Intro to PoliSci for the Busy 40-Something
Now that my sinuses are clear and I can think again, I’ve started reading some books from The Unabridged Bookstore’s “Reading for the Resistance” list.
And I have a confession to make - I feel terribly ignorant when it comes to political science. I have a pretty good grasp on how the US government operates - Executive, Judicial, Legislative branches and “I’m just a bill” and all that. But some of the terms that get bandied about make me wish I’d taken a basic poli sci class in high school.
The class in high school that should have taught me some basic political science was a senior year government class. The instructor was miserable - he was easily drawn off topic, which is dangerous when dealing with teenagers who’ve spent the last 4 years feeling like they’re powerless to do anything with their life, and worse, he harassed the front row girls, picking on their clothing, accusing them of flirting with his 40-something self.
Looking back, it’s sad that we’d been so thoroughly inculcated into what it means to be a woman that we just shrugged, acknowledged that he was creepy, and moved on. Because being harassed was just the price we paid for being young women, and anyway, we’d been discouraged from taking action to stop bad behavior all our lives. As far back as grade school, we’d been taught to ignore the bully on the playground, a tactic which teaches avoidance rather than truth-finding and action.
So that’s why I feel adrift with terms like fascism, globalism, populism. I listened to a podcast - Waking Up - a few weeks ago that had some definitions, which was cheering, and I’ve been looking for other sources of Intro to Poli Sci for the busy 40-something. Because that should totally be a class or something.
How to play along
Because safety is a core value for me, I am asking that comments in this space avoid all the ugly things: shame, blame, judgement. I am asking that disagreement and discussion be polite, respectful, generous, and open to vulnerability.
Because community is healthy behavior, I welcome you to comment, to share your thoughts and responses and discuss this with empathy with me and with each other.