Apathy: The Right Answer

The government shutdown has come, and I could not care less, and I would urge you to do the same. I know that this will not be a popular opinion, but it is the only solution to the current political climate.

My generation has seen news become entertainment, and politicians become rock stars. We often follow politics as if it were a sport, or a TV show. We have willingly given politicians a level of attention which this nation usually reserves for TV personalities, sports stars, and the denizens of reality TV.

This has been considered the right thing to do. After all, we are supposed to care about politics, write letters to our congressmen, and make our voices heard. But what we have really done is turn our representatives into camera hungry publicity hoarders on the level of Paris Hilton.

I would argue that the only solution is to stop caring about politics, politicians, and current events in general.

As college students we are always being urged to get involved, make our voices heard, care. However, the truth is that our national obsession with our politics has done more harm than any apathy.

In every political race, we find the most respected people in our communities: doctors, lawyers, business people. Idealists who genuinely want to make the country better. We then put them through an incredibly tough job interview, and send them to Washington to join the Senate, or the House of Representatives.

Then, these intelligent, motivated idealists find the limelight which allows them to turn into reality TV stars who hold the nation captive with their bizarre and melodramatic antics. And the reason for all this is that we care too much.

Colin Cowherd, a sports radio host, is famous for saying, “Love me or hate me, as long as you care about me.” The point is that there is no better way to make someone think that they are important than to pay attention to them.

Every hate letter and snarky internet comment that you make about a hated congressional figure reinforces their standing as important personalities and drives them to more ridiculous antics.

Furthermore, when we care enough to give our input, it makes it more impossible for congress to work. Can you imagine trying to do your job if you received hundreds of letters for every memo you sent or recommendation that you made?

The result is that congressional leaders act like people who are having their every move scrutinized by obsessive political junkies. Because of this attention, politicians freeze, and in the end our obsession makes it impossible for them to do their job.

I often hear people complaining about the twenty-four hour news cycle, which is a symptom of the true problem.

The true problem is all the people that make that news cycle possible. The modern political climate is the direct responsibility of anybody who watches CNN, Fox News, or listens to NPR.

Our fixation on politics has turned it into the worst reality show around, and it is time for its ratings to drop. I will end with a simple call to action. Stop caring.

You will be happier, more carefree, and more entertained, and maybe if enough people follow your lead, we will stop having reality stars in congress.

This should be the age of political apathy, and we should all enjoy it.

-David Yoder, Co-Editor In Chief


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