The Bengal Beat

Political interest sparked by recent election

Aneta Huckova, General Columnist

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I stared at my phone in absolute disbelief, seeing a mostly red map of the United States.

This is reality, I realized.

Donald Trump is the new president.

I wasn’t angry, nor was I sad. I didn’t feel like going out and burning the American flag. The only emotion that was left in me was worry.

I have never been very keen on politics. I don’t always understand it, and a lot of the time, I just don’t care. I’m not even old enough to vote.

Why should you care if you can’t change anything, right?

But that’s what surprised me. In that moment, I started caring about American politics.

I started to care about health care and which options people would have. I started paying attention to the debate over taxes and foreign policy. I researched which countries provide support to the U.S., and vice versa.

As I began to get more involved, I started seeing others in a different light. They would repeat ill-informed opinions or just say that they didn’t care. Don’t people want to have knowledge — don’t they want to have power over their lives?

I wanted that knowledge. I began to look up interviews, speeches and articles. I started slowly, carefully, and began to form my own opinions.

But the more I talked about what I learned, the less people seemed to care.

Some said they considered politics boring. Others told me they hated it. People were easily angered and unable to be reasonable.

My friends don’t seem to care who is elected to lead this country. My disappointment is deep and terrifying.

How can you be surprised, or angry, that Trump is true to his promises, if that’s why you elected him?

How can you be surprised, or angry, if you didn’t even pay attention in the first place?

Don’t we want to be the generation that changes the world?

If that’s the case, we have a long way to go.

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Political interest sparked by recent election