Staying Woke While Living Abroad: Why Politics Still Matter

Brothers and Sisters in disaffection, I’ve gathered you here today to discuss a matter of great contention…

U.S. Politics

Staying Woke While Living Abroad: Why Politics Still Matter

**pause for groans of protest**

The phrase alone is enough to wrench the heart, send shivers down the spine and fatigue the spirit. U.S. Politics, not unlike my love life, are fraught, inconsistent and, at the present moment, bare a striking resemblance to a vaudevillian farce, which is why I more than empathize with the inclination so many of us have to opt out of political engagement altogether; especially those of us living abroad.

Out of sight, out of mind amirite? (The answer is no, no I am not). Look, I understand the desire to shut your eyes and ears to the noise, to cede whatever power we have in order to obtain the peace we want. However, politics, are of great consequence and importance not only to myself and those closest to me, but to society at large, and simply changing the channel or choosing to scroll past that HuffPo article in order to watch a video about an unlikely friendship between a sloth and an orphaned kitten, doesn’t change that fact; anymore than me deciding that Kit Harington and I will fall in love, make quarter-Stark babies and grow old together, will make it so.

I look at it like this: Politics matter, because politics shape people's lives.

The schools you went to? Politics.

The demographics of the neighborhood(s)you grew up in? Politics.

Healthcare? Politics.

The financial aid you did or did not receive; school lunches, community centers, international travel; your ability to expatriate...all of it, politics.

Politics shape people’s lives but even more importantly; votes, discourse, engagement and activism have the power to shape politics. And that’s where we the people come in....


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Sarah Elkins 6/10/2016 · #3

Preach it! Your vote matters!

+1 +1
Paul Frank Gilbert 6/10/2016 · #2

Therein lies the real problem! Politics is only a game now. Politics was never supposed to mold anything. Our government is another story. Our government has only one responsibility ... to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. It should not matter who is elected President. The office of the POTUS has the same control and responsibility regardless of the person ... or it should. Our irrational fear over the candidates is a fear created and delivered to us by politics. Dividing the people is part of the political game. Keep us fighting each other while the people we elect/hire to represent us, instead get into office and immediately tell us how they cannot tell us what they are doing (and we cannot ask) and set up rules to punish anyone that lets us know what is really going on. How many of "WE THE PEOPLE" are voting this time not for someone we want .. but instead against someone we "fear". About a 50/50 split. "Our" government loves it. We are so easily manipulated. Seriously ... they are egging us on to be name callers, to see each other as deplorables, or elitists or whatever groups they want us. They are the ones spouting hate, encouraging name calling, bullying and demanding the end of diversity of thought. This is OUR problem. Us. We the PEOPLE ... are the only ones to blame for allowing our government to get out of control. I sense we are waking up though. There are those of us who are not afraid, are not dependent and we are waiting for others to wake up ... and will be there to help them regain their happiness and remember what it is like to not be afraid, to not be told how to think, what to say ... and who to vote for. The Constitution of the United States was the direct result of our effort to get out from a government run amok. It was crafted specifically to LIMIT THE GOVERNMENT by ensuring that the PEOPLE had power ... not the other way around.

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Renée Cormier 6/10/2016 · #1

Good for you for standing up and saying this. We have an obligation to participate in the world we live in to the degree where we are able to make a difference. Votes make a difference! If you are lucky enough to be a citizen of a country that lets people vote, then you must do so. It is often the case that our political choices are not the best, but that doesn't excuse you from making a choice. Pick the best of what is available.

+1 +1