Politics can be tough to talk about. It can often result in people screaming at each other and insults being thrown. That’s why people just ignore politics and avoid any mention of the subject. That may seem like a good decision at the time, but it is not.

People, college students especially, need to be politically aware.

Most people know who the President, Vice-President,and Speaker of the House are. But most college students do not know who their local representatives are. Do you? I spoke to several of my friends, and they could only mention a first name of one of their representatives to Congress. Not one knew about their representative to the state legislature.

For me, my representatives to the national Senate are Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown. Who are yours?

Knowing these things is important. Knowing who these people are and what they are doing or what they are voting for is important. Do not blindly vote for a person just because they have an “R” or a “D” beside their name. Knowing your representatives and what issues they support is important. So is knowing the issues. I remember many people back home who were not informed, yet they voted as if they were flipping coins. People need to be educated about the issues that are up to vote.

Becoming aware of issues is important. Don’t know what is going on in Congress? Read the government section of a newspaper. Want to know what is going on in the world? Read the newspaper, or watch the news. Being aware of what is happening in the world is important to employers. They want to hire people who are informed; ignorance is not something to be coveted.

So, what is going on in politics now? Many things.

House Republicans released a secret memo claiming abuses against President Trump, a GOP Congressman contacted the Police and DOJ to check identifications of everyone at the State of the Union, Trump gave his State of the Union address, Gerrymandering is being fought, Trump is attacking the FBI, and Trump suggested a merit-based immigration system.

In the world, there was a shooting in Italy, Yemen’s war is getting worse, Russia is striking back at Syrian rebels, and Poland’s Senate passed a controversial Holocaust complicity bill.

Be involved, and know what is going on in the world.

If you know what is happening in the world, you will not be ignorant of important things happening. You could potentially change the world just by being more informed. Being informed is not just something you should do around election time, you should keep updated with the world all year round.

Pick up a newspaper and read the front page. Go on Twitter if you must and look at the news section. Being ignorant of the news is not cool or attractive. Newspapers, either online or in print, are the most reliable source for news, and they give you the facts. Know what is going on in China and what is going on in your backyard. You may be surprised by  what you find.

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