Do protests and name-calling make us American?
I’ve often wondered how American political discourse would change if a majority of American citizens participated in the process rather than the customary 40% or so. Would the people truly be empowering themselves? Would they finally put an end to the politics of big money and avarice?
Most people eschew politics, mostly for the distaste it brings to their palettes and the futility they may see from their own situations. There is nothing gained from my one measly vote. I’m too insignificant to matter in most cases, so let others do the work. By allowing others to participate in what should be a mutually beneficial endeavor, they are creating a void for their own expression. And that void is being filled by other people who don’t share their belief systems and values.
Read what a political enthusiast writes on Daily Dish , about civic responsibility in the age of Obama and partisan politics:
As citizens, we have a responsibility to politics. Putnam fails to take into account that Americans, particularly, have been socialized by a self-preserving elite to see the world of public affairs as “alien”, taught that a trip to the polling place once every four years fulfills one’s civic duty. With the rise of community organizations of the type in which our President was educated (and you’ll understand that I don’t mean Harvard), we are beginning to see a change in that socialization.
Today, those who argue against political involvement are swimming against the tide.
President Obama’s work as a community organizer (contrary to what others may think) was instrumental in affecting tangible change in people’s lives. It is now more important than ever to “swim with the tide,” and become active. Even though we are seeing heated discussions- and in some cases vile protests across America- they are still a part of of civic expression and duty.
In order to move the needle of political discourse, we must be willing to tolerate the voices crying socialism and Nazism. We must be able to accept the fact that lobbyists with unlimited money fill the coffers of elected officials in order to express their civic duty. We must be able to cope with politicians who spread poisonous untruths to muddy the waters. That’s the unfortunate price paid for exercising freedoms in the greatest country on earth. In order to be an involved society, we must put up with the absurd realities of political conflict and competition- it’s the American way.