Monday, March 24, 2008

Decision 2008

Are Personal Politics The New “Trendy” Concern?
By Chris Mirarchi

Politics is not the topic I am most familiar with. I have never been that interested in it, maybe because I found it boring when I was younger, or maybe because none of the issues have really hit home to me. As I am getting older, I realize how important it is to get involved and believe in something. I also feel that this is a lot easier said than done.

I come to school and I see people wearing their pin of their favorite politician, and holding up signs and debating, and I think, do these people really care about this person and what they stand for? Or are they just doing it to be part of the crowd, or to feel like they have a voice, or just because it’s the cool thing to do right now?

The reason I ask all these questions is because I personally don’t have a 100% decision or opinion on who or what I support. The reasons for this is I am not as involved with politics as I should be, and I don’t know everything about each candidate, so I’m not going to just put on a pin and hold up a sign, just because everyone else does.

There are certain things I believe in and some I do not. I need to look further into everything before I open my mouth and judge someone else for who they support. When I look around this school, I notice many people that say how much they love a certain candidate and hate another, but very few can actually give a solid answer for why they feel this way. I do not want to be one of those people.

When I interviewed people for my first article on politics, I got a lot of interesting information. Some I believe to be solid opinions based on facts, but others I thought were just plain ignorant. One young woman I interviewed said she was voting for Obama. When I asked her why, I was looking for a scholarly answer. What I got was, “I want change, and there have been too many old white men as President.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I gave a little chuckle when I heard this. But what I was actually thinking was, does she really support Obama, or is she just saying it, because he reaches out to the younger crowd and he’s hip and trendy? This was not the same answer I got from everyone.

When I interviewed a young man who is supporting Hilary Clinton, his biggest concern was gay and lesbian rights. I too agree with this as well. I believe that we are all Americans and no one should be treated like a second-class citizen. Just three weeks ago, in California, a student killed his 15 year-old classmate because he was gay.

This story also appeared on Ellen, and she had a lot to say about the crime. One thing that stuck in my head was when she said, “A boy has been killed and a number of lives have been ruined. And, somewhere along the line the killer, Brandon, got the message that it's so threatening, so awful, and so horrific that Larry would want to be his Valentine -- that killing Larry seemed to be the right thing to do.

When the message out there is so horrible that to be gay, you can get killed for it, we need to change the message. Larry was not a second-class citizen. I am not a second-class citizen. It's OK if you're gay.”

When I heard her say this, I truly felt the pain in her voice. This is one issue that is not okay. This is one issue that I am aware of and think that something should be done.

Now even though that is one concern of mine, it doesn’t mean that the others I may have or any more or less important. When interviewing my dad, who has very different views than the young man I interviewed, I got a lot of information that I too agreed with. I, like my father, am a registered Republican. When he expressed his opinion on taxes and Social Security, I agreed with what he had to say.

My father pays for my whole college tuition and I don’t get any grant money because of his income. Then the government wants to take more money from him. I do not find this to be right at all. He also has to pay for his own health insurance because he earns “too much” money. How is this justified?

So when it comes to my opinion, I have issues that I believe are right or wrong, and I don’t preach my beliefs just because it’s the trendy thing to do right now. I keep my opinion to myself, and that’s how I feel it should be.

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