10/10/2012 1:17:00 PM My dear daughter Dear Editor,
You asked about political apathy among your classmates at Wenatchee Valley College and your frustration at their bored and uncaring attitude. Thank you for asking. Here are my thoughts.
It's common for many people, not just the 20-25 group, to profess an uncaring attitude about politics in general. Usually it stems from lack of knowledge, lack of experience with life's conditions---that is, the impact of macro (large) events that affect them such as a war requiring their participation versus their lives of micro events such as the electrical power going off for an hour or their computer needing replacement---and sometimes just plain mental laziness about gaining insight to the world at large which they cover by professing disinterest.
I would ask such a person if they would mind our state governor and legislature passing a law outlawing the sale of beer. (It happened in the 1920s on a federal level by the name of prohibition.....which you know of). Or ask if their grades in a college class, by state or federal law, should be averaged with all other students to be fair to the less able. That's socialism or communism. In other words, if they earned an A and another student earned a D, would it be ok to give both a C+ on their grade record? Well, of course the answer from almost anyone would be heck no! But these are illustrations, if not actual proposals, of what has occurred and what is being promoted in political circles by human beings with "a better idea." In the prohibition case, it was an unworkable, illogical case by excessive conservative thought. In the leveling of grades for all, to help the underdog, it is a very real, present effort, of misguided socialists and do-gooders. Lots of humans have awful ideas. Many of these humans are in "high" places. Consider Hitler. And politics is the system of presenting ideas, discussing those ideas, and acting on those ideas. Fortunately, our wonderful Constitution and Bill of Rights forces (for the most part) those political ideas to conform to solid, intelligent, useful and helpful purposes. And helps stop the whacko stuff.
Here's what the Constitution and Bill of Rights fundamentally state: Federal (central government) must have very limited power and only those powers defined in those two documents. All other political power "flows," resides at the state level. This makes power closer to each individual which is the central purpose of those documents; our political system. They state that we have a bottom up approach to power and law making, not a top down system such as a dictatorship or monarchy.
OK. The bottom line is that many humans are power hungry. They want to control other people for their own wealth building, or ego, or even just assuring their own survival, which is in all of us. We all need to keep track of those who want to dominate us with their self-serving ideas that would affect us adversely. We want to support those power people who have ideas that match ours. So, do we let others decide for us what power people want to do for/to us? Or do we make the effort to control our own lives and destiny. Would those students sit by and profess disinterest if a Hitler became a dictator of the United States? Or a Stalin of Russia? Or a current example, a Chavez of Venezuela? Or a Castro of Cuba. I don't think so.
Politics in our USA boils down to Constitutional guidance/law versus socialism/totalitarianism. The Constitution demands individual responsibility with liberty to make our own decisions for our lives as long as it doesn't hurt (literally; not hurt feelings, etc) another individual. Socialism stipulates "for the good of the group". So a few "leaders" have the control or right to demand what individuals do in order to make the whole group more or less the same - in the name of "fairness". That's where we get the term, the dumbing down of America. They must hold back the super achievers to supposedly help the less fortunate. So the whole society sinks. There are many examples of that wretched method in the world; Russia, Cuba, Iran and most of the Mid-East countries, and partially most of the European countries like France, Sweden, Spain, and even England.
So, you can ask students, do you want to control your own future, or be told what to do with your lives. Democracy vs. Socialism. Conservative vs. Liberal. Rightist vs. Leftist. Republican or Libertarian vs. Democrat. When you get something from the government (welfare payments, etc) it controls you in a multitude of ways.
Dear, feel free to argue with me, too. But the above info is rock solid in my mind. I truly fear the future for your generation (and our way of life) if socialism, wimpiness, dumbing down, and dominance of the few over the many continue to advance in our society as has been occurring with Democrat/Socialist influence and control. The centers of that destructive philosophy and politics are educational establishments (universities primarily), unions, and news gatherers such as newspapers and TV journalists/commentators.