Growing up: Caring about PRSI.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by soco, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. soco macrumors 68030

    soco

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
    #1
    So my girlfriend is a great person. She's smart and keeps up on what she needs to, but recently she's expressed more of an interest in politics and current events.

    Since her expressed interest, I've been trying to include her in my discussions with my friends about many of the things discussed right here in this forum. Unfortunately, since she hasn't cared about PRSI in the past (and I'm referring to the meaning of the acronym and not the forum) she has no "beginners' knowledge" with which to understand the current state of things and what we're talking about.

    So that brings me to this post. I'd love some advice from the PRSI crowd here about how to get her started. Every time I try to explain the basics of politics in America and other important countries, she gets that look on her face like I'm explaining how to build a space station. She just drifts off and gets frustrated. Usually I'm really good at explaining things in layman's terms, but for whatever reason, I'm not doing a good job with this one.

    I don't want to just give her a link to http://www.politicsforidiots.org (not real) or something. Just assume she hates reading and needs it explained verbally or even with pictures. She's more hands-on (twss) than she is keen on books.

    Thanks in advance. :)
    Go Santorum! (sarcasm)
     
  2. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #2
    Watch the news. Tha's what I did when I started beig interested in politics when I was 15. After a while you really begin to understand how it works and build out a "database" of past events you can compare news with.
     
  3. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    the woods
    #3
    I'd recommend reading online newspapers. If she comes across something that she doesn't know about, she can simply look it up on Wikipedia / Google / related articles.
     
  4. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #4
    How about a video.

    Hands on...perhaps have her volunteer as a poll worker in an election? Or volunteer for the campaign of a local politician/movement in which che cares?
     
  5. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #5
    Maybe instead of her asking you questions, and you trying to give her lessons, it might be helpful to ask her questions. Find out what she cares about, and why. Ask her what her opinions are about things, then begin to show her how politics and positions of politicians relate to the issue. As you do that, you can show how politicians use the "news" to push agendas. Whatever you do, just have fun. The fact that she's interested makes for lots of good conversations.
     
  6. soco thread starter macrumors 68030

    soco

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
    #6
    While watching the news would be useful for us to get a better understanding of this stuff as it is now, it's incredibly confusing for someone who doesn't know a Gallup from a gallop. :)

    She needs a beginner's primer.

    Yeah, she's not too keen on reading as it's like information overload to her.

    Though I like the idea of just taking an article or piece and as you come across confusing information, Google the term. I think we all do that sometimes. :)

    I'll have to check out that video when I get home. Videos would be great for her as she can visually follow along with it better than reading, whereas I'm better reading than watching. Think of it as she's a TV chick, I'm a book guy.

    I actually am going to suggest the volunteer thing. She may be into that. A friend of mine in college did it for a local guy running for congress I believe. He didn't much like the guy but he did it for the experience and wealth of knowledge. He graduated with a degree in social sciences or something and is now heavily involved in other similar work.

    I love this suggestion because that's what it's all about, right? It's about our opinions and beliefs rather than "the system" or whatever.

    And you're right that her interest makes for good conversation. This is what I loved in the beginning about her interest in technology and all things Apple. Any time I'm sitting in bed mumbling to myself (like any good nerd does) about the latest tech news, she probes for info about it and we can actually discuss it. Instand boner. :)

    So I'd love to be able to extend this to politics. I'm a big curmudgeon about it, but I care quite a bit about it (even though I don't post in PRSI because you guys scare me sometimes lol)
     
  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
  8. soco thread starter macrumors 68030

    soco

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
    #8
    I giggled. :p
     
  9. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #9
    Of course it's confusing. At first I didn't understand anything. But after a year or so, maybe sooner since you guys are starting an election process, it becomes clear. At least that's what happened in my case.
     
  10. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #10
    When I was in Middle School one of the Social Studies teachers had us start reading the paper. IMO, the best way to just start reading a paper everyday (or at least the front page). Personally, I'd recommend the NYT or the Washington Post. If she needs something really basic I'd start with TIME.

    Then she can branch out to CFR or FP, Brookings, foreign papers, etc...
     
  11. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #11
    If you are American, start with reading the US Constitution and early US history. You could also read the communist manifesto, both are short and easy to read.

    These are two nearly opposite ideals and give you a perspective when hearing things on the news on who sides with what ideas.

    ----------

    I remember watching that on TV when I was a kid. Awesome.

     
  12. soco thread starter macrumors 68030

    soco

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
    #12
    Yeah I remember when I started getting into politics, I just watched TV a lot (MSNBC and CNN, mostly) and subscribed to the NYTimes. I guess it's just that, knowing her, she needs someone to baby-talk it to her at first. I'm really making her sound like a moron lol I feel bad. She's not stupid, it's just that politics carry a lot of information, and everything there is to read about the topic out there is forced to serve it to you on overload. It just freaks her out and turns her off.

    It's definitely going to be beneficial though that we're nearing election season. I'll just try my best to explain what's being discussed as we watch TV and read the paper in the morning.

    Yeah, see above. I subscribe to the NYTimes and read it every day. Never thought of TIME for her though. I'll give that a shot too.
     
  13. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #13
    I just remember reading it in middle/ early high school and thinking that it provided a decent, broad basis with out too much technicality. Plus TIME seems to include a fair amount of pop culture now a days. I saw an issue at work a couple of weeks ago that had a piece on Chelsea Handler.
     
  14. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #14
    If she finds something to spark her ire, have her start a thread here, and explain her position.

    We'll take it from there. And, we will be gentle.
     
  15. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #15
    .Andy won't.
     
  16. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    New York, Baby!
    #16
  17. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #17
    She must have some interests, hobbies or pastimes that she cares about.

    Everything has a political angle. So if for instance she was into food and healthy eating, then you could start off by discussing some of the issues and laws surrounding agricultural business, FDA rules, farming subsidies, junk food labelling, 'big food' lobbying, genetically modified grains, agri-fuels and their effect on third world food cost etc.

    By expanding one of her interests into the political sphere, she'll see a representation of how the government works - which may lead her to questioning other government policies.
     
  18. MorphingDragon, Jan 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012

    MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    The World Inbetween
    #18
    I'd also suggests she actually learns the basics of the major political systems and ruling systems.

    EG: Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, Libertarianismismismism..., Facism, Third Way, Social Democracy, Anarchy etc
     
  19. imahawki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    #19
    Right, she can't really dive in until she can properly label people ;) ;) ;)
     
  20. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    The World Inbetween
    #20
    Sure... :rolleyes:

    Though it is a problem in America... Commie. :p
     
  21. Thomas Veil, Jan 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012

    Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    OBJECTIVE reality
    #21
    If you're not doing it already, start her out with something that might be fun for her: The Daily Show. That might spark her interest in learning about things in more depth. If you can graduate from there to real news (like the 6:30 newscasts), you at least have got her interested enough to learn more.
     
  22. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #22
    I Foxed- I mean fixed that for you. :D



    Honestly......maybe ignorance is bliss when it comes to politics. She's probably a much happier person being clueless about US politics than if she actually knew about what is going on these days. *shrug*
     
  23. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    The World Inbetween
    #23
    Explain to her why Fox news is the Cancer that is killing America.
     
  24. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #24
    This tells me she's not really all that interested. I'd let her approach it at her own pace, or not at all, if that's her wish.
     
  25. soco thread starter macrumors 68030

    soco

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
    #25
    Well the thing is I don't care much at all if she gets into it. She brought it up on her own that she felt compelled to take an interest.

    We watched The Daily Show last night and some Colbert and she enjoyed those and took to the explanations of the stories better than "real" stories.
     

Share This Page