By Leopoldo Ponce, Jr.

The American Public’s short attention span has infected our political landscape to the point that true social change has become almost impossible. Before the 1960s social movements were rare and involved a call to arms against the dominant ideals. Now, however, social movements have become so frequent that nobody can truly take them seriously, because not only are they frequent but they are short-lived. Being part of a social movement has become trendy. Two years ago it was trendy to be a liberal and vote for Obama and now the trend dictates that one should be a Conservative or Tea Party sympathizer. There are people that will argue that Conservativism won this election, because the voting public found out how radical President Obama truly is. When in fact, he is about as Liberal as any Democrat in the past and in some instances less liberal than some Republican Presidents from the past. The truth is much more tragic that that. The truth is Americans, especially the youth, don’t really care what happens to this nation. If the average American cared what happened in this nation, there would be massive outcry against the Citizens United ruling that has allowed corporations to fund political candidates and parties without any limits. What average American would allow their voice to be silenced by multi-national corporations? AT&T alone donated over $300,000 to Tea Party candidates! It seems like we spend more time watching reality television than actually caring about reality. There are many people that aren’t even registered to vote but are actually eligible to vote. Their excuse is usually that, “all politicians are the same”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Politicians aren’t manufactured in a factory; they are regular citizens that decided they wanted to change something.

There are as many different types of politicians as there are people in the world. However, most of them do not get elected because people don’t vote. So only one type of politician tends to win, and those are the ones that are willing to sell their souls to multi-national corporations. If regular people would donate and volunteer for politicians that actually care about the well-being of their constituents; then they wouldn’t have to accept money from corporations in order to fund their run for public office. We as an electorate have become complacent with the political landscape that is around us. If we want to change the landscape we have to actually join a political movement and dedicate ourselves to it. We can no longer join a political movement in order to seem hip. The perfect example of joining a movement without any real knowledge of it would have to be Ron Paul’s 2010 Presidential Campaign. Many people just supported or voted for him because they wanted to be a part of his so called “Revolution”. How many people actually knew that he voted to end Affirmative Action or that he voted against Same-sex unions? How about the fact that he supports “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and that he wants to eliminate a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion or not? The most radical of his ideals is that he’s actually against the Civil Rights Act of 1964! I’m pretty sure not all of his supporters are against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, so then why support him if not because they weren’t really informed on his political positions.

Trendy political movements should be avoided unless one is actually informed on what that political movement stands for. Then if that political movement is aligned with one’s own personal ideals then follow through and actually dedicate time and effort to it. The reason why the “change” that people voted for in 2008 isn’t here is because we aren’t willing to put in the effort. If we truly want change in this nation then we have to work for it!