Politics suck. It is almost universally agreed that most, if not all politicians, are corrupt in one way or another. Now, in a nation that is founded upon liberty and freedom, why are so many of our politicians like this? Why do they put their own self interests ahead of the interests of the country? While they are the problem, the source of that issue is us, the American people.

Nearly every one of the people attending this university is 18-years or older, all old enough to vote. People like our parents, teachers and other older role models always insist that we all do our civic duty and vote in every election, local or national. I am going to take it one step further: Be informed, and then vote.

So many Americans go to the polls and know remarkably little about the candidates who are running for these offices, political offices that could have a massive impact on not just our daily lives, but the lives of all the people around us. A lot of these people holding office in this country are only there because they have been there; we are notorious for disliking change. And these politicians just eat that up.

Politicians in any and every nation are well known as being power hungry and unwilling to step down from positions of power once they have obtained them. But not all people are like this. Take, for example, George Washington, the first president of the United States. After two terms, he stepped down willingly, in a time that term limits were not yet established. Not only did he willingly step down from the office of president, he quite simply returned to his farm, where he stayed out of politics for the rest of his life.

People like George Washington do exist in the modern era; they are just not getting elected. We, as a nation, just do not pay enough attention to the people running for office, and it does more harm to us than it does to anyone else. Think back to the last presidential election, which featured two candidates who were arguably the most hated presidential candidates in the history of the United States. Never mind which one you hated more, one of them is the president of the United States, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.