You shouldn’t feel stupid when it comes to politics.

For years I’ve struggled to keep up with all things politics, whether UK based, American, international and so on. I’ve often found myself being patronised by those who hold a more solidified political stance or are more ‘politically aware’. When enquiring about specific events or discourses I have been bombarded with passionate speeches about why I should feel a certain way about a certain thing or person. In admittance of my naivety, I’m often told ‘just do some research’ or ‘look it up’ (as if I hadn’t tried that already) and this may lead us to an unapologetically large and stubborn wall: excessive political jargon adopted by politicians and journalists alike.

I’m fed up with political jargon. I can’t be the only one, surely? It’s intimidating and alienating and only serves those of us who are well educated in politics. Access to an understanding of current affairs seems to be a privilege that is granted almost exclusively, unfortunately neglecting women, non-white people and the lower classes. There is something unnerving about this abuse of technical vocabulary. We are diverted and dispirited from an active engagement with happenings and discussions that directly concern us – that doesn’t sound very democratic to me.

To rub salt into an open wound, youths are constantly criticised for a general lack of engagement in politics. Whilst I often find myself surrounded by incredibly bright and social alert young people, I can’t blame those who have a minor interest because we are faced with intricate webs of political narratives that are riddled with off-putting jargon. I, like many others, have a firm understanding of my own values and ethics, but I find this suppressed when it comes to politics.

The world of politics is a confusing one, to say the least. It is often challenging to grasp without the addition of politicians and the media heightening any complexities. I want to assure you that if like me and many others, you often find yourself struggling with current affairs, you are not to blame and you certainly aren’t unintelligent.

Reminder: whilst we’re on the topic of politics, I want to remind you all that you still have time to register to vote for the EU referendum, if you haven’t already. If you are still unsure on your vote it might help to read Grace’s impartial guide, a clear, concise and easy article that underlines arguments for both campaigns.

Do you feel the same way about politics? Maybe you know of a good news platform that translates current affairs into a language that is less alienating. If, so let us know! We love to hear your opinions.

Thanks for reading.

 2016-04-27 (3)

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4 thoughts on “You shouldn’t feel stupid when it comes to politics.

  1. “Access to an understanding of current affairs seems to be a privilege that is granted almost exclusively, unfortunately neglecting women, non-white people and the lower classes.” What an absolutely ridiculous, sweeping and baseless claim. Do you think white men have access to some kind of political encyclopaedia that is inaccessible to anyone else? In the digital age, and with the huge amount of news websites and information in general on the internet, definitions of political jargon and an understanding of current affairs and politics is available to anyone who can be bothered to find it. Don’t use your race or gender as an excuse for being uninformed and bewildered by politics. Educate yourself.

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    1. I knew someone would get upset by this. You seem to have misunderstood what I was saying completely. Education is a privilege, and a privilege that is often denied to those who are systematically oppressed. As for women, they have been (and are, although there is some improvement here) repeatedly taught that politics is a mans world, hence the ridiculous minority of female politicians. Perhaps I should have expanded upon that more specifically to avoid confusion. As for myself, I’m not using this as an excuse. I believe myself to be thoroughly privileged with a great education. I have a lot to learn, and I’m still educating myself so there is no need for instruction on your behalf. That however, does not excuse the fact that many journalists and politicians make current affairs inaccessible for many people. I’m sorry that you felt so deeply offended by this, and that you also felt that you had to hide your identity when giving your opinion. I hope that cleared things up, and I hope you understand that my motive wasn’t to attack white men. Thanks

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  2. This was thought provoking.

    I’m not sure if it’s the jargon as much as the bombastic approach to public policy that bothers me, though. It seems like much of what is done under the dome of the Capitol is a casual reductionism of complex issues; Not to solve our biggest problems, simply to make the other side look bad. I plan to post on this topic in the future.

    Btw, your site is freaking awesome. I like that you have an option to share posts on Facebook. Is that a free feature on WordPress?

    WordPress and I don’t play well together yet. It took me half a day to find the read more button.

    Keep up the good work!

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    1. Hi, thanks for your comment! I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I think you’re right. While jargon does play a role, it does seem to be public policy that is largely overwhelming!

      Ah, thanks so much. I do believe it is a free aspect of WordPress. I’m totally the same. WordPress and I are a work-in-progress!

      I’ll be keeping an eye out for your post.

      Georgie x

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