It feels like you are the only person that is not wearing a shirt in the crowd of people wearing shirts. The shirts color may differ from each and every one of them and there will be a group of people wearing black-colored shirts and so on. The others assume you are different, you are unlike the others and ultimately you are weird. It could be a blessing or a suffering, or it could be a mix of both.
That is what I feel to be the few folks that are studying politics compared with the rest of my cohort. The point here is: I am not saying that being a queer is definitely a trait that matters but the expectations that are rested upon you are different compared to the rest. You are presumed to know how the dynamics of politics work, while the others (mostly) do not even care to waste a second to think about it. You are supposed to be well-informed with the current political issues that are propagated across the globe, while the rest do not even bother to know any of these topics. It is really a stressful and demanding job. However, for myself, it incentivise me to read more, to broaden my views of the world. Not only restricted to politics but to everything as everything around us is directly or indirectly originated from political decisions.
Nevertheless, the worst part is when people asked, “So you want to be a politician in the future?”
Ah, it is the trap question again. The problem with answering this question is the prejudices that come along with it. If you say yes then all the efforts you put trying to solve the social issues at grassroots level will be deemed as trying to publicize one’s image, climbing the hierarchy ladder to the top. If you say no then they will in the state of confusion as if “what on world is he going to be then?”
To be honest, studying politics is more like learning the theories behind political ideas, on how democracy works, what justifies the power of the state to impose its will to the public, what are the theories of international politics that polarize the world – is it an idealistic view or a realist one? Yes, they are the sorts of things that are presented in lectures and discussed in classes. I don’t think there is a module that says How to be a Politician for dummies or 101 Politicians etc. However, studying politics does reveal insights on what good governance is, how should the state structure its power dependency system, either through network or hierarchy etc. In this sense, it is beneficial for those taking this course but it does not necessarily force them to be politicians.
We have to erase this mindset that politics students ought to be politicians. There are other career paths such as being academicians, civil servants, journalists, social entrepreneurs, community activists and so on. It is really unfair to say that politics are exclusively only for politics students even though politics affect all of us. There is also the perception that only the elitists should be at the top, that they know what is the best for all of us. This is however, a harsh truth on the structural issues regarding social class inequality. I would not go further down this path as I am sure that most of us are aware on this barrier of participation in representative democracy.
If you want to play the blaming game, you can definitely blame the past and current politicians for this pessimistic and negative views on politics. Their corruptions and policies ineffectiveness are the roots to this gloomy perception and it is happening all around the world except a few well-governed states. However, we should not stereotype that all politicians are crooked, quoting POTUS. There is a minority of politicians that are truly statesmen. They work for the purpose to serve, they represent them as champions of the people and work with sincerity and honesty. Undeniably, these men are loved by the people. Their deaths invoke sadness to the hearts of those they have served and their legacies are continued by those that succeeded them.
Nonetheless, the subtle crux of this post is that for real changes to happen, it is not only up to the politics students to be aware of all the issues surrounding us. It is a must for all of us to remind each other and to be united together to the only direction and that is to move forward for a better world.
Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
– John F. Kennedy
P/S: Hi there! Thank you for reading my second blog post. Leave your comment down below and tell me what do you think of this post, do you support or oppose my beliefs? what kind of posts do you want to read next? Thanks and see you again in the next post!