Ignorance To Indifference- A Political Awakening For An Overly Opinionated College Student

It is not common that you find someone who is proud of their complete lack of knowledge on a particular subject. But anyone who had spoken with me before three months ago would have heard me brag about my political ignorance at the same point in the conversation that someone on a plant based diet would mention that they are a vegan.

Unfortunately, in the wake of Russian election interference, impeachment trials and tested international relationships, I could no longer justify my reluctant approach to political information. So, much like my father when he first heard of Bitcoin, I turned to Google to help me begin my mission.

My first attempt at choosing a candidate was quite the slap in the face. When reading through a Buzzfeed article that provided a brief synopsis of each candidate’s stances on certain issues, I was shocked when Tim Ryan, someone I had never even heard of, was the one who I agreed with the most. I immediately called everyone I knew, and began my own form of campaigning. However, shortly after taking a passionate stance on something I still knew nothing about, my mother suggested that I read more into the topic.

Sure enough, within two scrolls I had realized that not only is Tim Ryan unfit for president, I’m not even sure if I’m comfortable knowing that he has voting privileges. He had little interest in discussing anything outside of the realm of industry, and when put on the spot, proved he had nearly no plan as to how he would go about fixing the glaring problems our country currently faces. Less than a week later, Tim Ryan dropped out of the presidential race, and I was left facing the brutal reality that unlike picking which fashion forward trend I should rely on this fall, choosing who will receive my vote would require more research than a single Buzzfeed article.

In the first and second part of my transmedia project, I discussed the political climate with some of my closest friends. This was great for me, as it helped me to get an idea of how people in my age bracket were looking at the different candidates. However, there is a reason we are all friends, being that we have similar interests and views. So, for my third and final content-based piece of this project, I looked to older generations to assist me in my decisions.

After my Mom accurately swayed me from my once passionate backing of Tim Ryan, I figured she would be a good person to question. I have always known that Kathryn Stevenson was a, for lack of a better term, bleeding heart liberal. The extent to which she takes her commitment to the democratic party still caught me off guard.

Not only did she provide more detailed of a summary for each candidate than Buzzfeed could ever dream of, she was also convincing enough to get me to completely write off the potential for voting Trump in 2020. While I was never really considering voting for him, hearing the passion in my mother’s voice as she talked about unpresidential conduct and the impact it has on other countries views of America, I couldn’t in good conscious keep the possibility of voting for him alive.

So now I’m wading through the murky waters that surround the current Democratic Party, and let me just say that I don’t know if there has ever been a harder time to spark an interest in politics than right now. Every time I start to feel comfortable with the thought of one of the liberal candidates taking the oval office, they either claim Native American heritage, drop out of the race, or highlight their age with an emergency heart surgery.

But I am not without a sense of direction, and thanks to my mothers unconditional love and desire to not have a “Trump 2020” bumper sticker parked in our families driveway over winter break, I had a few candidates to discuss with the other boomers I talked to.

The first of which is Amy Klobuchar, who I briefly talked about during the podcast portion of my project but didn’t yet know enough about to go into detail. But after a lengthy discussion with Kathryn and a few well written Buzzfeed articles, I feel that I am now prepared to state my case for Klobuchar.

Amy Klobuchar is a twice reelected senator from Minnesota who, much like me, often relies on her sense of humor to get attention. While my comedic efforts rarely get more than a few retweets from my high school friends, hers have the ability to bring a room full of overly powerful men to laugh induced tears, like she did as the host of the 2009 Washington Press Club Foundation’s dinner.

But for the outliers that expect more than a few witty jokes out of the President of the United States, Klobuchar has a plan I’m sure they too would agree with. She checks the usual liberal boxes as an avid believer that climate change is an urgent matter, we as a global population need to tackle together. Plus, her plans to provide citizenship opportunities for undocumented immigrants and build towards a “medicare for all” health system are much more formulated and realistic than many of the other democrats she shares the stage with. But what I really like about Klobuchar are the points in which her and more traditional liberals disagree upon. She believes that the United States needs to keep its influence in terrorist riddled Syria, and that we need to continue our efforts towards making the nation and region safe for the non-threatening inhabitants.

I have also taken an interest in Pete Buttigieg and his potential candidacy. Similar in attack plans to Klobuchar, Buttigieg has a realistic approach towards dealing with climate change and providing a fair pathway to citizenship for immigrants. He is also an advocate for universal background checks before purchasing a firearm, which is something I feel should be a bigger discussion point in this Democratic election. As gun violence continues to plague our country, we need a President who is going to offer more than just thoughts and prayers to the affected. His stance against NAFTA should serve to show traditionally Republican voters that much like the man they voted into office in 2016, Buttigieg will not allow America to be taken advantage of in foreign trade.

Aside from the two candidates listed above, I really don’t see another Democrat who could win my vote by next November. While I think this DNC is significantly more in tune with modern America than it was in 2016, I still can’t help but look at it as a loosely monitored dumpster fire. I mean, they drove Saturday Night Live to drop the heavy left wing they have relied upon for the past decade, and finally top Tina Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin with an undeniably hilarious Larry David take on Bernie Sanders.

Of course, there remains a possibility that I throw my vote away on a third-party candidate like I did last time with my backing of Gary Johnson, but I feel that I know better than to do that again, (maybe). But now I have a small accumulation of political knowledge which I can rely on during uncomfortable family gatherings and heated arguments with friends alike. And while I may no longer be able to boast about knowing next to nothing about politics, Im sure there will come a time when our political climate calms down, and I can return to my blissful realm of ignorance and content.

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