It#039;s the economy, Emerson!

by Beacon Staff • November 29, 2006

But are we actually politically active and aware? Not really.

Although Emersonians are passionate, the scope of our political knowledge is narrow. We usually harp on the same tired subjects.,The same words are often used to describe Emerson College students: creative, diverse and eccentric.

But are we actually politically active and aware? Not really.

Although Emersonians are passionate, the scope of our political knowledge is narrow. We usually harp on the same tired subjects. Possessing political awareness requires having a handle on all aspects of current affairs as well as being able to apply and discuss the government's desired role in your life. Our student body tends to be concerned mostly with social issues, especially abortion and same-sex marriage.

As Emerson students may soon find out, joining the "Legalize Same-Sex Marriage" group on Facebook does not count as political awareness.

It is most disturbing that nobody is talking about the economy. The state of our market is the most direct determinant of the well-being and mood of the American people. Nothing is more crucial in the lives of working Americans than having a timecard to punch and money in your pocket. It reigns supreme over all other political issues.

Three months worth of unpaid rent and an empty refrigerator sort of makes the debate over gay marriage seem petty.

This is not to say that political activism on the issue of same-sex marriage, or other non-economic subjects, is not admirable.

But there are a myriad of other issues that need to be addressed that are vitally important to our entire population, not just a small stratification of it.

Advocates for same-sex marriage argue that because the issue only directly affects gay couples, the rest of the population should let the people whose lives it will impact have what they desperately want. They argue that it is irresponsible and unfair for Congress to put so much time and energy toward efforts to abolish gay marriage.

This may indeed be true, but it is likewise unfair for gifted college students to expend the majority of their political energy on this issue and few others.

Yet whether one fights for or against these social issues is irrelevant. Both sides of this debate are polarizing, and poison to our political climate. We need to put things into perspective. The debates over gay marriage and abortion have grown into all-consuming monsters and dominate the nation's political discourse.

Anyone want to talk about our trade gap? Outsourcing? Big oil? The Estate Tax? The national debt? Social Security? The housing gap? CEO pay? Eminent domain? Our porous borders and hapless immigration system? These are issues we need to be talking about as we form our generation's vision for the future of America.

So next time when you are complaining about Bush, be comprehensive: bash last year's bankruptcy law or The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

Now if only we can find a way to get people to join a Facebook group to protest corporate corruption, we may be on to something.