by Amelia Enns
Please, for the love of God, do not talk to me about politics unless you actually have done research. I’m tired of trying to discuss campaign issues with people who support Buttigieg because he’s the mayor of Bend, Oregon. However, the issue of uninformed voters is far greater than just my annoyance. The abundance of uneducated voters in the US presents the possibility that election results and policy decisions do not accurately represent the desires of the American people.
Let me explain. Statistically, uninformed voters vote for politicians who often represent the opposite of what the voter wants. This means that potentially, people elected into our government do not represent their constituents. For instance, those voting in the primaries insisting that Pete Buttieg is an anti-war veteran, when really he believes troops should have remained in Syria and that the US has done a disservice to our allies for withdrawing. That’s just pro-war wearing a mask.
I’m sick and tired of people pretending they know what they’re talking about because they reposted a catchy headline or quote on their Instagram story. Last year when everyone posted that “one like equals one dollar donated to saving the oceans” post which was a scam. All people had to do was look at the account and see the four other posts – random, stock image ocean photos – and see that it clearly was fake.
Or people who only know what their parents tell them. Don’t get me wrong, almost everyone’s initial political beliefs stem from whatever their parents believe. But eventually, you have to figure stuff out yourself; maybe you end up agreeing with your parents, maybe not. But please do research. I really don’t need anyone bringing up fake information in my English discussions.
Following debates and general political discourse isn’t impossible, or really even that hard. With websites like On The Issues and Politico, fairly moderate and unbiased sources, it’s easy to see what candidates have said about campaign issues without all the fluff of speeches from their rallies. Even Vox, a pretty liberal news source, posted videos to their YouTube explaining the views each primary candidate has on things like healthcare, marijuana, and the electoral college. People just need to take the time to do a little studying up.
Even so, I don’t expect everyone to be up to date on politics. It’s extremely difficult to follow the news, keep up with school and extracurriculars, do community service, and get rejected from Stanford all at once. But don’t try to discuss politics with me unless you actually know what it is you support or are against. If I have to hear people complain about a candidate’s economic policy in my AP Gov class after watching the same people fail Econ, I don’t even know what I’ll do.