This could mean war


U.S. Department of Defense Current

It’s not very often that something our nation does fills me with a feeling of dread, but the news of our recent missile strike in Syria managed to do just that.

I know we’ve all gotten tired of discussing politics, and I’m not going to criticize our government for what was probably a difficult call to make.

Instead, I want to talk about why, in times like these, we owe it to ourselves to care about politics.

I remember coming home from school September 11, 2001 to my parents frantically calling their families in New York.

Months later, the U.S. began what would be a decade-long campaign in the Middle East.

For much of the past 16 years, war was just a simple, self-contained thing to me, this romanticized idea of two opposing forces trying to come out on top.

Even when my best friend joined the Army and was sent to fight in Afghanistan, I was divorced from the far-reaching effects of war and the politics behind it.

And then he came back.

Even the wildest battlefield story couldn’t distract me from the slight unfamiliarity I had with the person talking to me.

When he returned from a second deployment, that gulf between the person I grew up with and the one I could see now only widened.

It was with that revelation that my attitude toward politics changed.

When politicians act, it can mean you get increased benefits, your streets become safer, or your friend and their partner can legally marry.

Or it can mean your relative suffers a massive pay cut, your healthcare gets compromised, or your entire city gets its water supply poisoned.

The missile strike in Syria is so worrying to me because it could be the precursor to yet another war. It could mean another 16 years of conflict for nations that are already fatigued by the whole miserable affair.

Even the smallest decision can change you or people close to you. That’s why I care so much about politics.

And that’s why I think you should as well.