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Let's make real change

 

Thousands of protesters gathered Monday morning in Washington, D.C., for the annual march against Roe v. Wade. Naturally, the group was challenged by pro-choice activists at the march, and politicians wasted absolutely no time using this protest for campaigning.

These protests always have a hint of childishness about them. A video on the Internet shows the two opposing groups basically having a cheer-off like a bunch of elementary-school children at camp. “Roe v. Wade has got to go, hey, hey, ho, ho,” and “Roe v. Wade is here to stay, ho, ho, hey, hey,” were the battle cries of the day. 

At one point the groups took turns yelling their rhymes back and forth at each another. It looked like a scene from “Bring It On,” and that’s not a compliment. The entire situation is a bit ludicrous. It’s unpopular to say that either side is being petty, but honestly, this topic of abortion has been beaten to death and with little to no results.

And of course, the politicians came out making ridiculous remarks that really carry no weight at all, but for the sake of getting more votes in the fall, they couldn’t pass up the free publicity. House Speaker John Boehner talked about how it “couldn’t have been easy” for his mother to have 12 children, but “he’s sure glad we’re all here,” which really is kind of irrelevant to the whole discussion. People don’t usually get abortions just because “it’s not easy.” 

Another politician talked about how all conservatives needed to get behind whomever is named the candidate for the Republican Party. Once again, only indirectly related to the actual protest.

Politically, I’m worn out. Both sides are exhausting and often end up taking things too far. Hot-button issues just give people something to yell about and something for politicians to easily please their constituents with so they can go on ignoring much more important things, like how to take care of these kids after they’re born. Our education system is terrible. Our public schools are failing. The gap between the extremely rich and the extremely poor is becoming evermore expansive and children are always the collateral damage in such situations. We’ve let this vicious cycle of poor education infect our nation. We have some of the lowest math and science scores in the developed world, making it extremely difficult for any American student to be globally competitive.  But we’re going to stand in the streets and yell about something that hasn’t changed much despite all the protests and attempted legislation, while these other issues pass right under our noses?

It’s easy to yell and to say that you care about something; the struggle is making actual changes. It does no good to yell about the other side’s faults. You won’t get cooperation that way. And without cooperation, how on earth can anyone expect to bring about change? We can talk badly about politicians, but they’re only doing what they do best: pandering to their constituents. It’s time we start making changes that give people good lives, not just good embryonic and fetal stages.

 

Megan Massey is a junior religious studies major from Mount Olive. Follow her on Twitter @megan_massey.