Why Politics Are Important – Intro Political Science Essay
For a long time, I thought politics did not apply to me. This was due to the fact that growing up, I didn’t have TV in my house, so my only source of news was the radio and word of mouth. I was very ignorant to what was going on in the world and in politics. Just recently, I turned 18 and became able to vote for the first time in this year’s election. I felt that in order for me to make an informed decision, I needed to figure out what I had been missing in the world and politics for the past 18 years. While researching, I found that things in the political realm do effect my life a great deal. The 2000 election, September 11th, and people in other countries attitudes toward the US.
One of the first things I found out from the film, Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election, was that during the 2000 election people from the Republican party stole the right to vote from certain people. An old Florida law, that had not been used in over a hundred years, was dug up and enforced. It stated that felons were not allowed to vote. The Republicans, using this law, compiled a very comprehensive general list of felons who were to be removed from voters rosters. The problem with this was that some of the people on the list, mostly democrats, had not committed crimes ever or had previously had their voting rights restored. This corruption of the political system was very eye opening and made me realize that I need to be careful to make sure my right to vote is not unfairly taken from me.
When September 11th took place, most Americans thought it was just a random terrorist attack that resulted in a horrible tragedy. I found out, from the movie Searching for the Roots of 9/11, that this is not the case in other countries. Their news is sometimes slanted because they don’t have a free press. Many conspiracy theories surrounding the tragedy that falsely indicate that the US president planned the attack spread. When other countries only hear this type of anti-American news, many people from those countries take it as truth and in turn, dislike America. This causes our president to act in certain ways toward other countries and causes other countries to act in certain ways toward the US. If the US is strongly disliked, the other world leaders are not as likely to support what the US is trying to do or to engage in agreements with the US. In this way, the false propaganda and news in other countries directly affect our alliances, especially during times of war.
Another thing I had not realized was that the way people in other countries feel about our leaders affect whether we get attacked or not. Their feelings about the US has a lot to do with who we choose to support with weapons, technology, and money. In the Middle East, for example, some of the people of Pakistan are upset because we are supporting the Israelis and providing them with better technology and weapons. Right now, these two nations are at war, and are constantly attacking each other. The better weapons and technology are definitely an advantage. Some of the people from these countries hate us so passionately that they are willing to sacrifice themselves to let the US have a taste of our own medicine. This is when the terrorist attacks occur and our safety in the US is threatened.
Now, more than ever, since I have a say in who our leaders are, politics have an effect on my life and decisions everyday. The three major events that made me realize that the political realm effects my life were the 2000 election, September 11th, and other countries’ attitudes toward the US. In the coming elections, I want to be sure I am not ignorant to world events like I used to be. My right to vote and have a say in the political realm are too great a privilege to waste with an uneducated vote.