“I don't do politics” is such a dumb thing to say...
I couldn't even begin to count the number of times that someone I know has said “I don't do politics” and it always makes me laugh.
I've worked out a number of reasons why people say it (let me know if you can think of more):
1 – they choose to remain ignorant
2 – they don't understand it and try to ignore it
3 – they really believe that politics doesn't affect them
4 – they're plain stupid and have no idea what they're saying
So let me deal with these in list order:
1 – ignorance
In my view, those who don't show any interest in politics have no room to make comments. Far too many people are politically ignorant and choose to stay that way.
The problem with this is that everyone has an opinion (and you're currently reading mine) but those who have no idea about what's happening in the political arena speak from a position of little or no knowledge.
These folks really ought to take this to heart: “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”-- Mark Twain (1835-1910)
2 – Lack of understanding
I think that the majority of people fall into this category in that politics is so poorly understood. I'm not sure if the political establishment intends it this way but poor turnouts at elections tend to favour the incumbent government. So it could be argued that political education is deliberately left out of UK education.
But, just like being ignorant, there's no excuse for not understanding. It'll take a bit of study but politics is far from as complex as many people seem to think.
3 – Politics doesn't affect them
I've actually heard a few people say this, and to call the person who says it 'stupid' is really being kind.
You can't help but be affected. Politicians make decisions on loads of different things in our lives, even down to the amount and content of advertising allowed during your favourite TV shows.
4 – Stupidity
This is more common than even I expected. Far too many people have an opinion on politics but are just too stupid to stop and think about what they believe. The popular press does little to help by sensationalising the absurdities in politics (and yes there's a few of them).
But I often wonder how many people stop and think about or question whether what they're being told is actually the truth.
So next time someone says “I don't do politics” just remind them that 'politics does you”.
Whether it's through taxes, city planning, school funding (or lack of), state benefits, driving speed limits, where you can and can't smoke, the price of the sugar that goes into your chocolate (I could go on) or a large number of other things – these things affect you, it's impossible to escape.
So to say “I don't do politics” really is just dumb!
Do you have a thought on this? By all means make a comment below...