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Why should I care?


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Zack Armstrong

By Zack Armstrong
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 2, 1999
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Election day is here again. I know I'm excited. There is absolutely nothing like the electricity that pulses around this country on the day of one of our greatest privileges. This is particularly true on a college campus like this one. Never have I witnessed such an overwhelming interest in community politics.

In actuality, I haven't found so little interest in a single event since the Pauly Shore/Carrot-top marathon that my neighbor Eduardo held in his basement last spring. The majority of the people on this campus just don't seem to care about the politics in the surrounding community. The most publicized items up for vote are the much covered bid for mayor and the much debated issue of Proposition 200. The majority of people that I have talked to couldn't name a single candidate for mayor and couldn't tell me if Proposition 200 was about water, the smoking ban or the recent explosion of termite activity in my bathroom.

Proposition 200 is about water.

Molly McKasson, Ed Kahn and Bob Walkup are running for mayor.

But no one seems to care. Why should they? I certainly don't. This university is a community within itself. Anything that we need is right here. We are a town within a town, like Vatican City is a country within a country. The majority of freshmen don't even realize that a city exists outside of the two or three mile radius around the campus. But once again, why should they?

For most students here, this is just a pit stop, or rather a springboard to the real world. Life doesn't seem to begin until graduation when they leave this place to try to find a real job in the big city. They are here for an education, a little piece of paper that makes it official, and eventually, a plane ticket out of here. Local politics and their effect on the surrounding community just don't come into play.

They won't come into play until the proverbial life has begun and the students of today become the working stiffs, with something of tomorrow to lose. And even then, the majority of the people in this country just don't get all that involved in the workings and fine points of politics.

The subject of politics bores the living hell out of me. I think that most Americans would agree that politics are incredibly dull, and there are more important things going on in their lives than the details of every proposition and the positions of all the candidates for any given position. It just doesn't interest me.

Call me ungrateful. Call me a hypocrite. I embrace the freedom and the privileges that my country provides, but I cannot force myself to become interested in the endlessly tedious bureaucracy involved in the politics of government. I have tried, and I have failed. I feel that I am not alone in this endeavor, but I have yet to be shown an example by which to correct my indifference.

Who's to say it's not for the best, though? What's so terrible in having a little faith in the people that are running this country to keep on running it? It's what they're interested in, and it's what they're good at. So, let them be good at it. I want them to, and they want to do it. We're all in concordance with one another. Let's run with it.

My critics will say that I don't deserve my rights, and I am fully prepared to let them. They'll say that I'm a product of a new and apathetic generation in America. Let them boost their egos by feeling superior to me. I'm all for that. I'm apathetic anyway, right? I could care less what they think about me, but if it's making them feel better then right on and so be it. I'm going to go watch "Felicity."

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