Thursday, September 10, 2020

Day Room Politics - Conversations... by Rory Andes

Of course, during this election season, I've observed that there is always some level of conversation about politics and the "needs and will of the people" in the common areas where inmates congregate. In these observations, there are three fundamental elements that steer the topics...

What channel do they watch? The majority of people I know are evenly split between CNN and Fox News in an effort to gain insight on the issues or to find the common ground that they can relate to. Very few will turn to MSNBC and they take the local political talk on local channels with a grain of salt. Most people simply want the most palatable spoonfuls of information that makes the most sense to them. National politics rule in the same ways that the NFL beats out local high school football. This is a problem...

What views do they foster? In prison, to be informed and educated is wholly dependent on a library or an external, community support system. Both have been crippled due to the Covid pandemic, so the sense of knowing the true issues and candidates' views are greatly restricted. There is no access to independent study or a way to understand how the issues of the day impact the world at large, except based on the prism of what channel they watch. This is also a problem...

Lastly, regardless of how invested an inmate might become in his or her sense of political viewpoints, it's an issue that holds no real involvement, so the conversations hold no real weight. "If we see the world how we want, even if irrational, who cares? We can't participate in the government that holds our futures anyway. This is Washington, not one of the few states that allows civic engagement by the incarcerated." If you think it's hard to teach algebra to a guy who just wants to balance his checkbook, try teaching civics to someone who's been told his voice will never matter until he's off parole and his fines are all paid. It's hopeless, except to just dream about. This is the worst of the problems...

How can we change the conversations to make people take what's happening more seriously? Show relatable issues, present real information and instill actual responsibility to be involved, that's how. What's happening in today's politics has the ability to impact us all....

by Rory Andes

You'd be surprised to hear what the voiceless say...

Email at Jpay.com using Rory Andes 367649

Or by Mail:
Rory Andes 367649
MCC-TRU
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272



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