Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chosen Topic Research #5- Political Apathy

Although apathy in general seems to be common in the U.S., one specific type seems to occur often, which is political apathy. This apathy is specified towards the government, and often is an issue among elections.

The government affects everyone, and people expressing some kind of interest is valuable to the people. It doesn't necessarily just focus on parties and candidates, but in simple things like taxes that most know about and have an opinion on since it affects them. A link to more on this is located here: http://www.elon.edu/e-web/pendulum/Issues/2006/01_19/opinions/apathy.xhtml

Generation Y seems to have the largest amount of people endowed with political apathy; it consists of 18- to 24-year-olds. A large percentage don't vote or register to vote, and this age group seems to be a bit lazier in this aspect. More information about Gen Y's political apathy can be found here: http://media.www.dailynebraskan.com/media/storage/paper857/news/2007/11/27/Features/Generation.Y.Showing.Increased.Political.Apathy-3116651.shtml

Ignorance of the government commonly can affect the apathy toward the government. Most people ignorant of politics are ignorant simply because they lack an interest in gaining any understanding of politics. This can be natural and understandable. There is a smaller but vocal group, however, who actively advocate policy positions without the benefit of substantive political, legal, or economic knowledge. The apathy itself here is seen more as a choice of action rather than laziness. More on some of the positives for choices towards political apathy can be found here: http://www.propeller.com/viewstory/2006/08/25/dont-vote-the-value-of-political-apathy-and-disengagement/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prometheusinstitute.net%2Feditorials%2F082506.htm&frame=true

It seems to me that having absolutely no opinion can sometimes be worse than having a radical one. I've noticed several people will have many concerns towards the government, but they still don't vote or add their opinions in any way to the government. It may be the negativety towards the government's corruption that helps cause this, but overall, people just don't seem to care to do it. Apathy is an easy thing to slide into, as I have felt that way several times myself, but it isn't really beneficial towards the government or for a reach towards some kind of individuality out there.

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