OPINION – Imagine you have an incredible headache, blood is pounding in your temples, your vision is getting blurry, your breathing becomes rushed and frantic. Now, say this occurs several times a week, even daily. You reach for the apparent solution: a pain killer. But, what if the source of these headaches are really something much deeper, maybe even a tumor, that needs to be removed?
Last week, I submitted an article discussing the existing conditions in our American political scene and the lack of diversity.
This second part offers my thoughts on why there is lack of diversity, and ideas to consider moving forward.
I feel there are three reasons for political stagnation: voter apathy, education and business.
The ability to control politics relies upon the majority of people being apathetic.
Perhaps the apathy is due in part to busy people working hard to provide for their families and in their community and church, and when they get home they just want to relax or be with family. Or, when it comes to things like the presidential election, they think that their vote doesn’t matter (and because of the Electoral College, it would seem they aren’t wrong).
Perhaps adding to this is the frustration of feeling powerless, the time it takes to study out the candidates and platforms, or how hard it is to get people motivated.
Or, when someone does show up to vote, there’s a long list of things to vote on, like judges or amendments they’ve never even heard of before. One can see the appeal of punching a straight party ticket, and walking out of the voting booth.
Lack of education
Another point to consider is a lack of education; on our current caucus system, the voting process, and being able to sift through rhetoric for fact. Digging to find evidence and statistics and coming to a rational conclusion about any one problem is about as easy as reading the Affordable Care Act, let alone understanding it.
Politicians try to force public education, to add yet another layer of requirements to overworked and underpaid teachers, to teach “civics” when public education was never meant to replace or take responsibility for what should be happening in ourselves, communities and homes.
Power of business
Lastly, consider the power of business in the political system. During the 2014 Presidential race, when Mitt Romney uttered the phrase “Corporations are people,” many Americans were appalled. Shocked, they couldn’t believe that a presidential candidate would compare businesses rights to the rights of a living, breathing citizen.
As I see it, corporations are even more powerful than a person and it would seem a free market system would denote that.
But the deeper question is: Because that is so, does it make it right? One does not have to look far to see how powerful businesses are in getting a candidate elected or a bill enacted.
It’s hard to feel your personal vote has power, when those with more resources are able to run the show. Critics of this would say “Okay yes, there are problems. But, look at the good things that are happening.” I would remind these people: A broken clock is still right twice a day.
Opening the dialogue
As Taylor Swift has reminded us, “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes.” So, what fixes bullet holes or tumors? Surgery, antiseptic, life-saving support.
This article is the dialogue that needs to help start the discussion, like prepping for surgery. The responsibility to ensure a free and healthy society starts with every single one of us. Hope is in recognizing the problem exists and examining the possibilities to create the solution.
Submitted by Kaleigh F. Bronson, senior at Cedar High School, Cedar City
Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them; they do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News.
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