Hello again, my dear readers. I am excited to be back with the second part of my post talking about my interest in politics and it’s origins. I have really enjoyed putting this together and sharing it with you all!
Without further introduction, let’s jump in where I left off last time. (If you missed part 1, you will want to check it out before reading this.)
Now, lets fast forward a few years to the fall of 2019. It’s strange to think about how incredibly different the world seemed back then, before Covid-19 and all of it’s everyday impact on our lives. The fall of 2019 was a crucial point for me for a of couple reasons.
The first reason was simple, the Democrats were beginning to get more and more serious about the 2020 election and the many candidates were beginning to establish themselves, or drop out. The second reason was that, as I started my sophomore year of high school, I found myself with a history teacher who was very outspoken, in our classes, about her view of the world and political issues. Although I may have been slightly disappointed by the lack of formal school work that occurred during class at first, I quickly came to appreciate the discussion piece of the class as incredibly valuable. Hearing my teacher’s thoughts on topics such as gun-control, world religions and abortion, made me think about these issues in a new way. Don’t get me wrong, for as far back as I can remember, my parents have encouraged me to have an independent mind and to think through issues on my own, with their influence. My history teacher was, simply and somewhat unknowingly, helping to push me to processing these issues on a new level. Although I do not agree 100% on a variety of issues with my teacher, I will always be grateful that she encouraged my class to think about the issues for ourselves and to form our own opinions.
In January, two things happened that sparked an increased interest in the election and the news.The first of these things was the impeachment trials. I watched, with my sister, several hours of the proceeding and found it interesting.
Secondly, I watched Trump’s State of the Union address with some of my family. It was the first time that I had heard him speak for any length of time and it was an experience. In some ways, it was a positive one, and others it was not. I was slightly impressed by the many accomplishments of his Administration, particularly in the area of restricting access to abortion and it was an opportunity to hear his full remarks within context. Watching Trump continuously, also affirmed my personal dislike of his personality and way of speaking. I have to admit to smiling when Pelosi ripped up Trump’s speech to make a clear statement and to watching the many congresswomen in white with more interest than the President, but watching the SOTU played its part in sparking my interest.
A couple weeks after the SOTU, there was one of the many Democratic primary debates. At that point there were between six and eight candidates who were still running and I was fascinated by it all. After watching that debate, I was hooked and watched the rest of debates of the Democratic primaries as well. I thought that the fact that all of the final candidates were white was discouraging, as was the fact that the younger and female candidates had very minimal chances of advancing past the primaries. These disappointing facts did not discourage me from beginning to follow the news related to the primary candidates and the election.
Before long it was Super Tuesday, notable as the day that the primary elections were held in my state and for the fact that it was about a week and a half before the beginning of the pandemic. Super Tuesday saw Joe Biden coming out on top and Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the race. Despite the fact that Warren dropping out was inevitable, hearing that she had officially withdrawn from the race was discouraging. I personally found her to be articulate, intelligent and a far better presidential candidate than Joe Biden. It was frustrating to know that we would not have a chance to elect our first female president this time around.
As the next days went by, the pandemic hit and life as we knew it ended. Although my family has been fortunate enough to be well situated during this crisis, it was hard. I know that I am one of many people who suddenly found themselves with a bit more time on their hands. I found myself spending this time attempting to re-teach myself to play the piano and drinking daily lattes while reading the news (and looking at Instagram).
In the time that has passed since March, I have continued to follow the news as I drink my coffee. I have read countless articles about the election, the pandemic, the BLM protests of the spring and summer and other random but interesting topics. I discovered that I could access C-Span on my new laptop and in that discovery gained access to so much interesting material. Through it all, I have learned a lot, become inspired by the many people who are peacefully protesting racial injustice and police brutality, and had my view of the world expanded through a new, for me, source.
My only regret is that my interest in politics has cut into my reading time. 🙂
Have you been keeping one eye on the election while going about your daily life? (I know I have.) How do you feel about politics in general? (Be honest. :))