Politics... and Why We Don't CareMonday, December 06, 2010 By A. Hamilton
Does anyone know who won the contest for governor of Illinois this year? Anyone with access any media source or parents actively engaged in politics will answer “yes, of course.” Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn was victorious over Republican challenger Bill Brady, but only by the skin of his teeth. Days after Election Day, Quinn was declared the unofficial winner. The government classes taught by Mr. Williams and Mr. Summers had many students wrapped up in the elections until the very end. But now that the chaos is behind us, it has become evident that the idea of politics in general has been pushed to the back of our minds. If the recent elections have taught us here at Judah anything about politics, it is that we simply don’t care. In the months up to November 2, we have doubtlessly been exposed to a variety of negative campaign ads. Contrary to popular belief, the impressions that these gave to the people of Illinois swayed the election in a massive way. Of course, many complaints were made about these mud-slinging tactics; the people were confident that the ads would fail in changing the minds of the masses. Here at Judah, we like to think that we are, in Mr. William’s words, “smarter than the average bear.” Therefore, these ads smeared a negative connotation on our view of politics and this election in general. If all the politicians could do was point fingers at one another, we wanted no part in hearing their accusations. But the question is whether or not we would follow up on these claims if we were able to participate in the election. In other words, would the negative ads have swayed our vote? Now, don’t get me wrong. I am sure that there is a minority of students around the school that share my love for politics and its importance in our everyday lives; the fact is that students just are not as interested as their parents. “Some students seem interested in politics, but many aren’t… I think some will become more engaged in politics as they grow older,” said Mr. Summers when asked about our students’ disregard for politics. Now that November 2 is long past and the political weather of Illinois is mostly calm, things have clearly gone back to the way they were. Many know about the Republican landslide in Congress and the victors in state politics, but is anyone willing to cast a stray thought toward what they are doing? Does anyone realize that having a Democratic governor and a Republican General Assembly is going to screw up Illinois completely? Do we here at Judah realize that it is us that are going to have to deal with the damage these elections cause? This is the problem with the nation these days: the public uses November 2 and a couple choice days in spring to pay attention to politics. When the thrill ends, adults – and the students at Judah – return to their lives and ignore the actions of those elected. Why do we do that every single election year? Well, look at the title. We just don’t care.