January 15, 2000

When did americans get so apathetic?

In the last two months, there have been several major media mergers, (Including AOL, Viacom, Warner Bros., EMI and NBC.) about a million corporate mergers, a set of anti-globalization/free trade protests, an ultra-nationalist in Austria, and the beginnings of a new Presidency. Ask any member of the general public about these things, and Iíll guess theyíll have little to say.

It seems as if the more uneasy society gets, the more careless Americans grow. They are not concerned with South African AIDS patients, sea turtles, globalization, or of the other millions of problems protectionist media groups keep slightly out of reach. Instead, they are interested only in their own stock, their own little corner of the world, unable, or unwilling to see that a rise in our market most certainly means a drop in the standard living and safety of others.

While it looks as if America is exclusively engrossed in what is under their own lids, be-damned the consequences, it also seems as if America has become disinterested in that. Voting rates are desperate, and public awareness is limited. Unless it affects their everyday lives, Americans simply do not care.

And what has been the result of this public disinterest? Bureaucratic organizations control our elected officials for their own personal gain, with little or no protest. Politics are ignored unless embroiled in a juicy scandal. American media reflects the ideas of the corporations, not of the truth, or of the important, and sometimes diverse, public opinion.

America has forgotten that its government is based on its citizens, and is entirely subject to change. It has accepted the idea of freedom, and has squandered their right to it. Instead, it drags blindly forth, pushing other nations under, and contributing to it's own undoing.

We are in the middle of what may be our most crucial hour. Now, when the politics are fresh, and the candidates are still fighting, when the underdog still has a chance, is when we should be paying the most attention to our world around us. Instead, I see my classmates on their way to their first time at the polls, barely paying attention to the politics that shape out world.

How many times have you sighed in vain at the new policies, or old ones that amend your rights or personal freedoms? And how many times have you tried to do something about it? An ideal politician is the mirror of his people, but lately I can only see politicians talking down to the citizens and telling them what to believe. As people, we must take back our power. Even at an age younger than the voting age, boycotts and education are prefect ways to inform your peers about issues that may concern them as they take their place in society.

No country, with such power over the world, should be filled with such apathetic people who donít seem to care or notice how they affect everyone they come in contact with. I can only hope that this generation, "generation y", "generation selfish" or whatever they decide to name it, will soon realize that the choices they make have weight on everyone around them. If not, move out of the way.