Operation Adulthood: Find Your Political Voice

Katie Wade, [email protected] is a mass media and history major

Political ads, I know. I’m sick of them too. I always feel so manipulated by these ads. They’re so obviously swayed, it practically makes me sick.

I’m not going to vote for someone because they bashed their opponents on television. Give me the facts. It’s essential as an adult to achieve a basic understanding of political issues and use your political voice to participate. But how does one find their political voice?

It’s pretty easy. It can be boiled down into three simple steps. All it takes is a little passion about things that matter.

Educate Yourself

Have you ever found yourself ready to punch someone in the face because they were SURE they were right, but they didn’t have the facts to back it up? Welcome to politics. This is why it is absolutely essential to educate yourself. Find real world issues to get passionate about.

There are plenty of areas that need reform and development. I’m not just talking about saving the whales, here. America is notorious for its inequality issues – women and gender, marriage, income, race, education and student loans. There’s plenty to get passionate about.

Do your research. Don’t just stick with one source like Fox News or CNN – check many sources to look at the issue from all perspectives.  Talk to your friends, family, and colleagues. Get their opinions and compare them. Compare them to your research.

Now you’re starting to develop your own opinion – and that’s a good thing! As long as you have educated yourself thoroughly on the topic. You and I may not share the same opinion on an issue, but if you can defend your opinion with hardcore information, I will respect it.

Have opinions

Opinions are not innately bad. Opinions are natural. Don’t be pigheaded and unwavering about your opinions. Listen to others. Keep up with news and research. Don’t shame others for having a different opinion than your own. Discuss your opinions with others in a respectful way. You might learn something new, or might begin to understand things from a different perspective.

Get involved

Some were born to be activists. Some choose to be activists. You don’t have to carry a picket sign down 21st street calling for an increase in the minimum wage. Share your opinions and call for change. Call out political leaders when they are causing more harm than good. Becoming a political activist is not for everyone.

The important thing is to be aware of what’s going on in your country and be active. The easiest and most crucial way to do this is by voting.

Visit Wade’s blog at www.operation-adulthood-review.blogspot.com