Yesterday, I spoke about negative attitudes toward religion. Today, I want to address the negative attitudes toward politics. Quite frankly, I have a negative attitude when it comes to politics. I have a quite simple reason for this: politicians are negative people.
Politicians love to tell people what they are against, but they rarely ever tell constituents what they are for. When they do tell people what they are “for,”. It’s generally a prohibition or a cut. They never seem to tell us, “I am for….” Instead, they tell us, “I am against….”
The political cartoon above is a prime example. (Thank you Sean for posting this on your blog Just a Jeep Guy.) Though it shows the negativity of Republicans, it could just as easily be any other political party in United States. The Democrats are not immune to negativity. It’s too often the role of the minority party to be the most negative.
I have been discussing political parties a lot in my civics and government classes the past few weeks. When you teach about a political party’s platform, and you list the many things that political parties are against, students will often ask, “What is the party in favor of?” When you say that they are for cuts in Medicare, food stamps, subsidies for farmers, keeping the minimum wage as is, etc., the smart kids in the class will ask, “Aren’t those all negatives as well?”
When I teach politics, I do my best to remain neutral. It’s the most difficult thing I have to do as a teacher, but I do my research so that I can present both sides of an issue. I believe in teaching my students that they should be informed citizens. If one is well versed in the issues and researches the politicians, then they are likely to be an informed voter.
I know that I am one voice among millions, but shouldn’t we take a more positive attitude in life and hold our politicians accountable for being more positive. If politicians only tell us what they are not going to do, then how do we know what they will do. Politics in the United States has become so negative about what they will not do that our Congress is in a constant state of deadlock. Isn’t it time we tell our politicians to be more optimistic.
I honestly believe that optimism can be contagious. Considering that most people dread Mondays, what better day to start with an optimistic view for the week. Let your optimism spread and maybe by New Years will be a more optimistic place.