I hate politics. At least during election season.
I hate how politicians constantly bicker, throwing insults across the aisle like middle schoolers playing dodge ball. I’m sick of the fliers I get in the mail, advertising how great this candidate is and what a jerk the opponent is. I’m tired of hearing about the latest unveiled scandals from 10 years ago. I find it exhausting trying to keep up with who said what and why they did such and such. I hate how sound bites are played over and over as political analysts draw varying theories about what the politician said.
And if I see one more ad showing a candidate frolicking through sunlit wheat fields and lunching with guys in hard hats, I might just gag. Too bad the opponent always seems to be photographed in the worst lighting possible for those things.
I know there are good politicians out there—I’ve met some of them—but it seems so many get sidetracked fending off the opponent and sidestepping controversy that I give up trying to understand their position and stop caring. Or maybe that’s the strategy.
This month alone, I’ve heard just as many attacks on the presidential campaign trail as I have explanations for each presumptive candidate’s platform.
In one corner, you’ve got Hillary complaining about Trump’s response to Brexit and calling him out on selling furniture made in Turkey instead of America. In the other corner, Trump still says Hillary should go to jail for using a private email server as secretary of state and blames her for supporting trade deals that caused manufacturing jobs to plummet.
Just hearing the word “politics” this time of year makes me want to plug my ears and run away.
The problem, of course, is that ignoring it would be stupid. Why? Because no matter who you are or where you live, politics impact you in immeasurable ways.
While the race for president may be the most talked about political movement this year, there are all kinds of campaigns being run, petitions being signed, bills being passed and decisions being made at any given time. Some are at the town or county level; others influence the whole state or nation.
These decisions affect schools, water supply, marriage, transportation, businesses, churches, war, health care, wages and human life itself.
Are those enough reasons to care?
Here’s one more if you’re a Christian: We’re supposed to do all we can to make the world a better place—care for the needy, seek peace, be good stewards of the earth, protect people—and politics has a lot to do with that.
So next time you’re tempted to change the station, ignore your news feed or shy away from friendly debate on political matters, reconsider. Do your research and think about the chance you have to impact what goes on around you.