Somehow, it has become “cool” in this day and age to take a total disinterest in politics.

“I’m so tired of this election cycle.”

“Can we talk about anything other than politics?”

“Ugh, change the channel, I’m sick of the news. It’s so depressing.”

“Politics are boring.”

That one’s the kicker. “Politics are boring.” When people say politics are boring, what they really mean is that politics are complicated. Because politics could never be boring. Politics is a glorious beast with innumerable heads, some shining and beautiful, some decrepit and crumbling, and some just plain nasty. There’s a million moving parts in the political machine, and they’re all intertwined. When you get tired or frustrated with one of them, there’s always something else for you to work on.

Why work on it? Because it’s your life. If you want your politicians to represent your interests, you need to do something about it. If you want someone in the White House who represents your interests, you need to do something about it. You need to follow politics during non-election years. Because the other three years determine what happens to you in your day-to-day life, how the other voters will react to the next election, who gets re-elected to what offices. Speaking of which, you need to vote. You need to vote every four years. You need to vote in midterm elections. Remember the million moving pieces? Only a fraction of them are connected to the executive branch. There’s a hell of a lot more of them that are connected to the legislative branch. Your representatives in the House and the Senate have a direct influence on your life.

If you don’t work on it. If you don’t vote. If you don’t follow politics except when the whole nation is talking about it. You don’t get to complain when things don’t go your way. Because you think it’s cool to not engage in the political process that so directly affects your life. I know politics is complicated. But here’s the thing. Just because something is complicated, or a lot of effort, doesn’t mean you get to ignore it.

I’ve heard a lot of people over the past few months wonder, “how did this happen?” Yeah, well. This is how it happened. Time for us all to grow up and get informed. Not just to make the best of this situation and fight back, but to make sure it never happens again.