Yesterday explosive devices and suspicious packages were sent to leaders of the Democratic Party and Trump critics. This included President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters, Kamala Harris, John Brennan, Eric Holder, Joe Biden, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, George Soros, Robert DeNiro, and the offices of CNN.
President Trump said this wasn’t what it obviously was, a thwarted terrorist attack targeting the left’s most prominent figures, he said it was hate stoked by the mainstream media spreading “fake news.”
This is the same President who has repeatedly accused George Soros, a Holocaust survivor who has devoted his entire life to funding charitable causes around the world, of unproven conspiracy theories against the GOP. The same President who has called the media, like CNN for example, the “enemy of the state.” The same President who chants “lock her up” with regard to Hillary Clinton, at his unnecessary and expensive rallies paid for with your taxes.
The President has personally attacked everyone whose life was threatened yesterday — so why don’t you care about politics?
Well, I got news for you, sweetie: it doesn’t matter if you care or don’t care, your whole life is political. Politics will happen with you or without you, but they certainly will happen to you.
If you’re a millennial, your finances, health care, and career have been political since the day you graduated college.
The 2008 recession profoundly affected the course of every millennial’s life. There is an enormous difference between those who graduated college in 2008, fresh off the Bush Administration, and in 2012, after the Obama administration’s bailout.
In 2007, over 50 percent of college graduates had a job lined up. In 2009, fewer than 20 percent did. Even after a decade, those who graduated in 2007 can earn up to $58,600 more than a 2009 graduate.
That’s not because of magic or the universe; it’s because of politics and economic policy.
Whether you pay attention to the economy or not, it literally doesn’t matter because the economy will always directly affect you. We’re due a recession.
How can you prepare and make informed decisions about quitting your job or moving or buying a home or car or having children if you’re not aware of what happens in a debt-centered economy like that of the United States?
If you care about nothing else, you should care about your earning potential, what the government does with your money, who it helps, and who it is hurting.
If you choose to opt out of the conversation, you’re opting out of your own life, your own future, and signaling that you don’t actually care about people who are less fortunate than you.
If government policy doesn’t affect your life, consider yourself extremely lucky. But consider that others are not as fortunate. So I ask you again, genuinely, how could you not care?
Why don’t you care that the President is using language so violent it has emboldened people to act hatefully? Someone was murdered. Her name was Heather Heyer.
Do you care that the GOP refuses to pass common sense gun laws even after children were murdered in the Parkland shooting?
Did you know a man groped a sleeping woman on an airplane this week? Did you know that he told police that "the President of the United States says it’s OK to grab women by their private parts”?
Do you care that hate crimes have increased since his election?
That children as young as 1 year old are being put on trial because they dared to cross the border with their asylum-seeking parents, which is perfectly legal?
Do you care that despite unemployment being at its lowest in over a decade, no one in America feels like they’re balling because wages have stagnated since the 1980s?
Do you care that the GOP is dismantling the Affordable Care Act and trying to take away health coverage for pre-existing conditions?
Do you care that hundreds of thousands of voters, possibly even you, have been purged and suppressed by the GOP?
Do you care that these are just a few of the things happening right now? What excuse do you have not to care?
Politics aren’t about whether you’re a Democrat or Republican — politics are about you and your community.
Politics is the government's way of asking you: Hey, what kind of health care do you want? What kind of society do you want? How much taxes do you think you should pay based on your income? What do you need help with? What are the problems and challenges you’re facing?
Yeah, there is a lot of corruption. People who seek power aren’t always the kind of people who have your best interests in mind.
That’s why politics needs you, it needs everyone, it needs the people, to keep an eagle eye on the leaders of this country, to keep them in check with American values, principles, and laws.
So you're late to the game. Don't feel bad. No one is born knowing how this works.
We’re often made to feel like it doesn’t matter who is leading because things will suck anyway. But it does matter who is in office, because if we had any other president, there would not be kids in cages, there would not be pipe bombs at CNN, and you wouldn’t be skipping your annual physical because you don’t have health insurance.
You don’t have to become an activist.
You do have to vote. You do have to pay attention to the policies that will be enacted in the federal government and in your state. You do have to vote for people you don’t really like that much. But you have to remember you’re voting for their policies, not their personalities. The occasional call to your senator won’t hurt, but you don’t have to be a hero.
You just have to care.
So I ask you again: How could you not care about yourself? Because that’s what politics are about — they’re about you.