Does Politics Matter?

If you ask a teenager about politics, there’s a decent chance you’ll get the response, “I don’t care about politics.” My question to everyone who’s ever said this: why?

I’ll admit it, I’m a little biased. I love politics and even plan to major in political science. While it is irrational to expect most people to care about politics as much as I do, I still don’t understand how people refuse to take the time to educate themselves about simple issues. Or for that matter, why students aren’t really taught about politics until their senior year in government. While the issue might be rooted in our insistence to shelter our children from the real world, people can still take the time to try to understand our country.

Like it or not, politics plays a large role in every one of our lives. It dictates how much you work and how much you get paid, every aspect of your education, and what you have the right to do (or not do). The less you care about politics, the less you’re informed about your life. Does it really not matter to you where your taxes go, or why you even pay them? Or what implications each law has? It doesn’t take much time or intelligence to understand — so why don’t we?

Frankly, I can’t think of any other word to label this as than ignorance. It’s ignorant to ignore your country and your world. It’s ignorant to make the decision to form an opinion on small things that shape and form our lives from a young age. Not only is it important for people to understand how our world works, but when we do, we’re able to take more action. With only 60% of the eligible population voting, we don’t get fully accurate elections; so how can we tell what the people actually want?

So, teenagers and adults alike who claim their political views are, “I don’t care,” take some time to start caring about your world. It’s not that hard.