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Davis, California

Saturday, April 13, 2024

View from the soapbox

Hello, world. My name’s Cheya Cary and for the next 27 weeks I’m going to be publishing columns – very much like this one – about pertinent issues facing UC Davis students, the greater American public and, thanks to our pioneering time-capsule program, our reptilian overlords of the year 3000.

The subjects I address will be of a political vein and my voice will carry tinges of satire, so in a general sense these columns will be political satire. My overall mission, however, is not to poke petty fun at this or that political figure or trend in thought but to awaken and inspire my readers to ideate, formulate and experiment in the too rarely explored field of thinking for themselves. Whether I’m denouncing Congress as a collective of zombified mindslaves or decrying a ban on child labor as the death of the American dream, my ultimate enemy will always be the same: apathy.

We college students have enormous potential to exact change in the world we live in without ever having to wait for an election to come around. We can become, as we’re meant to become, the vanguard of reform in America if only we take the time out of our days to care. Register to vote, research the issues, share ideas, read the news, facilitate discussions, endorse tolerance, volunteer at a soup kitchen, even just write a letter to your school paper about a sappy yet remarkably handsome columnist.

In the end, no one profits off of apathy but the establishment. Any time we spend in ignorance is time The Man spends guffawing through tobacco smoke in secret underground boardrooms. Let the truth be told: American mass media is structured to reward empty-headed idleness and serves to promulgate a lack of concern for the world we live in. Once this placidity is established, terrible dealings can take place on Capitol Hill, Wall Street and, yes, even at your kid’s soccer games, gosh darn it.

The stolen elections of recent years, the financial crisis we find ourselves in now, daily public deceit large and small – a vigilant and vocal American public can drive all of these evils out.

Let crumble, too, the antiquarian and divisive tradition of “not talking about politics on account of it being “bad manners. Democracy can only function when citizens discuss and debate freely and openly. Arguments must be exposed to their counterarguments to be fully formed. Public opinion has got to be PUBLIC. Besides, where does “politics begin and end? Politics should be a result of us talking, not some illusory external entity looming over us all with a judgmental eye. Tell your friends who you’re voting for. Tell anybody. Hell, I’m about to tell you who I’m voting for.

I’m voting Obama-Biden. I’m a registered Democrat, but that I did only to vote for Obama in the primaries of his party. I’m not completely swept up in the wave of O- lovin it just seems to me that Obama is one of the most impressive Democrats to come this way in a long time. And, given what Ralph Nader called thetwo-party duopolyin an interview with our local KDVS, I’ve just got to choose “Damned if you do. In the long run, though, I’d like to see Obama succeeded by candidates of real vision. AW, SNAP!

So I hope you get my point. I write this column to entertain, to inform, to challenge and to inspire. If I can motivate you to do anything, it’d be to express yourself today.


CHEYA CARY encourages you to register to vote. The last day this can be done is Oct. 20, so if you haven’t registered already, register now. E-mail him with questions at cjcary@ucdavis.edu.


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