Zachary Antoyan is a political science senior and Mustang News liberal columnist. These views do not necessarily reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
You are not a stagnant being and your political views shouldn’t be either. It is because I believe you to be more complex than the singular words we have to describe our political beliefs, that I speak candidly to you now; this last chance that I have. For the world in its current state is a place filled with what appears so wrong: aggression and upheaval, hatred and harsh words, fear and pain. These things are isolating in what they do to us as individuals and pervasive both at home and abroad. I want to address them in the places that I see them, in the events around the world that we so easily distance ourselves from.
Abroad, the United States is faced with much. The warmonger in a country that claims to have no part in fueling uprisings, despite all evidence to the contrary, sits back and watches the flames grow. Content to allow the oligarchs control everything, he blames the actions of other countries for the poor performance of his economy, even going so far as to threaten those countries with flybys of his air force. He would rather the world burn than allow it to stand against him.
After winding down two wars in a region that has seen little stability in the last decade, we are yet again faced with a threat that opposes the very notion of our existence. They work in the shadows to strip from us the lives of aid workers and reporters. And what they take from the local populations is far greater than what you or I can fathom. This existential enemy has set up a stronghold in two unstable countries, sowing fear in the hearts of millions who reside within their claimed borders.
But those borders do not set the limits of this group’s reach, indeed they have many legislators worried. So much so, that these legislators are more concerned with the possibility of attack than the rights of their constituents. A law that would prevent the government from touching the private information of its citizens was stifled by a mere two votes. Their connection to our needs has been severed for a long time.
All the while, we the constituents, we the citizens, we the people, are fixated on the dividing lines that separate us instead of focusing on the things that could bring us together. Allowing each other to take sides in a meaningless fight over who is responsible for that unfortunate death or that school shooting or this changing climate. Blaming the other or the system; continuously failing to realize that those lines are self imposed and that system is a reflection of the sentiment we actually harbor.
Because it is never our fault.
Yet we are complicit in this deplorable state of the world, at ease with the uncertainty of its future. You are not a stagnant being and we are not a stagnant species, but we are somehow complacent in our inaction. I do not believe this to be our fate and I refuse to be a part of it.
“The simple passage of so many generations will have changed us. Necessity will have changed us,” claims Carl Sagan in his book The Pale Blue Dot; “For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness.”
We don’t have to be afraid of the things in the world that cause pain and strife. We don’t have to blame others for the issues that we all face. With a better understanding of the lives and perspectives that are all around us, we can find the answers to these problems. And they exist, believe me, they exist. But they aren’t easy to come to, and that requires work. The game of government, and the space that is politics, and this thing we call humanity isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean we should turn away from those endeavors.
Looking forward we need only approach things with open and accepting minds, finding kernels of truth even in the things that we disagree with. For the world is full of beauty and wonderful people, and those are things worth fighting those fights for. This is the path that I will continue to walk and I hope that moving forward, you will be there with me.
This is Zachary Antoyan, naked under his graduation gown, waiting for someone to run up during commencement and punch him in the balls. Lead wonderful lives everyone.