Anu Mishra headshot

In the wake of the current political polarization of our country, an increasing number of people are choosing to side with an “apolitical” stance. In an effort to remain nonpartisan, it’s easier for people to have no values at all than to face the backlash of having an actual opinion. The choice to be apolitical is in fact political. By remaining unbothered or neutral, you enable societal and economic inequities. The severity of our nation’s current politics does not allow for individuals to remain apolitical; if there has ever been a time where taking a stance is important, it's now. 

What some fail to realize is being apolitical is a privilege a majority of Americans don’t have. Many don’t have the choice to be apathetic towards government policies that directly affect their quality of life. Examples include healthcare, racial equality, minimum wage, affordable housing, gun control and abortion. Many Americans’ livelihoods depend on government policy, and nearly every aspect of their daily lives are affected by such policy. Politics is not a choice for the mother who relies on school lunches to feed her kids, or for the family that can’t afford health insurance with their minimum wage job, or the parents of the young children who lost their lives at Uvalde or Parkland. Being apolitical is not a choice, it's a privilege. 

In an article published in Redefy, Delai Bruce recollects the importance of political involvement in achieving national change. Bruce recounts how basic human rights movements, like the civil rights movement, were considered political choices at the time. Advocating for underrepresented communities and fighting societal injustices are all political topics. To claim you’re apolitical means you’re unwilling to advocate against such injustices and inequities. Being apolitical is an easy choice for people who don’t have to fight tooth and nail to be seen as equals in society.

For many students who have held an apolitical view for most of their lives, it can be challenging to suddenly decide to hold a political viewpoint. NC State offers a variety of clubs and organizations that focus on politics and advocacy. The University offers plenty of opportunities to become politically active. Organizations like IGNITE and SPEL offer more nonpartisan points of view while organizations like NC State’s chapter of the NAACP, International Justice Mission, American Justice Corps, and Planned Parenthood use more politically active standpoints to achieve their advocacy goals. Regardless of which organization you choose to align with, NC State offers a myriad of resources to help students become more politically educated. 

Being apolitical is a political choice. Silence speaks volumes, now more than ever. We have reached a point in American politics where it is essential for each and every citizen to use their voice to stand up for what is needed. Nearly every aspect of our lives are somehow related to a political choice. And if you’ve lived most of your life without feeling this way, you have privileges most other Americans don’t. 

There are people in our country who have to fight for their right to live a happy, healthy and just life. Underprivileged and underrepresented citizens spend their entire life fighting for the privileges many other apolitical citizens take for granted. Being apolitical or indifferent is detrimental to the future of our society.