Why did everyone start giving a shit about politics?

When I was growing up, kids didn't give a shit about politics. It was considered boring af. We cared about video games. And then we cared about weed and pussy. And rightfully so. Because we were stupid fucking kids who couldn't understand them if they tried, had no use in understanding them, were not impacted by them (education budget blah blah, shut up), and had no impact on them. Politics was boring old people in suits saying generic garbage.

You know what the world is now. Why is Greta thornberg a fucking thing even? Who gives a fuck what some fucking kid has to say? Go fly a kite, holy shit. Oh yeah, you don't know how. And you don't know how to do Algebra and you might not even know how to write by hand and you probably don't know how to swim either. Why are adults letting kids believe they should have the same agendas?

Most adults used to barely care about politics. Now, everyone is so opinionated and outspoken. People act confused when they try to talk politics with you and you say you don't have an opinion. 'But you must! You must be informed about everything and care about everything or you're a bad person!' Nah I'm not and I don't and I'm not. Go tweet more, loser.

Even before trump. Probably with Obama it started to get annoying. With Trump, obviously we've reached critical mass. I think it might have started with 9/11. I really hope this isn't forever. Politics is boring as fuck.

Comments (88)

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:35pm

came even before that, the stoics figured that out, and probably even before that with Vedic-era philosophers

"The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself with are externals, not under my control, and which have to do with the choice I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own." - Epictetus

 
Controversial
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:35pm

Because half the country actually decided to turn the GOP into a cult. Can't reason with Q followers, so had to vote for Joe, because he's at least sane.

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

See my post below. Picking a mentally ill person for health assistant who wants to put into mental hospital people who don't play along with her insanity? Makes perfect sense!

Can be summoned to make fun of liberals at will. 

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  • Senior Consultant in Consulting
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:35pm

Firstly, people don't suddenly give more of a fuck about politics. When you were a kid you didn't care because... you were a kid. In the same way that kids now-a-days don't care about politics. Secondly, whilst political policies and views changed regularly 20-30 years ago, they were pretty much aligned on major issues. Now you have batshit insane people debating things that should be common knowledge for humanity and it starts affecting daily life much more.

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:35pm

Yeah, I agree. Most of my Instagram feed is full of SJWs sharing anti-capitalism memes and regurgitating CNN headlines. I think a lot of people do it so they'll fit it and feel good about themselves. Granted I'm in the Northeast echo chamber so it's expected. That being said I don't know or care too much about politics. I prefer to direct my energy on things that are more important to me like progressing my career and figuring which mountain to go snowboard at. I do think Biden is a sketchy fuck and we will soon be the United States of China. I'm slightly joking. 

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

Most of my Instagram feed is full of SJWs sharing anti-capitalism memes and regurgitating CNN headlines.

Thats your own doing, instagram shows you more of what you interact with. My feed is full of hot chicks for instance. 

 
  • Analyst 3+ in AM - Other
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:35pm

Gonna be completely real here.. it started when Obama (the black guy) became president. My entire hometown became political experts who had proof he was a Kenya born Muslim etc etc.. 

 

people born in their upper middle class suburbs were probably in their own bubble and didn't notice, but the small rural town hate and racism became extremely rampant. And I didn't even vote for the guy, more of a Romney guy myself for obvious reasons 

 

Then the craziness reached power level 9000 when the reality tv host became president and started calling people names on Twitter 24/7

 
  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

100% - surprises me how people still don't understand the racial undertones & dog whistles used by certain groups.

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:35pm

GoldenCinderblock

. People act confused when they try to talk politics with you and you say you don't have an opinion. 'But you must! You must be informed about everything and care about everything or you're a bad person!'

I think this part of your quote is key. We're seeing a dangerous shift in morality where people consider themselves a good person based on what they say and who they vote for.....not what they actually do for others.

It's very alluring to a lot of people to feel righteous and great without ever lifting a finger for anyone....great and convenient way to define your life especially as religion plays a smaller and smaller role in peoples' live.

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:35pm

Honestly, I started caring when Trump won.  That shit was fucking exciting! The idea that a reality tv star could be the leader of a world superpower was so ridiculous to me that when he actually won the primary.....an outcome very few "experts' were predicting, things started to get interesting.  Even after that, very few were predicting that he even had a shot in the general election.  Barack was the greatest......the GOP was dead......Hilly C. was a lock.  BOOM! A bunch of disabused white people from middle America flipped the "coastal elites" the bird and with a complete disregard for the integrity of the highest office in this country, elected an absolute buffoon!

I don't really have any feeling about Donald J. Trump one way on the other but his election as the 45th President of the United States will be one of the more memorable global events of my lifetime.....

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

iercurenc

Government has gotten more involved in people's lives. There was a time when you genuinely didn't give a shit who got into office because it would barely affect your life.

Truth!! 

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:35pm

Rahma

Well there's a reason why you're in real estate. Some of us enjoy politics and, frankly, care about the country, civic duty, and all that jazz. 

Hey bud, that's a whole lot of projection and assumption wrapped up in two sentences.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
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Funniest
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

34432

 

When you see things like this being the normal in politics, you either say something or become an accomplice.

Can be summoned to make fun of liberals at will. 

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Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

When the average person is lying on their deathbed, do you think they're going to look back and say "I sure am glad I spent all of those precious hours arguing with Sally about foreign affairs policy over Twitter"?

People need to realise they have no chance of understanding politics and an even lower chance of convincing others of their viewpoints, and go back to enjoying their lives.

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

- The mainstream media wants people to talk about politics as it leads to more violence, hence higher ratings.

- People like to seem cool on social media, so they'll just hop on any celebrity endorsed trend to get likes.

- Many people (especially on WSO) love drinking their company's kool-aid. Many big corporations nowadays adopt a mainstream liberal view. The employees, in       the hopes of getting a promotion, will bend over backwards and endorse the company's preferred political candidate. They will also shill for China just for some extra profit.

- Forging good relations with the president can lead to a Presidential Pardon to help you get out trouble.

 

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

Think it has to do with social media more than anything. That's why you barely see any bipartisan work nowadays. People are fed political headlines all day through social media. The press controls the narrative. So partisanship has become toxic, in my view. 

Any effort of bipartisanship is met with death threats from your own constituency. (ie republicans harassing their own GOP senators for voting to certify the election). Or the rioters chanting "Hang Mike Pence". Happens on both sides. Very easy to see why politicians no longer even try to work together. 

Sorry for rambling on. Point is, I think the source is social media. And COVID hasn't helped. All people do is scroll through FB, Twitter, etc. or watch CNN/FOX. 

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

It boils down to one idea that people love: "us vs them"

I don't know the exact history, but I will say, the NFL probably perfected this. They were able to get casual viewers to pick teams and sides, regardless of actual stats or analysis. Now you have people saying a player is the best when the stats don't line up, or "diehard" fans who can't name two people on their favorite team. People claim they love football, but can't tell you the difference between a defensive tackle and a defensive end, but just know TDs are good.

Same with politics, its become an us vs them environment, people thrive on that. People love/hate Trump/Biden/Clinton/Obama, yet prob can't tell you one's policy from the next. 

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

Because Trump wanted to run the government like a reality show, so the whole world tuned in. We put a grossly incompetent, lying reality TV star into the most powerful job in the world, and a bunch of people - who previously took sleepy DC for granted - woke up.

Also, as you get older, you realize sports/partying/chasing girls matters less, and the real consequential events of the world become more important. In my teens and 20s pre-kids, all of this stuff was just a headline on a webpage. I didn't care about our foreign policy because I couldn't name more than 15 countries and surely hadn't visited them. Who cares what they think of us?

Fast forward 20 years later, and I've lived abroad and have friends from all over the world of different races, religions, etc. I'm now a parent where I care immensely about the world we're building and leaving behind for the next generation. Now I internalize the concept of the last administration purposely separating mothers from their children at the border, and it makes my blood boil. (or the one before it with indiscriminate drone bombing).

you didn't make good choices; you had good choices

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Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

Alt-Ctr-Left

Because Trump wanted to run the government like a reality show, so the whole world tuned in. We put a grossly incompetent, lying reality TV star into the most powerful job in the world, and a bunch of people - who previously took sleepy DC for granted - woke up.

Also, as you get older, you realize sports/partying/chasing girls matters less, and the real consequential events of the world become more important. In my teens and 20s pre-kids, all of this stuff was just a headline on a webpage. I didn't care about our foreign policy because I couldn't name more than 15 countries and surely hadn't visited them. Who cares what they think of us?

Fast forward 20 years later, and I've lived abroad and have friends from all over the world of different races, religions, etc. I'm now a parent where I care immensely about the world we're building and leaving behind for the next generation. Now I internalize the concept of the last administration purposely separating mothers from their children at the border, and it makes my blood boil. (or the one before it with indiscriminate drone bombing).

News consumption skyrocketed well before Trump went down that escalator in a gilded lobby and started making uncouth statements.  I would try to think back to 2003-2008 and remember the vitriol on TV news and in print, whether aimed at the jingoism of the Iraq War or whether Americans were unpatriotic for opposing it.  We were not hand holders before 2015.

No one is saying our choices are tracking the news v. chasing tail and playing sports.  There are nearly infinite ways to spend your time outside of all these activities.  You can get into building model ships in glass bottles, gardening, volunteering on weekends, cooking.  There are boundless apolitical outlets.

I appreciate your comment on drones and children at the border for the appearance of bipartisanship.  The issue is, how do these acts matter for an individual?  If it makes your blood boil, what can you do and what did you do?  Your letter writing campaign would lead to paper in the trash, you are not on the NSC (and if you were you could not stop these policies, you would be fired if a political appointee or sidelined if you had civil service tenure), and "raising awareness" by discussing these policies in-person will not make a dent of difference.  Americans should count their blessings in that elections do not matter much at all, a bad president is a skin rash and 90% of what comes out of DC would happen no matter who is at the helm.  People chimp out at that 10%.  Even with our grandest undertakings ($7 trillion spent in Iraq/Afghanistan, tens of thousands of our troops dead, millions displaced), almost nothing changes in our daily lives.  You go to work, enjoy your personal life, maybe pay a different tax rate and cut out a vacation.  Given this lack of change, one's total inability to change it, and politics' effect to make one's "blood boil", why engage in it?  Better to tune out.

 

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

Alt-Ctr-Left

 

Fast forward 20 years later, and I've lived abroad and have friends from all over the world of different races, religions, etc. I'm now a parent where I care immensely about the world we're building and leaving behind for the next generation. Now I internalize the concept of the last administration purposely separating mothers from their children at the border, and it makes my blood boil. (or the one before it with indiscriminate drone bombing).

You, specifically, are not doing anything to build a better world, other than vaguely polluting the online discourse, very much like the fellow members of your caste of narcissist professionals. You are merely a tiny peon in an engine that will replace you with an equivalent as soon as you drop dead. You are not saving the world from ''climate change'', simply because you can't influence Chinese and Indian politics. You are certainly lying to yourself to sleep well at night, because you also betrayed and abandoned many of your fellow community members who will now be oppressed by the policies you advocate.  You think that their combination of skin colour, sexual orientation and gender is overrepresented in power, ironically by people like yourself, who don't give a shit about them, and therefore justify leaving them without opportunities to elevate their status.

So, spare it.

 

Can be summoned to make fun of liberals at will. 

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

neink

Alt-Ctr-Left

 

Fast forward 20 years later, and I've lived abroad and have friends from all over the world of different races, religions, etc. I'm now a parent where I care immensely about the world we're building and leaving behind for the next generation. Now I internalize the concept of the last administration purposely separating mothers from their children at the border, and it makes my blood boil. (or the one before it with indiscriminate drone bombing).

- expand -

You, specifically, are not doing anything to build a better world, other than vaguely polluting the online discourse, very much like the fellow members of your caste of narcissist professionals. You are merely a tiny peon in an engine that will replace you with an equivalent as soon as you drop dead. You are not saving the world from ''climate change'', simply because you can't influence Chinese and Indian politics. You are certainly lying yourself to sleep well at night, because you also betrayed and abandoned many of your fellow community members who will now be oppressed by the policies you advocate.  You think that their combination of skin colour, sexual orientation and gender is overrepresented in power, ironically by people like yourself, who don't give a shit about them, and therefore justify leaving them without opportunities to elevate their status.

So, spare it.

 

Lol. I mentor a Syrian refugee and help teach him English. I've sponsored a small scholarship at my lower middle class high school for a student to attend a trade school. I donate 5 figures a year to non profits I support. Does this alone change the world? No, of course not. Could I take a step back from the day to day politics? Absolutely. But there is far too much cynicism in this thread from a bunch of (majority) affluent white dudes like me who think politics don't matter just because it doesn't effect them. 
 

You are correct that I alone can't change much, which is why we've (correctly) focused on voting in political elections as the one tool we have to install leaders who do have the power to enact real change  

You know nothing about me @neink and this race apologist BS you keep alluding to is beyond pathetic. You're lecturing others about their political involvement while you are weirdly obsessed with politics in a country 5,000 miles from where you live. 

you didn't make good choices; you had good choices

 
  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

Social media, plain and simple. Much of it started during the Obama/McCain campaign. Obama went heavy into social media to reach people while McCain was still using more traditional methods of reaching out to the masses. Following that election politicians saw the power of social media for reaching the masses and went all in. Obama was able to harness the power of Facebook and for Trump it was Twitter.

 
  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

Social media...it makes politics easily consumable because people only need to look at a photo with a brief caption and are experts on topics. 

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

No not really... maybe politics as a whole may have some impact on my life but who is president is the least of my worries. My local government, state government, and federal congress all will change my life more than Trump or Biden ever could. 

 

I already pay taxes... people are literally arguing over 1-2%  

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

Greta Thunberg is a perfect representative of the issues in today's society. I don't deny that she is impressive for promoting the issue of climate change across the globe. However, she is merely a talker. How much has she contributed to reducing greenhouse gases? A virtually insignificant amount. She hasn't talked to the corporations, the parties who are ultimately responsible for transitioning the world to renewable energy. As for all of the politicians that she has spoken too, how many have actually been moved by her words and decided to join her cause? The ones who supported her were already on-board with the idea in the first place. The rest viewed her indifferently at best and with contempt at worse. I don't deny that she hasn't tried to make a difference. However her attempts to make a difference is no different than the regular Twitter and Instagram posts that one sees condemning the government for doing something or the other and adding an anti-capitalist slogan to boot. She just happened to be the lucky one found by the media who exploited her perhaps genuine beliefs and turned it into a marketing and publicity stunt to make climate change a buzzword again. Climate change seems to surface once every five years with someone doing something to make it popular - recent examples being Al Gore and his campaigning. Greta Thunberg will fall into obscurity in another five years, and I hope whoever the media decides to hype next has a competent solution and is action-oriented rather than being all bark and no bite.

TLDR: She's a puppet of the media who calls people out on climate change and hasn't provided a solution or made an impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

Unfortunately, Trump Derangement Syndrome is a vicious mental and emotional impairment :/

 

The 2016 election rattled the righteous worldview's of the privileged/elites (who are ironically the biggest culprits of victim culture), hence the history revisionist/Holocaust denial campaign to liken an orange man who tweets mean things to the horrors of authoritarian/fascist regimes. It's an absolute joke.. their emotions and irrationality (common side effects of TDS) turned ordinary discourse into a disgrace. Everything that is contrarian to the leftist status quo is either... Russian disinfo, conspiracy theory, or anti-sCiEnce bigotry. The endless ironies never cease to baffle - every single thing that Dems have accused Trump of doing, they've been guilty of themselves. 

 

But of course, orange man bad... say the people who never bother to ponder WHY he got elected in the first place (I'll give you a hint - it wasn't due to foreign interference, but maybe perhaps decades of poor governance)...  

 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

It is not the kids' fault. It's the parents.

You have a generation who grew up with activist "values" as their guide to life and have passed that on... this is the natural result that exposes an ideology without fundamental grounding principles. 

When your ideology IS the struggle, that is what you pursue, no matter the inevitable untethering from reason, common sense, etc... politics is the arena of those struggles.

"well thank god your feelings aren't a fucking priority here"
 
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

Great question/post OP - I'm not that old myself (31 this year) but you summed up my feelings exactly, and I honestly have no idea how politics became so completely toxic in recent years. Personally I've always been interested in politics myself, but I always really enjoyed debates and hearing viewpoints from the other side - even as recently as a decade ago (when I was in college), I could have fun debates with my friends around taxes/immigration policy/the environment etc. Everyone would have different viewpoints, but it was interesting hearing what other people thought and why.

All that seems to be gone now, and only the most extreme viewpoints seem to remain. Tbh I don't even discuss politics with my friends anymore because of this, and I even stopped reading about it online because it would just get too depressing - I actually think of myself as moderately liberal-leaning, but r/politics on Reddit is the most toxic echo chamber I have ever come across. But it's not just Reddit - in the days after this election, one of the top-rated comments on the Washington Post was denouncing the entire Cuban community in Florida for being "racists" for voting Republican. It almost seemed satirical/comical in its hypocrisy, yet there were tons of comments agreeing with it.

So why are we in this situation? Great question - I think other posters above have given good responses, the number one being that it's easy to "play the victim" and blame the world for all your problems rather than look inwardly and try to improve yourself. Now of course I know there are many people who really do struggle and started with a huge disadvantage in life - but tbh those probably aren't the people posting on Reddit/social media. 

I get the sense the majority of politics posters on Reddit/Twitter etc fall into 2 camps - firstly, naive college kids from wealthy/upper-middle class families who come from enough money that higher taxes/free healthcare/erasing student debt for all won't impact them at all (note I'm not necessarily against free healthcare/reducing student debt, but these are complex issues that get comically oversimplified). Similar to Hollywood celebrities, they're in the privileged position of being able to argue for higher taxes to look good on their social media, when they know it will limited or no impact on their lives.

The second camp seem to be 20-something kids from middle-class backgrounds who are now working in a fastfood restaurant because their overpriced liberal arts degree from a no-name college hasn't got them a $100k+ a year job. As one poster above alluded to, parents/upbringing as well as social media probably have a big impact here - with "participation trophies" in school and Instagram showing everyone having a picture-perfect life, I think unfortunately a lot of middle-class kids now get brought up to think the world is a movie and they are the major star (whereas in reality most of us are extras at best). When harsh reality kicks in post-college, they can't process it and instead blame the world - and say the minimum wage should be $20 an hour, everyone should get free healthcare etc, tax six-figure earners at 50%+, with no understanding of how such policies could even be implemented. Hence why Bernie Sanders seem to have such popularity with millenials and generation Z.

Anyway, just my thoughts - I'm not sure even if I'm right, but these are my 2 cents and what I've been able to come up with as I've grappled with this question over the years. But I take comfort in the fact I can at least consider the possibility I'm wrong/not 100% right, which puts me in a better category than 99% of posters online (with the exception of you guys and WSO, which is actually an excellent and relatively non-toxic place to debate this kind of stuff).

 
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 20, 2021 - 3:36pm

wow. really well said (and I'm gen z, graduating college this year). I agree with about all of this. The ironic thing is that a lot of the people in the first camp, privileged ppl my age, are going into high paying IB/consulting gigs and getting into managing their personal portfolios already. Never made sense to me (political moderate, lower income student myself) why ppl go into banking jobs while they spend most of their lives denouncing capitalism on their insta stories..

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