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9 Things Every Millennial Should Know About Politics

1. High profile celebrities are people that you should trust the least when it comes to politics.

As much as I respect and admire Shailene Woodley’s rejection of modern feminism, she shot herself in the foot in terms of her career. Celebrities make their living off of the public’s obsession with them, so they create giant professional obstacles for themselves by voicing unpopular opinions- no matter how much validity or reason behind them.

It’s rare that a celebrity is willing to put themselves in such a vulnerable position, and while you can’t necessarily blame them, everything that you hear from a celebrity surrounding politics and current events should be taken with a grain of salt, because 9 times out of 10 they’re only being as honest as their public relations agents will allow them to be.

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2. The truth is usually much more simple or much more complicated than a given side is trying to make it.

Both liberal and conservative media outlets are guilty of oversimplifying, convoluting, and completely bastardizing situations and issues to tell a story that suits their given agendas. It’s important to think about what facts that both MSNBC and Fox omit in their coverage of Ferguson.

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3. Third parties are great in theory, but when it comes down to it a third party vote is a waste of a vote.

At my core, I’m a libertarian. Most of my views can be summarized in a single quote: “do what you want, but don’t ask me to pay for it.” While I’m not the biggest fan of our two party system, a third party vote in a major election is basically a vote for the candidate that you like the least, because instead of concentrating all votes on your side of the line on one candidate that may not be your favorite, you’ve hurt their chances of winning by throwing away your vote on someone that we all know won’t win. I’d encourage third party voters to try to integrate into the major parties that they most align with while advocating for candidates within the party that have the off center values that they personally embrace.

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4. “Telling you what you want to hear”

It’s extremely easy for a candidate to give a speech basically blaming the other side for everything that’s ever gone wrong since the dawn of time, but that doesn’t make them a leader. Whether you’re a liberal looking for their “fair share” or a conservative all about “fiscal responsibility,” you can’t base your vote off of a contender’s ability to recite the phrases all over your party website.

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5. There’s nothing wrong with being partisan

I interned for a congressman this summer, and in a sit down with him at the end of my internship he said something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life: There’s nothing wrong with being partisan; it means you stand for something.

We need compromise in Washington between both parties, and we need compromise on the micro level as well, but what we don’t need are people that have no foundation in their beliefs. People think there is a moral high ground in being nonpartisan that simply does not exist.

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6. Stupidity and intelligence come in all colors, mascots and parties

Stupidity and intelligence don’t discriminate. There are imbeciles and geniuses that belong to every political persuasion; just because someone is on the other side of the line doesn’t mean that they aren’t brilliant and just because someone is on your side of the line doesn’t mean they aren’t an idiot or that they are entitled to your support.

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7. “Statistics don’t lie, but liars use statistics”

Two people with completely opposite views can find statistics to support their argument. Statistics can be just as misleading as they can be helpful. For example, the statistics about 1 in 4, 5, or 6 women being raped are extremely popular and used time and time again in today’s rhetoric, but those conclusions were drawn based off of bogus surveys with low response rates that asked questions like “have you ever had sex because someone made false promises about the future?” with any positive answer being counted as an incidence of sexual violence or assault, and often cited as rape.

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8. It’s okay to change your mind

I started my college career as a bleeding heart liberal and am ending it as a member of College Republicans. Don’t change your mind because some air headed celebrity said something quirky or participated in a hashtag though; think seriously, critically, and independently. It is absolutely okay to change your mind after being presented new, valuable information.

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9. Think critically, but vote big picture

You’re not going to love everything about every candidate, and informed, meaningful criticism is a great, beautiful American thing, but when it comes to your vote, don’t throw it away on a detail. Don’t NOT vote for someone that you disagree with on one thing because it’s essentially giving your vote to someone that you disagree with on everything.

On a lighter note, here’s a mildly entertaining video from TFM.

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