Democracy isn’t straightforward. Everybody already knows that the current state of politics in the free world is confusing, but that doesn’t mean you have to shy away from it. If anything, that means we have to rise to the occasion and speak our opinions. Otherwise, corrupt bureaucrats will continue to form policies which fail to adequately serve the people. Of course, it’s worth noting that not everybody cares about politics.
Well, everybody cares about the way in which policy-making affects their lives, but not everybody cares about the mindless meandering conversations which take place in government meetings. You don’t have to deeply engross yourself into the world of politics to have your say, however. You just have to understand the jargon and tedious rhetoric which is designed to confuse you. If you’re exhausted by confusing political discussions, then the following advice should help you to make sense of modern political ideologies and the policy-makers who influence your life. These are some ways in which you could start to understand the current complex political landscape.
Conduct independent research
To gain a deeper understanding of politics, you should conduct independent research. When you’re overwhelmed by “facts” from different types of news media, you might find it difficult to comprehend what’s happening in the world. People always have biases, and it’s hard to tell what is actually a fact and what is an opinion in the current age of disinformation. The best way to build an accurate picture of parties, policies, and current events is to conduct your own research. You need to find information from multiple sources and cross-reference facts from both left-wing and right-wing media to see how they agree and disagree.
You might also want to study politics at a deeper level if it’s a topic that truly fascinates you. Norwich University has an insightful course on international relations. That would give you an understanding of the political landscape on a global stage. If you truly want to understand the way in which domestic politics matter in the world, you have to understand where your country fits on an international stage. You might only be interested in your own politics, but understanding how your country interacts with other nations is a crucial part of understanding the current complex political landscape.
Be willing to compromise.
We live in a time of division. In America, Trump’s presidency has driven a wedge between left-wing and ring-wing citizens, just as Brexit has in the UK. It seems impossible for people to meet in the middle. These huge political issues have caused people to fall out with each other on a personal level, and it all comes down to identity politics. If you want to understand the current complex political landscape, you have to be willing to compromise. A stubbornness to stick to one’s view or political “side” can make it difficult to assess political situations on a larger level. That’s why we are so divided. There are people with more centric ideologies, but they feel forced to pick a side, too. They don’t want to be alienated from both groups. We live in turbulent political times, but that doesn’t mean we have to be narrow-minded. Everybody has a political bias, but everybody can be polite and respectful enough to listen to both sides of the conversation. Be willing to compromise. Listen to those with whom you disagree, and they might listen to you, as well. Maybe your opinions will remain unchanged, but you might both respect each other more. It might help you to understand people with different political opinions to you, rather than tying them to a generalised perspective that’s been perpetuated by the media.
Learn to vote tactically.
This straightforward piece of advice could help you if you get stressed at election time. Some people have strong political opinions and they’ll always vote for a particular party. Other people, as mentioned in the above point, might have a more centric perspective. Maybe you want everybody to have access to healthcare, but you might not want to pay high taxes. For you, it might not be as simple as choosing between left and right. Instead, you should learn to vote tactically. Base your vote on your particular constituency. Who are your candidates? What are their policy proposals for your particular area? Maybe there are a couple of candidates with policies you like, but one of them is more likely to get votes than the other, based on polls. In that case, it makes sense to vote for the one who’s more likely to get in; that way, they’ll be more likely to beat a candidate with policies that won’t suit you and your interests.
Remember that politics is always a game of emotions.
This is the most important thing to remember. Whether people have left-wing or right-wing ideologies, their emotions drive their political opinions. Yes, facts influence our decisions, but we’re prone to confirmation bias. If you prefer policies which support social values to policies which support economic values, then you’ll probably be more annoyed by injustices to public services than an increase in taxes. Obviously, both might evoke an emotional reaction from you, but the point is that certain issues matter more to you than other issues. This is unavoidable. Politics is all about people and their feelings.
So, no matter how complex or dire the current political situation might seem, just remember that one side will never beat the other forever.. It’s not about victories and losses in terms of power or even the specific policies which will be implemented; it’s about victories and losses in terms of beliefs. The vast majority of people are willing to overlook a particular party’s shortcomings if it supports their views on the basis of their core principles. If you want to understand the current complex political landscape, then forget about the confusing rhetoric from both sides. See the discussion for its true purpose: a game of identity politics. Political advancements that have taken place over the past century have come down to achieving equality for a group of people in society. Women didn’t want more rights to gain power; they wanted equality. They were angry about not receiving the rights to which they were entitled to on a fundamental level. No matter how complex and divided countries might seem, remember that political disagreements are always emotional. It always goes beyond the facts.
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