I’ve always been a Republican. My father is a small business owner, and I believed that the Republican platform would support him and his business best, and more selfishly, that I would correspondingly benefit.
I don’t agree with everything the Republican Party stands for, but in each presidential race, I sided with the Republican party over the Democratic one (granted, in the 2004 election, I was eight and didn’t really ‘side’ with any policy unless it involved more “That’s So Raven” and less piano practice, but still).
So, when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lost last month, I was just as mad as the rest of my fellow Highland Park residents. And I’ll admit, I was one of the first to hashtag my woes on twitter, #mournformitt #onwednesdayswewearblack.
I also took notice a few days later when the BBC published an article stating that overseas military votes that weren’t counted might have turned the tide in Romney’s favor. #canigetarecount. #thosewhoservegotserved. But, when I looked at what I was contributing as a whole on the twittersphere, I was repulsed.
The Huffington Post refers to Generation Y (us) as “the lazy, apathetic age group born between 1994 and 2004,” who are “often portrayed as less engaged in politics; they have short attention spans and don’t care about the weighty issues that confront their generation and the nation; and they’re more interested in technology and celebrity than staying active in their communities and schools.” Stings a bit.
The truth hurts, but (and it’s sad to admit) we’ve earned that title. I am a prime example of an underage, uninformed person who voices their uneducated, frankly irrelevant, opinion via modern social media.
And who doesn’t in our environment? It’s so easy! Why not say what you’re thinking to your 1000 intimate Facebook friends to prove not only your wit but also the boundless political knowledge you acquired through Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update.
They should hear your brilliant thought on how Vice President Joe Biden “looks really freaky in this debate, lol that clown smile is sooooooo weird!! RomnieRyan2012!!! Change we can believe in!”
But, upon reflection of the disappointment that is America’s youth, I’ve converted from a 12 year old girl’s mentality to an 80 year old misanthrope’s: What is becoming of society, no one knows anything anymore! Kids these days with their Instagram! They need to read a book! How can I expect them to finance my social security? Nixon is an innocent man!
I believe partisan politics have lost their true meaning.
Gone are the days of a country worshiping their president and standing by their government, days where the America cared about a president’s ability above all else. When citizens didn’t slander the President because they loved him, his administration and what they were doing for America, even if they didn’t agree with everything they were doing.
Our negativity when it comes to politics has become so unrestrained that it is not only disrespectful towards our leaders and those who have differing views, but it is unpatriotic.
Yet where there’s smoke there’s fire.
We fuel the media and presidential campaigns to take such negative, borderline anti-establishment angles, because the American public eats it up.
Who will ever forget the literally under-the-table footage of Romney’s 47 percent comment which alienated a large portion (roughly 47 percent) of the country from his campaign? Or Obama’s “we’re doing fine” statement that seemed a gift from God to the Republicans, and sent them into a full throttle attack on the Obama administration’s lack of change in regards to the recession and the economy’s stagnation?
To me, the candidates tossing these quotes back and forth and talking over each other at debates reminded me of the “Did not! Did too!” fights from the playground. When I was four. When it was okay to argue like little girls.
I’ll just spell it out: I want a better educated America! More importantly, I want my old America back! I want patriotism and freedom and “America is the best place in the world, we’re number one, Olympics, yeah, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” back!
I’m not saying that if your candidate lost the election to not be upset, you should be upset; you have a right to be! But you should also get up, brush off and support your president and more importantly your country. Don’t threaten to move to Canada because you’re just that enraged; besides we all know you won’t and we’ll never let you forget it (embarrassing).
Maybe it’s just because it’s the holiday season, but I’m tired of America being polarized. We’re no longer a melting pot, we’re a soup you put in the fridge a month ago and then forgot about. And in that time, we’ve separated and not only become inedible, but also super gross.
It’s unrealistic for me to think we can regress back; the politics game has changed and we’re moving forward (political pun intended).
But if we put away our aggression at least a little bit we might be able to mix again before it’s too late. If we do, instead of plugging our nose and choking opposing opinions down, they could go down a little smoother.
So after I save this file and send it to my editor, I’m going to peel the “One Term” bumper sticker off my Dad’s suburban and replace it with one that reads “Proud to be an American.” Because I am, and I have a feeling you are too. But it’s time for us to log off and start acting like it.