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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Our political apathy will come at cost

Sunday, August 26, 2007

As a self-admitted political junkie, I realize that most people don't share a strong passion for the political arena. And that's understandable. For starters, politics is confusing, it's complex and - all too often - it seems to make little if any common sense.

But a new poll released this week should sound an alarm if anyone is listening. A major poll of American voters shows that two-thirds of Americans have little interests for politics outside of this country and about the same number feel about the same way about politics inside this country.

Now when just one-third of voters say they are well-informed on politics inside this country, I suspect there may be a problem. That means that the overwhelming majority of the electorate will cast presidential votes next year with little clue. They will follow party lines or racial lines or gender lines without knowing much about where that candidate stands on virtually any topic.

I'll admit that most people's eyes glaze over when you start talking politics. They'd rather talk sports or fashion or anything under the sun. And believe me, I truly understand.

But why don't more people realize just how the world of politics actually impacts their lives on a daily basis? There is not one aspect of our lives that is not touched somehow by the political powers. And unless you take notice, you may well get something you'll regret. Of course, then it will be too late.

I cannot ever convince everyone to pay attention to the political arena. Cynicism rules and I understand.

If more Americans don't start asking the tough questions then the presidential election of 2008 may already be decided. And I fear the road ahead for the next generation.

Before I shut up let me voice strong disappointment in the current administration - the one I so strongly supported. So maybe next year we'll get just what we deserve. And believe me, if just one-third of Americans are paying attention to the world of politics, I promise we'll get just exactly what we deserve. Unfortunately, it will be future generations who will pay the costs for this lack of interest. We won't be around to look them in the face and explain our apathy toward politics.

That's OK, they'll know.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen