Seniors: Why Take Politics Seriously

Apr 27th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Some declare they pay no attention to politics. Insinuating that whatever happens won ‘t be changed by their involvement in the political rush, they choose apathy and ignorance. Someone, when asked for a definition of apathy, replied “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

The sad part of this posture is that everything political affects us all. Handing over the reins of government to persons, with no checks and few balances, means we are prepared to live with the consequences. That is dangerous. Certainly it is doubly dangerous in a democracy. When the public chooses to disregard its birth right to vote, influence the outcome of negotiations over legislation and hold elected officials accountable, there can be no telling what the results will be.

Emotive politics, that is politics that are generated by emotional tirades with little information and background on issues, is a poor way to run a country.  Voting for candidates whose intellectual quotient isn’t very high, but whose emotional sure-fire solutions sound appealing, carries with it results we may not ultimately favor.

We are at that kind of moment when the public is being called on to participate in the discussions, debates and deliberations of those issues which will impact everyone and everything in our country and world. Participation, however, goes beyond pure bias and aggravated anger. It needs to be grounded in a willingness to see issues thoroughly, transparently, honestly. Marching to the tune of opposition is desirable when it is motivated by genuine regard for the self interest of the larger number. Marching, just to march, without knowing direction and goal lacks substance and promise for useful outcome.

When so many of the body politic seem to be manipulated and refused rights of ordinary freedom and expectation, it is clear that the shift in government deserves careful scrutiny and likely major alteration. When the government no longer serves the people, it is time for the people to serve notice to the government: this is not working; it is not what we believe in; it must be reshaped to meet the needs of the people who make up the body politic, not a political body, by whatever catchy name.

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