Every single debate, I usually often give a thorough recap of my favorite moments from the debates. I’d go over the candidates I thought performed the best and the worst, while also discussing the context with which these debates were happening.
But, I’m not going to do that today. Why? Because I’m exhausted with these debates.
When I look back at the five evenings we’ve sat through, watching candidates repeatedly hash out the same opinions and ideas on the debates, I spent most of the two hours this week questioning why I’m even watching anymore? Why am I really going through the effort to sit through this amidst all of my prep for a midterm and extracurricular backlog? I could easily be doing more work, spending time with friends doing nearly anything else, and yet, every single month since June, I’m back to the debates.
Somehow, I feel obligated to watch these debates. I feel like I should be informed and a diligent participant in our democracy. When I watch the debates, I feel as though that however bored I may be, the act of at least tuning in is better than not watching at all. The debates may not be particularly informative or really that meaningful in the grand scheme of polling or the results of this election, but if I want to be able to effectively report and share my thoughts on the current political climate, I should watch.
Within the context of America and my own passion for politics, I feel like I would be doing myself a true disservice if I was not as engaged as I am. From knowing there are people who look like me who are still around that were not able to vote in their lifetime, to having family who were not able to vote in the 70s and 80s in Ethiopia and Eritrea, I feel that I would not be taking advantage of the opportunities those before me fought so hard for me to achieve. I fear that my own lack of political activism could only hinder my own ability to take part in seeing the change I want to see in the world.
Reluctantly or not, I will continue to watch the debates, through ridiculous questions, fake candidate drama, and over-exaggerated policy positions, because I know that my political awareness is better for it. If anything, to be able to distill some of these ideas for fellow students and young people who are not as devoted to politics as I am is something I also am conscious and grateful to help with in breaking down these events. As the primaries finally are within our horizon, I look forward to writing even more about the election and my hopes to see a true progressive vision in the White House. Till then…
Being Noah Tesfaye #108: The Fifth Democratic Primary Debate — More and More of the Same
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