Note from the Opinion Editor, Anna-JO Stuart- This is a rerun of an older article on the importance of staying up to date on news and politics. Next year, 2020, will be a presidential election, a time when the political news can seem overwhelming, yet that is when it is so important to pay attention so that one may be an educated voter. As well as campaigning news, there is other important news that one should know to be an educated world citizen. Such as, the ongoing Meuller investigation, Julius Assange’s, founder of Wikileaks, imprisonment, Venezuela’s ongoing rebellion, and so much more. It can be easy to feel that there is just too much to keep up with, Kirsten Fedorowicz discusses this in the following editorial.
By Kirsten Fedorowicz, former Editor-in-Chief
Paying attention is exhausting.
Trust me, I know. After taking Dr. Durham’s World in Crisis Class Spring Semester 2016, I was a motivated consumer of global news. I was inspired by my new knowledge about global functions and downloaded the BBC app on my phone to read before classes, occasionally. By the time October 2016 rolled around, I had stopped, out of frustration with global and national politics, I stopped that consumption. As soon as I got home from finals week, stuck in my childhood room due to blizzard’s, I attempted to catch up on everything I missed. It was overwhelming and felt nearly impossible.
I hear it all the time; “I stay out of current events.” The first thing I want to say is “I don’t blame you.” The second thing I want to say is “start.”
Personally, I don’t feel like I have the privilege of staying out of politics. Even if we don’t always realize it, what happens in the world has an immediate effect on us or the people we care about. No matter who you are or what you believe in.
What Betsy DeVos does as education secretary will affect our teaching major friends and our cousins or siblings in school. All the legislation Trump passes pertaining to student loans or healthcare will influence our quickly incoming ‘adult lives.’ Even if you truly believe that the political world exists in some otherworldly realm, empathy for the different situations is important. As Aquinas students, a lot of us feel called to an empathetic existence. I see news as a favor to my volunteering lifestyle; it helps me better understand the world I am trying to help.
If people don’t pay attention to American politics, we’re especially blind to the rest of the world. Elections are happening in France in April that could mean the end to the Euro, if not the European Union. This would be extremely problematic for personal travelers, but will continue to shape the way we interact with our European allies.
I know it feels like the news is all around us, entering our lives in negative lights. Instead we should look at news like it has a purpose, a role in our lives besides being annoying, something that help us better understand our world. So that we can better interact with it.