TELL US: Why is it important for you to be politically informed or involved?

Monday, August 27, 2012 | 3:48 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — As Missourian staff members have been working on how to cover the upcoming election, we have been especially curious about what motivates people to engage with politics.

In a column published earlier this month, Missourian executive editor Tom Warhover discussed a new study by The Harwood Institute that explores people’s feelings towards politics. The findings, which will be released next month in a book called “The Work of Hope,” revealed that people generally feel isolated from politics.

“What we learned in this new study is that 'politics' and people’s disgust about it is no longer the central, dominant narrative in America,” Richard Harwood wrote. “Now the endless, often mind-numbing churn of politics lives outside people’s everyday world – operating as if in an entirely separate universe, with its own set of rules, winners and losers, and purpose.” (Download the whole first chapter here.)

With this in mind, we want to hear from people who do choose to spend their time engaging with politics.

TELL US: Why is it important for you to be politically informed or involved this election season? Comment below, or email You can also share comments on the Missourian's Facebook page or its Twitter account.

At a political forum Thursday night hosted by the Associated Students of the University of Missouri and Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Abby Eisenberg from the community outreach team decided to ask the question of the student crowd. Here are some of the responses she heard:

  • Lakeisha Greene, MU junior: “You can’t complain about something unless you have a voice and make a change. We need to be active because we are the future.”
  • Dan Stribling, MU junior: “If you don’t get involved, then you’re letting someone else decide for you. We need to help elect officials who represent the people better.”
  • Roshaunda McLean, MU junior: “Because my dad fights for this country. This is my way of fighting.”
  • Steffano Chavez, MU sophomore: “Politics get turned into this weird abstract concept, but in reality it directly affects what you do in life, what job you get and even where you can travel.”
  • Zach Henry, MU junior: “Because everything that’s political affects us on some level. You can’t complain if you’re not willing to have your voice be heard or vote to select better leaders.”
  • Kim Wyms, MU junior: “I feel like in order for me to have my place in society, I need to know what’s going on. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t be politically involved. It affects everyone.”

Now, we want to know your reasons — why is it important for you to be politically informed or involved this election season?

Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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