How can we break the cycle of a toxic political culture?

Ava Darden, Design Editor

In June of 2017, a contributor to the Huffington Post published an Article titled : “I Don’t Know How to Explain to You that You Should Care About Other People.” Most likely the initial purpose of the article was to criticize the voting habits and unconditional support of controversial candidates by conservative voters, but its meaning has changed as America, too, shifts into a nation our founding fathers wouldn’t recognize.

Are we truly advocates for the voiceless when the extent of our political participation is the criticization of a particularly unsavory politician? When we complain about how “our government is controlled by southern evangelicals and baby boomers,” are the homeless and starving at the forefront of our minds? Can we boast of our progressiveness when we subconsciously continue to act on selfish desires?

We as an electorate have shifted our thoughts from the people who sleep on our sidewalks, from the people who try to push another day without insulin, to dictators across an ocean, who never truly carry out the actions we think they will.

Is it to escape? To avoid facing our fears that those people could soon be us? Why do we retweet and donate to politicians on the other side of the country, and ignore our own representatives who allow damaging systems to continue to exist, or who ignore or vote against policy that keeps people alive?

Is this series of questions, this confrontation, an over dramatic exaggeration too? Are we safer than we feel? Is this a phase that, in time, will also come to pass? Do we have any way of ever truly knowing? What do we do?

These questions may be useless or counterproductive, but they erode at American’s sense of meaning within the political system, and overall effect voter turnout and the passion and trust of voters in their government.  We need to continue to change and continue to shift in our patterns of behavior and thought so we can avoid the things that keep us in the dark and in the past.