Beyond the simple similarities in foreign policy between the two presidential candidates, foreign policy fails to interest Boise State students despite being an important issue.
Foreign policy can be a dividing line between political parties, but one of the reasons the third and final presidential debate was the least watched wasn’t hard to pin-point.
Despite President Barack Obama’s mega-burns and Gov. Mitt Romney’s apparent floundering, the two candidates seemed to agree on nearly everything.
And foreign policy is not something that is immediately important to students. The reality is armed conflict in the Middle East is not necessarily going to affect students directly, unless they know someone who could be deployed overseas.
So it is not as closely watched as debates regarding domestic issues which often pertain directly to students—issues such as student loans and rising tuition—which are a big deal students.
And on some level the lack of interest makes sense, foreign policy is complicated and something of a much more complicated version of our own social struggles. And while watching the politicians duke it out over foreign policy—or the reading levels of Massachusetts’ fourth-graders—definitely makes for some quality television.
But still, while students seem to agree foreign policy is important, the general interest in it is dismal. The why of it is a little more difficult, and while understanding foreign policy can be hard it’s probably closer to one simple truth: foreign policy is boring.
To put it into perspective, reading up on the foreign policies of the United States, and trying to understand the intricacies of the relationships between allies and enemies, and how to keep allies while trying to make friends with other countries and not upsetting our enemies. It is like listening to your roommates gossip about people you couldn’t care less about and it can be downright exhausting.
No one claimed politics was easy.
“It’s interesting to listen to (politicians) discuss it, but I’m not one of those people who tries to get into it,” said Amanda Oliverez, a sophomore studying pre-med.
And isn’t that just it? Hearing politicians and people who get foreign policy is excellent, because it makes it easier for us to understand their policies. While there is, and always will be question dodging by candidates, in the end there was a greater understanding of the candidates’ policies.
Foreign policy is still important, even if it’s boring or hard to understand we need to do our best to be educated on how our country is interacting with other nation.
“There’s more out there than just the United States,” said Spencer Stacy, a freshman environmental studies major.
And he’s right. It’s important for us as citizens to understand foreign policy so that we can know who will be better for the representation of the United States to the rest of the world.
Maybe once someone understands everything behind foreign policy it manages to become interesting, but paying attention long enough to learn about foreign policy when the immediate relevance is not strong is kind of rough.
Knowing who is representing us and how, that’s pretty important when choosing the next president. Our interest in foreign policy should be greater so that we can elect a president who will best represent the United States we as citizens want the world to see.