Sunday, February 1, 2015


A pretty important politician gave a pretty important speech in front of a pretty important legislative body last week.
A.K.A. the President gave the State of the Union address in front of a newly elected Republican Congress.
While all that political mumbo-jumbo might seem useless and boring, it’s still pretty important. As we near (or reach) adulthood, we get the opportunity to vote. We also pay taxes, pay for health care, and actually take responsibility for ourselves as well as others. I therefore believe that it’s important to pay attention to what our politicians are saying since we’ll have to elect them into office and they have to work on our behalf. Besides, some pretty good memes come out of the State of the Union, like this Boehner-Grinch meme.

If the memes didn’t convince you that the State of the Union is important, then maybe Obama’s attention to the youth of America will. The man that won both of his campaigns by winning the hearts of young America is now trying to give all of us a break, whether it be now or in the future.
Some of Obama’s proposals that might interest you:
  • Up to two free years of community college paid by the government
  • Higher minimum wage (all those part time jobs might amount to something now).
  • Paid sick leave (you’ll love this when you’re at your first full-time job and you catch the sniffles)
  • Lower taxes on the middle class. Likely, the majority of you will be part of the ever-growing middle class, and getting a tax break might be good.
  • Equal pay for men and women. It’s about time!

Some of those things sound pretty great, right? But of course most of it won’t ever pass due to the partisan gridlock.
The partisan gridlock isn’t just the fault of politicians, however. It’s also the fault of the voter base, one that’s largely uneducated and closed-minded, and that applies to both liberals and conservatives. As soon-to-be voters, we have a responsibility to be politically informed and involved and elect people that represent our interests, whatever that may be.
But we can’t just elect people who we think represent our interest; we have to make our interests their interests too. There’s a great bumper sticker that says, “If the people lead, eventually the leaders will follow.” By extension, if the people voice their opinions in a respectful manner, our politicians will have to inevitably follow. There are so many mediums by which we can discuss politics and solutions to current issues, many of which the government is starting to utilize. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are all useful platforms for sharing political opinions, and us, the youth, are pretty good at using them. Why not post a picture of a campaign rally on your Insta instead of another selfie?
We complain about stuffy adults not caring about our opinion, but politics is our indirect way to take a stance on pressing issues. Interested in the Israel-Palestine conflict? Go to a rally. Passionate about LGBTQ rights? Attend a Pride Parade. Use your social media to voice your opinions. Call or write to your local politicians; trust me, they’re willing to listen because they know that in order to get reelected, they need to win your vote. Politics is a game, but you can put the ball in your own playing field.
If you watch the State of the Union, make sure to use #SOTU on your social media as well as #theyouthemisms! I want to make sure to hear your opinions!

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