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Politics matters

Andreea Sabau, News Editor

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      Politics,it seems, is a punch line plaguing the United States. The fact that America’s stability depends on the president’s Twitter account poses a dire question: does politics even matter anymore?

On Jan. 20, “Saturday Night Live” tackled that question with a soul-crushing twist. Contestants in a game show sketch were asked about various situations — some of which had actually happened — to assess whether President Donald Trump’s actions would matter to his supporters. No matter how absurd the circumstances in question were, the host asserted that nothing Trump could do would change his proponents’ favorable view of him. By the end of the sketch, the host was sobbing, clutching a bottle of wine as if it was her only salvation from the wretched world of politics.

Drinking away the world’s problems — is that really the solution? Of course not. The sketch didn’t insinuate that drinking to forget is wise. However, it never offered solutions to issues that plague millions of Americans who need a voice now more than ever. The futures of 690,000 young, undocumented immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are uncertain with Trump’s intentions to phase the program out. According to The New York Times, over 100 Americans die everyday from opioid abuse. And in 2017, Trump announced his plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, a global agreement to battle climate change. Even a teenager’s voice has power to work toward a solution, but bitter partisan politics prevents most of us from ever using it.

Confronting these uncertainties may seem daunting, but Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., shared some shrewd advice while speaking with Glenbrook North students on Jan. 24 at a Q & A event sponsored by GBN’s Open Forum club. She stressed the importance of teenagers participating in politics by protesting in events like the Women’s March, calling members of Congress and attending town hall meetings.  

“Every level of government matters,” Schakowsky said.

If so, then let’s form our own little government at GBN. All 2,000 of us. Confronting political happenings in classes and keeping an open mind to the opinions of the dreaded “other side” are ways to immerse the student body in the bleak yet hopeful world of politics. Then, maybe we can convince ourselves that anyone has the ability to change lives for the better through political activism and that crying over the stream of White House scandals is not the solution.

Just like that, we can make politics matter.

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Politics matters