persuade others to vote for your candidate, go door knocking to do the same or you can do anything that can help the campaign.

Speaking from experience, campaigning is the most amazing experience you can ever have. I have met so many like-minded people in my area doing this, but most importantly, I have met very unlike-minded people out there doing this. The most important thing I hope you will take away from this article is this. Just because someone has a different view than you, that doesn’t make them a monster. That doesn’t make them your enemy.

Now, obviously there are some exceptions out there such as racists, sexists and any other group out there that makes it a point of their views to hurt other people. What I’m talking about is the age-old Democrat versus Republican. That is why everyone hates politics. That’s why we need to fix this with that important lesson.

There is always common ground to be found in politics. Most of the time, however, nobody ever gets there because they’re so focused on “winning.” Your job as a citizen? Vote and decide who is and is not in their respectful political position trying to find common ground and trying to bridge the divide that exists not only between the Democrat and Republican party, but also the divide in America that has been brought to light by the 2016 election. Bridging the divide is the most important thing politics can accomplish and only together can we do that.

I hope that you were able to take something away from this article. Politics has always been a very large passion of mine, and one day? I hope to be a politician. I want to make a change in the world and try to help people. The most effective way that you can help people in large masses is by using politics. Laws can be passed, changed, or thrown out altogether. The political world never sleeps and is always in dire need of young, enthusiastic people who can change the course and build the future.

While you may think whatever you choose to do is insignificant or didn’t really make a difference, whether it be donating or campaigning, I honestly cannot tell you how wrong you are. Getting involved is the first and most important step to making change. By knocking on a few doors or making a few calls? You are doing that. So, I hope that you get involved, make a difference and give politics a second chance.

Published By: Stephen Dumnich

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