Reviews | I’m tired of American politics

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It was in high school — sophomore year in AP government, to be exact — when I first developed an interest in American government and politics. The course was interesting, yes, but it was not what initially inspired my passion. My teacher liked us to debate hot topics, many of which should never have been discussed. That day we were debating whether or not systemic racism existed and this kid sitting behind me decided to say, “I actually think white people are the most oppressed people in this country.

I love telling this story because it was from that day on that I decided I never wanted to be as ignorant or bigoted as that kid again. I started reading the news, doing research, and arguing with anyone who wanted to argue with me. It wasn’t until a few months later that I decided to give up on my dream of becoming an engineer and majoring in political science. It was a welcome change. It’s something I’m very passionate about and love to discuss with others. But, as much as I love my major and enjoy learning politics, sometimes I wish I could just continue to be oblivious to the political culture around me.

I’m tired and exhausted from everything that’s happened over the past few weeks. My heart broke when the written opinion of Dobbs v. Jackson was leaked, and I’m pretty sure he broke after elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. My rights are being taken away from me and children are still dying in this country, and it seems like the only thing I know how to do is cry. And those are just two examples I might have mentioned in recent news cycles – there are plenty of other heartbreaking stories to choose from.

The day after the Supreme Court opinion was leaked, I remember looking through people’s Instagram stories and seeing so many people celebrating the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade. I had spent the night crying I was so scared and angry. Meanwhile, the people I followed — and perhaps once considered friends — were thrilled that the court was potentially ruling in favor of their position.

I struggled with this news, and still do, to be honest, because I watched it happen slowly over time. It wasn’t sudden, and it certainly wasn’t a surprise to me and many others. I know how it happened. I know how it could have been stopped. After reading the draft opinionnow i have to worry cancellation of other rights not listed that everyone once thought were untouchable.

If it had only been the draft notice leaked, I might have agreed, but that was not the case. The hits kept coming. It took me crying at Chicago O’Hare Airport watching the news reports of the recent shootings for me to realize that this anger I’ve been building up isn’t healthy. I realize it’s a privilege not to have to pay attention to politics and current events, but prioritizing our mental health is especially important in these high-stress times.

I thought I needed to know everything about everything that was going on in America to be a good student and a good person. It’s just not true. I can still be empathetic and knowledgeable without knowing every detail of the horror that is unfolding in this country day in and day out. I never want to know as much about the unforgivable acts of tomorrow as I do about Uvalde. This information will haunt me for a long time.

If you’re like me — tired and angry at everything that’s going on — I find limiting the articles I read and turning off Instagram and Twitter has helped me a lot. Even unfollowing people who don’t have the same opinions as me, no matter how close we were, made me so much saner. I’m all for open-mindedness and debate, but when it comes to human rights and life, I have little tolerance for anything other than empathy and understanding.

I have been told that I am cynical and pessimistic. I admit that’s true, even more so after entering politics. But even if I see the glass half empty, I still want to be happy at the end of the day. With all the information I constantly read, I was not happy, and I admit it now. Paying such close attention to the American news cycle and its political consequences does that for a person.

America tends to do nothing when action needs to be taken, so when something devastating happens, as it inevitably will, I now know what to do. Keeping just a bit of my sanity at the end of the day will make those tough times that much more bearable.

Livia LaMarca primarily writes about American politics and pop culture. Write to him at [email protected].

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