Opinion: Political awareness is the key

The lack of political awareness today is really quite drastic. It seems that many Americans simply aren’t equipped to digest the political issues, not to mention filter out the fake news and propaganda from TV or Twitter. We haven’t developed enough critical thinking skills to analyze the big picture issues we face as a society. From this we cling ever so strongly to those opinions we once defended with reason.

Even some simple questions, say, “what is Universal Basic Income?” can’t garner adequate, thought-out responses. Deeper questions, discussing, say, single-payer healthcare or Israel’s contribution to American welfare and security abroad, would generate blank faces.

Cultivating a civic understanding of our world is imperative. We must combat the inundation of polarized media and help our people grow to make rational decisions. This starts in reinforcing public education from our elementary schools all the way to high school graduation: the political system that we all live under is admittedly complex, but if we just understood it a tad bit better, imagine the changes that would make! We would be able to develop our infrastructure, consider widespread effects of the policies and politicians we vote in, and so much more!

We’d be able to address China’s increasing totalitarianism, elect a great president in the upcoming 2020 election here in the States, address the border issue, and so much more. With a competent, well-read population calling the shots, anything is possible.

Also, if somebody votes for a cause (or God forbid, doesn’t vote at all) he doesn’t believe in, then what does that mean for democracy? We are already struggling to maintain our moral standards in this era of scandals and conflicts. Do we really have the energy or the brute power to save our foundations as well? We can’t afford to raise a generation of clueless, regurgitation-focused snowflakes. We really can’t.

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