Politics: Could you please turn it down just a little?

Tim - Gainesville, Florida
Entered on November 3, 2008

I have a riddle for you: it adds stress to your life, its usually corrupt, its way too complicated, and it makes civilized people turn into crazy rabid animals. If you guessed rabies, you’re close, but incorrect. The answer I was looking for was politics. I believe that everything in life would be a lot easier with less American politics. Call me a dreamer; call me a heretic to society, but you would be crazy not to agree with me.

I know politics will never be done away with completely and everybody will always have something to argue about, but wouldn’t it be nice if we toned it down just a little. For example, I go to a high school in Florida and politics are constantly shoved down my throat. I feel like an innocent baby being spoon fed by Olga, the champion bodybuilder who baby-sits as a part time job. I understand that as a future voter for the next election in four years I should be aware of basic political issues, but this is getting ridiculous. Intelligent, young minds are currently being fed politically biased views by their teachers. Before I go any further, let me get this straight, I am not pointing fingers at any one political group. I am writing as a politically unattached person. Democrats and Republicans alike are all forcing this upon us

Every day when I go to school I am hammered by the war in Iraq, the upcoming election, or some other issue. I really feel like half (yes, half) my education is lost to discussing random political issues and lengthy lectures about what’s happening in the political world. I see friendships at my school being ruptured because of some meaningless political issue. No, I am not exaggerating, this is happening.

I feel that as a student in high school trying to maintain decent grades, I already have enough stress as it is. I really could live without all this political (for lack of a better word) junk adding unnecessary stress to my already stressful life. When stress researchers look into the escalating stress in America, do they ever look at politics as a main contributor? Sometimes I just want to jump on the next rocket to Mars and escape all the political “junk”.

I know when you read this, as an adult, you will dismiss this as those crazy teenage hormones acting up again, but please give a thought to my plea. I can only hope that next time you talk to someone you won’t change the subject to politics, but to something like sports or pop culture. I also know that when NPR reads this essay they will discard it immediately because politics is a large portion of their broadcasting and by their standards this is a “soapbox declamation”, but I dare them to do differently and post this.