Editorial: The double-edged sword of over-politicization

The barrage of information the general public faces on a daily basis can lead to confusion over what is relevant and what is not. For example, this week’s headlines oscillated between those referencing Hillary Clinton’s failure to smile during a televised forum and those referencing video footage of Clinton stumbling while leaving a 9/11 memorial service. Many drew conspiratorial implications from these two events, ranging from claims that Clinton was “angry and defensive” over being “caught wrongly sending our secrets,” to rumors that she was unfit, unwell, and unable to assume the role of president.

While it is undeniably important to consider the range of issues surrounding any topic, constant politicization can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, shouldn’t we be aware if a presidential candidate might be unable to fill the role of the highest office our country offers? And conversely, shouldn’t we be able to dismiss outlandish claims that add fuel to the fire of those who oppose said candidate?

Our society’s obsession with celebrities and the pervasiveness of paparazzi make it extremely difficult to be in the shoes of any political candidate, let alone those running for president of the United States. Truly every move they make, and have ever made, is a matter of public knowledge and up for discussion. And yet, there is merit in the suggestion of politicization.

When Brandon Stanton, the creator of the wildly popular blog Humans of New York, visited campus on Sept. 13, he touched on what it was like to be able to provide a voice for the voiceless or marginalized members of society that the Western world sometimes cannot see, whether due to geography or demography. He emphasized that through the politicization of some issues such as the Syrian refugee crisis or the war in Iraq, the people directly impacted by these global atrocities were given assistance in a multitude of ways, including financial assistance.

Although it is a slippery slope to embark upon the exposition of these issues, clearly there is merit to elevating certain matters to a point of visibility.

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