Something that has really struck me in meetings since I started here at MCCOY is how different things are than I imagined. I remember reading a record review once where most of the songs were political in nature and the reviewer knocked the band for doing that because we should “leave politics up to the smart people”. At the time I thought that was a really poignant and correct statement. I mean, we’ve gotten this far as a species, surely the people involved in government and politics are doing something right…right?
The guy on the cover kind of looks like Noam Chomsky, which classifies this as a political journal…right?
So fast-forward about 11 years from my 18 year old self reading punk rock ‘zine’s with intellectual names like “Razorcake” to 29-year-old me sitting in public policy meetings with different committees. There are a lot of smart, talented, and creative people involved in creating public policy in the state of Indiana, but sometimes I’m amazed that they did not think of something, for example, what kind of training school resource officers should go through and who can administer that training. There are a lot of good ideas out there right now that you would think were already in place like co-location, improved public transit in Indianapolis, and comprehensive bullying prevention. But sometimes they’re not, and what they need are enthusiastic voices to help get them moving. There are also some not so great ideas out there like arming teachers and banning same-sex marriage in our state. The smart people are there, and they have an idea of what needs to be done, and it’s usually a pretty good idea. But the problem with democracy is that we’re all “the smart people”. Our system is designed for the people and by the people, and it relies and participation.
Understandably, some people do not have time to get overly active in the political process. But something I’ve really learned so far through this practicum experience is that there is no magic bus that drives around capturing smart and talented people that then drops them off at the State House where they magically make good policy that covers every potential loophole and liability. It’s what I wanted to believe, but that’s just not the case. Its people like you and I, who get involved, make our voices heard, and ensure that the laws and policies that come out of the State House are inclusive, fair, just, and sensible that can help make good policy come out of the State House. As corny as this may come off, the smart people are here, and you’re one of them.