Opinions & Editorials

The problem of complacency

It’s easy to feel satisfied after voting someone in or out of office. There’s a sense of relief when you have politicians in office who align more with your views than the other guy. 

After that, it’s easy to stop paying attention to what’s happening in the political and global sphere, because you don’t have to worry as much about what your representative will do. That’s when most people stop performing activism. They’re less likely to hear about it in the news, and they’ll usually assume that the problem is somewhat solved because they trust the person in office.

Minority issues are often highlighted by candidates during election years to justify why there needs to be a change in leadership. It’s also when the problems of the past administration are put on a pedestal. The heightened emphasis on these issues leads people to be more socially aware because of a heightened emphasis placed on them. But outside of election years, these problems are left to the wayside of the discourse.

Generally, the public doesn’t pay much attention to or engage with minority issues. This could be because they have the privilege not to notice, they’re too busy to focus on them, they find paying attention to be detrimental to their mental well being or a combination of those. 

Speaking from personal experience, it was really dismaying to see tragedies around the world occur and the lack of a substantial response. It’s way too easy to “doomscroll” and become too immersed in the problems of the world to the point where everything seems hopeless.

However, it’s still important for us to be informed on the issues and crises in the world because, without attention, they won’t get better. With all of the news going on across the country and throughout the world, problems fall out of the news cycle quickly or don’t show up at all because they aren’t seen as important. 

Paying attention to what’s happening in the world also prevents the belief in fake news. When you aren’t paying attention, it’s easy to be misled into believing lies, only use your unwillingness to look outside what you’re told or only trust your  basic understanding of a subject over what the experts say.

Acknowledging that the problem exists is a good first step, but it shouldn’t be the only step. Spreading the word through social media definitely helps make more people aware of the issue. 

Further action should be taken through community organization and reaching out to members of Congress. Those last two take consistent energy to achieve, so it might be asking a bit much.

Complacency and acedia are major obstacles to fixing issues that face people of color, queer and neurodivergent people. The lack of visibility in the common media leads to these issues going unaddressed.

This also veers into accountability for politicians. People don’t like to critique politicians that politically align with them out of fear of giving more power to the other side or discrediting their own side. These politicans should be criticized, because that makes them more likely to be accountable to the public.

A new administration doesn’t mean that the problems that affect people go away instantly. They could be delayed due to a bipartisan government or ignored because the candidate believes they don’t need to reach out to that community anymore.They could even be ignored becasue politicans are focused on other issues they believe are more important. 

We need community action and to continue furthering political action and education. 

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