How to Become More Politically Aware?


#1

Hello all!

So I’ve been thinking about joining some debating groups on campus per @piggie’s suggestion, and a friend introduced me to an informal group of people who debate politics over dinner weekly…however I know next to nothing about politics (aside from how the EPA is dying and life is dying and we’re all going to die)…so what are some good resources for me to become more politically minded and start forming well thought out opinions of my own??

Thanks!! :kissing_heart:


What's your enneagram?
#2

#3

I’ll assum you’re a US citizen because I want to.

It’s overrated. You can do it almost any way you want but in the end your own well thought out opinions will rise one way or another. But the easy thing to do is hang out with people who talk about policy. It’s seriously overrated, having your own well thought out views. I’d only do it if you absolutely have to. Otherwise just pretend to have some moderate view and you’ll end up being the one everyone loves.

I asked a similar question of a friend who was way into politics, said he wanted to be president. He gave me Chomsky and said start there, but was a more moderate leftist himself. This was over a decade ago. Before he’d finished his undergrad in political science he had spent a semester working in the senate majority leaders office and the subsequent semester in the Obama White House as an intern. Later he went to a top law School; I had always assume h was still on track to become president but we caught up recently and he said he’s totally over it. Doing corporate law in nyc and loves it. Lol.

Meanwhile I was reading Chomsky, Naomi Kline, daily kos…but eventually you realize that there are better forms of entertainment than US politics.

I’d read 48 laws of power and listen to hardcore history podcast instead.


#4

That doesn’t sound too reactionary.

So, I’m going to assume you’re a liberal and caught up in the current liberal reactionary thing against Trump.

Well, don’t get involved in that movement. It is too reactive and failing at this time.

Why do you really care anyway? What are you trying to achieve?


#5

Why of course I am…we’re on a grad school campus what do you expect?? I have become liberal by osmosis…and although I get really sick of some progressive antics from time to time I also never really relate to more conservative policies.

It’s like I have no opinion and I can’t form an opinion…I can only nod and encourage others to keep elaborating and that makes me feel like an airhead…and I don’t want to be one!! It feels like I’m failing my duty as an informed citizen, which everyone believes in…

Sometimes I wonder if I have any concept of my ideal self besides what others believe to be perfection…


#6

Haaahaha truer words have not been said!! Thanks for your refreshing flippant attitude…I really appreciate that…


#7

Hahah yeah to be honest, most resources are “opinion” pieces… hardly any honest reporting… but can’t blame people for wanting to add a dash of their personality to everything they do… anyway… just read a lot… philosophy… history… economics… even science, psychology and literature… it doesn’t have to be related to current politics… but it’ll give you a broad foundation to base your personal views on… listen to what people say at these meetings and then just react honestly… that’s the best way I guess… otherwise, reading up current news is like being bombarded with contradicting and heavily biased (or false) opinions which are driven by hidden motivations/insecurities… it will just leave you angry/confused… cool that you’re​ choosing to participate though… :smiley:


#8

I guess read this and just… choose your sources wisely:

Haha, there is criticism about the first chart too, but whatever. It’s better than Infowars’ chart. lol

I think pick and choose from a variety of sources across the spectrum and see what headlines/themes pop up the most. Those will be the bigger stories that everyone is latching onto if you want to stay afloat of current events.

I think most ENFJ end up being pushed to become icons/figureheads for one cause or another as they rise in influence though, so might as well go toward something you personally believe in. You don’t want to inadvertently end up as an icon for something you abhor but must keep up appearances to because it’s now your “loyalty base”… lol So pick something you’re actually interested in, and then explore political links to that. It could be science or environment itself, then explore how science is politically motivated, how it’s funded. etc.

The thing about politics is that the web goes everywhere. Even seemingly nonpolitical stuff, like pop music, you start realizing why one thing or another is rising to the forefront instead of this seemingly “equal” thing. Maybe the music speaks to the political climate, maybe it’s a cry for help for release from that climate. Backtracking into each thing like how the artist grew up to create this, or leading into new things like what companies want to use this music in their commercials, what groups of fans are appalled or delighted by this use, are all aspects of it. Just noticing these connections creates a better sense of political awareness.

So yeah, it’s easiest to start where you are already interested and weave out from there. Of if the group has a specific topic, you can look for something you’re interested in within that topic. Though I suspect that it all is going to go over your head for a while since political stuff has its own language depending on the group discussing.


#10

Love your ambition to want to be an influence. The P’s gave you the best advice to follow… But I wanted to share some biased propaganda In case you eventually find the conviction to follow through. Lol

Don’t focus on surface level politics. The root of the problems are systematic issues like “citizens united”. The other problems are arguments of distraction. These are mostly the social issues… these arguments just need the dust to settle instead of adding fuel to the fire. Social progress finds bumps in the road but it only moves forward.

Change the direction of the argument by focusing on a much more constructive argument for future politicians to go back and fourth with. You can do this by staying ahead of the conversation and creating a movement instead of letting a desperate cultural movement find a random “different” guy. Get a good feel for cultural debates on a surface level, and instead of choosing a side dismantle it as a whole and move on.

There are surface issues that need attention, like the economy, but it’s never going to change until Ni steps in and reframes the two sided/multiple sided argument.


#11

Loololol!!

Ohh interesting…do you have more specific examples of the ‘dismantling’ you’re talking about?? I feel like I intuitively understand what you mean…but I can’t really imagine how concretely I could take action to take advantage of that…


#12

First take a few years to think about what your ideal vision is during your political learning process. Then take into consideration what the current debate of that vision is. Then instead of taking a side on this specific debate, approach it from a different angle. The new angle will create an excitement that would help Build your base. What turns people into hostages of thier own party is when they start off without a nonpartisan vision (most politicians) and let thier constituents rule their opinions…so it’s important to have a vision and a strong following…like Trump or Bernie. You mentioned somewhere that you are dependent on people’s veiw of you, so I just wanted to emphasize the importance of having a core vision set in stone so you don’t get lost on a shapeless road to nowhere. The shape shifting will be beneficial, however, as long as you have your core vision.

…So “Dismantling”=poor word choice…It’s more like taking power away from an issue by fueling the argument at a different angle. For example:
Instead of being a democrat who wants to raise taxes on the rich by overturning citizens united, be a republican who is against citizens united because it is taking opportunities from smaller businesses and entrepreneurs. Expose the idea of billionaires using big money in the political field to disrupt competition. Or, as a democrat, say you’re against a chunk of regulations and you want to get rid of them…starting with the initiated bills that were bought by corporations to eliminate their competition. Say you’ll get rid of the regulations that mandate college degrees for non health related fields… which in turn could help lower income neighborhood populations thrive in the job market. These are just some quick examples, but you’ll eventually learn the problem is even deeper than these examples and it will give you a headache. But if you can stomache it, I can be your Steve Bannon/Jared Kushner. Lol

If this is still confusing, give me some examples of political issues you’re aware of and have an opinion of and I can try explaining this in different terms…


A Shrine to Beyoncé (Formerly Something About ENFJs and Te+Fi)
#13

@iamrl

yes! I’m curious to see what you know and your take on it too!
and there’s no right or wrong answer. so don’t be afraid to express it =D


#14

Okay so I just took the Pew Research poll and I’m a Solid Liberal lool…I’m waiting for the flames now guys…:fire:

Hell no I want to embody my own vision :stuck_out_tongue: But thanks for offering…

Here are some issues for which I have different opinions than a lot of my fellow grad students:

PC culture - There were good intentions here but it’s really morphed into a policing mechanism…the whole idea of a sanitary language doesn’t seem possible and PC culture can cause a lot of infighting which wastes effort that could be put to better use…like with tangible actions…

Taxing the 1% - Globalization makes this really tricky because people can just go to another country…can we try to close the tax loopholes or something instead?

Illegal immigrants - The thing about this is that we’re losing so many jobs to automation…and these are the jobs illegal immigrants are vying for as well…we need to educate this population (along with the blue-collar American workers) or else there’ll be a lot of instability in the future…and that’s a huge task…so I see nothing against vetting people at first…or having a clear way to become a legal immigrant…


#15

Hey guys I saw some sites that listed Reagan as enfj and now I’m curious: Who are some enfj politicians? How do they act??


#16

The Preibus/Conway of your admin?

Neat! What are the lib views that you are passionate about?

You have an above average level of understanding compared to the majority of people. Is their anything you particularly want more knowledge of? Also don’t be scared to share your opinions. I’m more scared that you will make me cry for some reason. Lol


#17

First of all thanks for your comments!! I forgot to say this earlier…

Sure lool…I’ll hit you up in a decade or so when I’m actually old enough to seriously think about these things :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree with the idea that the government should help eradicate poverty and improve education (but not in the sense of just handing out welfare checks)…I am also skeptical of a completely free market…

But let’s also turn the tables: What part of the political spectrum do you fall in?? What are some of your opinions?

Foreign policy!! And some more economics…I really know little to nothing in these two areas…

Also sometimes I don’t know what I know and don’t know…so maybe I’ll come up with more things as time goes by lool…

(Tears of joy I hope :stuck_out_tongue:) But do I come across that intimidating?? Sorry…

Also lool at all of you for thinking I’m plotting world domination or something from this thread…I just want to win some friends and influence people at this discussion group!! First meeting is this Saturday…


#18

This is such good advice…leave it to you to come up with the most profound and encouraging comment lool :heart:


#19

Haaahaha thinking about the long haul!! I’ll keep this in mind…

Oh this is such a good point…I hadn’t realized this but it’s very true…

Keeping it real with Prax :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Thanks for the pragmatic advice!!


#20

Quick real advice: if you’re a liberal I would read mostly liberal stuff and centrist stuff first, since it will entertain you most. As you come across stuff that feels dogmatic just know that if it feels dogmatic and broad and assumptive it usually is.

But for contemporary issues across the political spectrum just go to real clear politics, they do a solid enough job and provide a daily spectrum of shit from left to right. Don’t read the New York Times (I do, but it’s exhaustive and in depth and I read it for non political reasons), even though it’s great journalism, just read the articles on real clear politics.

I’d read David brooks from the New York Times for a lightweight treatment of basically the moderate free market right side arguments and watch John Stewart for skewering of the political process in general and read Chomsky for guilty American leftist views of foreign policy (failed states or something), it’s probably close enough, but drop the judgement and stop pretending it’s inherently immoral to take over the world, @chomsky.

Then read Wendell berrry for the truth you’re too lazy to embrace. Or I am.


#21

Lool got it :wink: Thanks!!

The moment you said not to read NYT was the moment I knew all your other recommendations would be valuable…

Haaahaha care to elaborate??