The ‘P’ word

Trump tax plan comic

Tribune News Service








Warning: talking about politics may show signs of intelligence.

Growing up, and maybe still for some today, talking about politics has been considered “taboo,” alongside religion, sex, money, gender and others.

Politics stand a chance of being “taboo” because within these topics, people tend to have the strongest opinions – those certain, instilled core beliefs. But a person’s opinions are only as strong as the willingness to listen to others’ points of view. You don’t necessarily have to agree with them, but at least get an idea of their angles.

People are always so quick to temper when talking about politics. I never quite understood why. Getting passionate about your point of view is one thing, but getting angry about it to the point of ending the conversation is pointless. Ending the communication completely stops the exchanging of thoughts, ideas and potential actions.

The rapid growth of technology has made talking about politics more accessible than ever. According to a Pew Research Center report from April 2015, 64 percent of Americans own a smartphone. This number has grown by almost 30 percent since 2011. Smartphone users hold endless amounts of information at their fingertips and endless ways to share that information. Technology has given politics a chance to emerge from being a hush-hush conversation behind closed doors to the potential of being blown wide open through social media debates.

The current 2016 presidential campaign is mind blowing. It doesn’t really matter which party anybody “identifies” with; somebody is talking about something that people should care about. The most prevalent names on the Republican party side have been Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. For the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton and Independent Bernie Sanders have dominated.

There’s an interesting mix amongst the aforementioned runners. Donald Trump has certainly added an entertainment aspect to the campaign which almost seems to hold the potential of overpowering what being the president of the United States should be about.

It’s hard to think of Jeb Bush while not also thinking of his brother and father, past presidents of the U.S. Hopelessly compared to them, it’s been difficult for him to stand out. He’s even lacked support from his mother, Barbara Pierce Bush. Which she expressed in an interview with NBC’s “Today,” back in 2013 when asked if Jeb would run in 2016.

“I think it’s (the U.S.) a great country. There are a lot of great families, and it’s not just four families or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified and we’ve had enough Bushes,” Barbara said.

On the other end of the political spectrum, Hillary Clinton has the prospect of becoming the nation’s first female president, which would certainly be a milestone for the women’s movement – however, political viewpoints should still be the main focus.

Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont, has surprised many with his ability to pack thousands into stadiums and outside parking garages. Just recently, he surpassed his goal of receiving at least one million individual contributions with the average donation being $24.86 according to his campaign.

That favorite time of year is rapidly approaching where television commercials will be flooded with hate ads against candidates or overly emotional ads about themselves. Personally, I’d rather hold a firm debate with a stranger than trust what businesses and organizations deem as important.

So, during this campaign season, remember that there’s no crime in passionately expressing your political views – just don’t get caught up in the heat of the moment on Facebook or wherever your discussion takes place – and risk silencing the potential for growth.







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