Why I Don’t Talk Politics

I spent four years in the NJROTC program at my high school and one of the sections of learning we, as student cadets, partook in. One of the most interesting and helpful sections that we learned was etiquette. We’d always dedicate a couple weeks to this section when our annual Military Ball, a huge formal dance much more upscale than your typical high school prom, was right around the corner. Cadets would learn what to do with a formal place setting at the table (always work from the outside in), how to respectively decline an invitation through an RSVP, how to ask a young lady to dance in a gentleman-like manner and escort her to the dance floor. We also learned how to ballroom dance, which was my personal favorite because I got to dance the multi-step Commander’s Waltz two years in a row. However, the most interesting thing that I learned were the three things that should never, EVER be talked about at the table at a formal event: religion, sex, and politics. As I went more in depth into why it’s like this, it influenced me for the future when interacting with other people.

Now while I do try my best to follow politics and the current debates that are going on right now, I just don’t find a purpose in involving myself in political discussions among my friends and other peers. I’d rather much discuss sports and music, dreams and aspirations, anything that won’t lead to a heated argument due to peoples’ different perspectives on how this world should turn. Especially today is why I find myself to be feeling this way. I don’t know if anybody notices this, but if you say that you support Donald Trump, you’d be ridiculed (at least from what I’ve seen and heard). He’s been given offputting names such as “racist”, “bigot”, or “tyrant”; he’s even been compared to Hitler. On the other hand, Hillary is also receiving criticism after her email scandal, causing her to be untrustworthy in the public eye. Maybe she can seem a little egotistical at times because she’s been in Washington for a long time and believes she finally deserves it. Now, am I saying that I support either of these candidates? I’m not about to say because I don’t want my political views to be spread around. I’d rather keep them to myself.

I choose to look at the world of politics in an artistic, humorous perspective; for example, I constantly watch Saturday Night Live. Their cold opens and Weekend Update reports provide me with a short scenario of what’s happening in the world of politics while also giving me a good laugh. I also watch Jimmy Fallon who implements politics into his hilarious monologues on the Tonight Show. Musically, Green Day’s American Idiot is one of my all-time favorite albums. It was inspired by American politics, such as the presidency of George W. Bush and the war in Iraq (examples include “American Idiot” and “Holiday”). Billie Joe Armstrong, the frontman and lyricist for the band, said in an interview that he had expressed dismay at the then-upcoming presidential election in 2004. Confused by the country’s culture war, he noted the way people were divided on Iraq War. These ideas led to one of the most significant albums of the band’s history and during the early 2000’s. For me, this album gave me an artistic, creative approach on how to view politics and how the world is affected by the subject.

In conclusion, do I really care about politics? I truly do, but not enough to talk about it. I’m not the type of person to donate to particular campaigns and put a political bumper sticker on the back of my car signifying who I support. It’s not important and other people don’t need to know that. Come time to vote is where my opinion really matters. For now, I’ll keep it under lock and key.

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