Why Should I PERSONALLY Care About Politics?

I have been lurking on this message board for quite some time. There have been many passionate debates. This truly does feel like one of the most civilized and intelligent communities out there.

But, I just have to ask, why should I care about politics personally?

I hear about politics day-in and day-out. On the news, social media, in books, games, magazines, the radio, random conversations, etc. But, why? Why should I care?

I’m aware that I might be seen as being callous or apathetic, but I see no reason to be engaged with politics unless it is right before or after an election. There is NOTHING I can personally do about abortion, global warming, gun rights, civil rights, or inequality. The phrase “ever little bit counts” is a lie in politics. No, my vote does not change the outcome of an election. No, my donations, or bumper-stickers, or signs on my lawn won’t change ANYTHING. If I where to die tomorrow, the political trajectory of the world would not change a bit.

Why should I care? Sure, I might be very passionate about my ideals and ideology. But, my ideas aren’t going to change anything. If I sat around all day and talked about how we should stop the earth from being engulfed by the sun in 7.58 billion years, people would call me insane for talking about something I obviously have no means of affecting in the slightest. But, if I do the same about politics, it is somehow less crazy?

I guess all I have to say is that i’m tired. There is nothing I can personalty do to solve any of the worlds problems unless I somehow become incredibly rich or influential, which in-of themselves are not really based upon factors I can control. What i’m trying to say is: Why should I care about politics at all if I literally cannot do anything?

It’s probably OK as long as you don’t go around making political comments like parroting Fox News talking points. At that point you are being political, just an uniformed political person. And that annoys people.

Do you vote? If so, how do you decide on who to vote for? Wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t vote at all?

I took an adult education course years back. For a writing assignment, I decided to interview a couple of Buddhist monks.

In one interview, we were chatting about some of the Buddhist hermits still in existence around the world.

I mentioned that they “weren’t really a part of the solution, now were they ?”

The monk I was interviewing replied, “Maybe not. But they are definitely not part of the problem.”

For those with absolutely no interest in politics, if they can do a fair job of ‘not being a part of the problem,’ then there’s a case to be made that … that’s enough.

But it takes a pretty fair understanding of at least a few societal things to reasonably gauge whether or not one is a ‘part of the problem.’

And that’s part of the problem, in that this isn’t actually a lie. There’s an old saying, “All politics is local”. One of the reasons lots of bad ideas about abortion, global warming, gun rights, civil rights, or inequality persist in our society is that a lot of voters never hear anyone around them expressing an opposing opinion on those topics. “We don’t talk about that here” means it never gets talked about.

But maybe, if you did talk about them, at least some of the people around you might start to think differently, and then maybe vote differently. And in the end, voting matters, as much as certain parties would like it to not matter at all. We avoided Trump 2.0 because a few million “every little bits” decided that they wanted to matter, rather than just stay home.

I understand being tired, but that’s the thing: the people behind the anti-democratic trends we’ve been seeing want you to be tired. Because they know that’s how they’ll win.

Why do you think that?

Well, it certainly won’t change because of you if you’re determined not to change it.

How do you think anything happening now in politics, or anywhere in society that you think of as not politics (though I’d argue that there’s no such thing), ever came to happen if not because of individual humans doing something?

And single votes sometimes very much matter. Control of the Virginia House came down to one vote in the 2016 election. Gore lost the presidency in 2000 by considerably less than one vote per precinct – 537 votes over Florida’s more than 6000 precincts.

That, I get. I think we’re all tired.

But tiring citizens out is exactly what people wanting to exercise control over us want. If they can wear enough people down to the point at which they won’t even show up at the polls, then they win.

Exactly. Take 2000 as the best example. If a few hundred people in Florida had voted differently, the world would likely be a MUCH better place.

The problem with that quote is that i’m no “superior” to anyone. I’m only average in many regards and not "“superior” in any meaningful way.

Look at all levels. Maybe there’s a new business being built near your home that you’ll benefit from. Or maybe there’s a new business being built that you’d rather wasn’t there, or maybe there’s one that you’d like that isn’t being built. Someone from your neighborhood showed up at a city council meeting to argue for or against that business being granted a zoning permit. And if it had been you at that meeting, maybe it really would have been you that the city council listened to.

Or maybe it would be you who would make the difference at the PTA meetings at your kids’ school. Or maybe you personally helping hand out pamphlets and talking to your neighbors is enough to swing a city council election. And maybe the winner of that city council election builds on that to become mayor, or state legislator, or member of the House-- Even if you can’t make the big changes, they can, and it was partly because of you.

Get involved. The world is run by those who show up.

That isn’t true. Adults almost NEVER change their opinions about anything. Be honest, when was the last time that someone from the “other side” changed your opinion about anything? When was the last time that you seriously changed someones opinion on serious political issues? People don’t really change in that regard. Especially not the people that could ACTUALLY make a difference, which are the most passionate and powerful people out there.

Because it doesn’t? Heck, if a million people changed their minds in my state changed their minds, it would not be enough to actually effect an election. My vote does nothing, changes nothing, and nothing would change if I voted.

You mean the rich and powerful? Well, since i’m not one of those, my opinion does less than nothing in regards to anything. Trying to say that your opinion makes a difference when the “real” election is between two people who where specifically chosen by the elite is laughable.

Nope. I’ll grant they’ve got an edge; but they’re not the only ones who’ve ever made a difference. And not all the powerful started off that way.

And who controls state houses can make a hell of a lot of difference to the lives of a lot of people – and sometimes to national decisions. All those people who didn’t bother showing up to vote that day? Any one or two of them could have swung it. And they could have been anybody at all.

You know, the Kremlin has been putting out two bits of propaganda- “Both parties are as bad” and “your vote doesn’t count”. See if enough people believe this, the GOP will won every time.

Every little bit does count. Your vote does count. Donations, etc do help.

Here, locally a liberal female Dem lost to a Seditionist Republican by only a small handful of votes. Most of that vote she didn’t get is “my vote doesn’t matter” crowd.

Exactly.

The Republican won in 2016, and the Democrat won in 2020. Clearly at least a few million someones changed their opinions in the four years in between. Even if it was only changing their opinion on whether it was worth going out to vote.

It’s not just that they have an “edge,” they literally control every single process of the political system.

  • What are the odds that someone becomes educated? Mostly only the upper-middle class and the wealthy.

  • What are the odds that someone has connections that make running for office possible at all? Again, only the wealthy.

  • Who decides which small-town politicians are even put on the ballet? Again, the rich.

  • Who decides which of the two candidate in a presidential election are even allowed into the party? It certainly isn’t the poor.

You’re fooling yourself if you think that our entire system is not built to accommodate the wealthy and powerful. The ONLY way the the poor in this country get a say AT ALL is if what they want is conventionality what another group of rich people want. The poor by themselves have never been able to make a difference by themselves.

I personally know 4 diehard GOP voters who voted for Biden or even changed their party affiliation. One of them is now a diehard trump hater.

No. Definitely not.

What decides which people in small towns are put on the ballot is mostly who’s willing to run. The place is run by them as shows up.

And if you want that to be people who aren’t rich, why are you arguing vehemently that nobody else should bother?

Also, why are you ignoring my one-vote example? Or are you claiming that it makes no difference to the life of anyone living in Virginia which party is in charge of their legislature; or no difference to the life of anyone in the USA whether a party in charge of their legislature – and therefore of their voting process – can swing Federal elections their way?

It’s not that I want the rich and powerful to run things. It’s just how the system works. I’m not saying as a collective people shouldn’t try to change things (we should). I’m saying that it is borderline impossible for me as an individual to do anything.

I’m not. Although it is fascinating, it still does not disprove my point. As a collective, Virginia decided that election, not any one person that chose to vote. Regardless, I don’t live in a swing state, and therefore my vote does not matter as an individual.