09/19/07 — Wake up America: Citizens have got to stop ignoring and start learning

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Wake up America: Citizens have got to stop ignoring and start learning

Americans seem to have a new obsession and it is not Britney’s latest parenting faux pas or who is the hottest bachelor on the new fall television lineup — although both probably factor into this new attitude.

Many Americans are addicted to apathy. They have become masters at waiting for someone else to take the lead, make the comments or direct them on what they should believe.

It’s not that they do not care. They say they are just too busy to devote the time they need to learning about issues of the day.

They might have opinions on everything from Iraq to healthcare, but actually ask some of them what the key components of these issues are and they do not know.

Now, you wouldn’t know that from looking at the barrage of polls that are hitting the news these days.

It is funny how polls conducted on various subjects around the country always get firm answers from a majority of Americans, yet late night talk show host Jay Leno cannot find anyone who knows who the vice president is.

These days there aren’t that many people who are really are up on the latest developments in the presidential nomination race or why international happenings could affect their futures.

For some of them, it is hard enough to get them to focus on what their own government is doing — and to convince them that the decisions made in Goldsboro, Raleigh and Washington, D.C., could actually have an effect on their lives and that their voices matter in the decision-making.

Now, this is not true for everyone. There are many people who take the time to stay informed and aware — and others who even work behind the scenes to make their communities, state and country better places to live.

But those are not the people we need to reach.

Over the next few months, important decisions will be made and many discussions held that could change the face of this county, state and nation.

Perhaps it is time for all of us to TiVo “Desperate Housewives” for an evening and make a presidential debate or a news article on Iraq a top priority. By educating ourselves on the issues, we will be better voters come November and beyond.

Who knows, if we put our minds to it, we just might find answers to a couple of the problems our politicians can’t seem to solve. After all, Uncle Sam needs all of us.

Published in Editorials on September 19, 2007 11:12 AM