Apathy or Comedy Central politics

Molly Cahill

I don’t like the Tea Party or agree with a lot of what they profess and support (ditto for the Libertarians). But I can applaud the fact that its members do what so few people in our country are willing to do: Speak up.

The Constitution gives us the right to free speech, and our own government protects our right to speak against its actions. There are few places in the world that can claim the same. Yet how do most Americans honor that privilege? With an indifferent attitude toward honoring the sacrifices the people who came before us made so we could even have a vote.

A good majority of our peers get the sum of their political exposure from Comedy Central. Shows like “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” are very entertaining and are worth watching, but they are also biased and slanted toward a particular viewpoint. I’m concerned the majority of their viewers are not fully aware of this.

When we limit our resources to the information provided by such popular sources, we lose the opportunity to form our own idea of what direction we want our government to go. The simple wealth of information that is out there for you to take advantage of is staggering and much more readily available to us than it was in prior decades.

A lot of people say there is simply too much information out there for them to sift through and that it’s easier not to bother. This apathy is not so much a lack of opinion as it is information overload.

But if you take the time to talk to people, you will find that many of them do have an opinion on at least the major issues. The problem is that they don’t do anything with that opinion. In a given presidential election, an eligible voter turnout of 60 percent is considered good. That means about 40 percent of the population decided they didn’t care who the president was. If nothing else, we should show that we care about that. As a nation, we are in a unique position to let our voices be heard, moreso than the majority of other countries. Yet we have a significantly lower percentage of voter turnout than many European countries.

There has been a lot of outrage in the news lately about the new law in Arizona concerning illegal immigration. People all over the nation and especially the border states have been bleating about how the new law is nothing more than racial profiling, which it may very well be. But if the people in Arizona are so against the new policy, they need to stop just complaining about it and take their indignation to the polls to elect people who will change laws and enact policies more in keeping with American ideals.

Tomorrow on May 4, the anniversary of an event that went to the heart of the anti-war movement in the 1960s and 1970s, Ohio will be holding its primary election. This is your chance to make your voice heard. So get out, vote and show that what people stood for that day hasn’t been forgotten.

Molly Cahill is a senior pre-journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].