WRITTEN BY: Emma Coffey
The purpose of having a democracy is to have every citizen’s voice heard.
A person who characterizes themselves as political is active in politics and government, meaning they participate in voting in elections. However, many people do not feel the desire to be involved in politics for a variety of reasons. Someone who is apolitical is defined as having no interest in being involved in politics.
Nevertheless, sometimes saying that one does not care about politics or does not want to be involved is a political statement in itself. A citizen who is apolitical is conveying that they are choosing to turn away from important social issues and do not have any empathy for other citizens in the United States who are yearning for change.
Being apolitical can sometimes be a sign of privilege; that person does not have to worry about the political climate of the states, as they are not affected like less fortunate people are. Voting is a civic duty in the United States, and people who are of the age to vote should do so.
The political climate of a nation is its atmosphere or mood in politics during a specific time; the phrase is mostly used when the political atmosphere of a nation is erratic or unpredictable.
The political climate of the United States has intensified after the 2016 election. The country is more divided than it has been in a very long time and many people believe that the 2020 election is one of the most important elections America has seen.
It will determine if the political climate will become healthier, leading the country to unity, or if it will continue to divide even more. The voter turnout in the 2020 election was expected to increase greatly, especially within young voters.
When asked about her perspective on the political climate of the United States, Savannah Halley, junior journalism major, shared her thoughts.
“The political climate in the country is extremely tense for sure. I think this is due to the rise of content bubbles from social media algorithms and just the divisiveness of the people already in power,” Halley said.
“I hate that there is so much tension, and I want there to be unity, but we also need to see some change so we can ease back into the normal political climate we used to see. It has been a traumatic year and this election affects so many people.”
Young people are looking for harmony in politics, and they are tired of the large divide between Republicans and Democrats. Molly Wofford, freshman nursing student, explained her views on the situation.
“I definitely think the political climate in 2020 has been like no other. It has increasingly intensified over the past four years,” Wofford said.
“There have been so many key events that have divided our country in every direction and created more political uncertainty than I have seen in my lifetime. I truly do hope that after the election, there will be a lot more unity and change needed to bring this country together.”
Lawmakers and government officials always have reelection in the back of their minds, and with the divided government and officials trying to make moves simply in support of their own party, it is hard to focus on constituents’ true needs. It is challenging for any new laws and policies to be passed in general, but with a divided government, it is even more demanding.
Avery Smith, freshman economics major, further agreed on the divided state of the political climate.
“In my opinion, our nation as it is right now is incredibly divided. Political parties are more rigid than ever, and messages of hate towards opposing parties seem so frequent and common, I have almost become numb to the amount of hatred I see on my feeds every day,” Smith said.
“Personally, I would love to see a president who brings together a nation divided, who strives to work towards social justice, LGTBQ+ rights, economic stability, environmental politics and overall progression towards a more equal and accepting society.”
Many UT students seem to have come to a consensus that politics in the United States now is flawed, and they are hoping for the country to become more united and stable in the coming years.
Voter turnout is important because it is what defines democracy and ultimately will lead to a change in the political climate of the United States.