When taking a look at the most read NY Times stories of 2018, I’m not sure that anyone would be surprised to find out that the top 13 stories were all political.
In fact a good majority of the articles that were on this top 100 list were political-something still not very surprising, at least to me, given the massive prevalence that politics have had ever since the admission of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
With his coming it seems that each side of politics-the two most prominent of which being the democrats/left and republicans/right-has emerged with a new sense of “fire” for lack of a better term.
This “fire” appears to have spread to the public masses with seemingly everyone having an opinion as to what the state of our country is, how the president is doing his job, immigration/border control, along with many other things. The people made their interests clear through the top articles of year, more specifically the top two articles of the year being: “The U.S. House Election Results” and “The U.S. Senate Election Results.” These are by far the two most important articles here as they paint a vivid picture of the current political climate of America; the articles describe the results of both elections which illustrate who/what group controls which parts of our government. These articles, based on them being top two alone, clearly resonated with people; while I don’t know for sure if these same types of articles would have also appeared at the top during the Obama-era, their featuring during this era is absolutely to be expected.
From this I can deduce that people are more interested in this country’s leadership now more than ever-again not surprising to those who paid even a little attention to current events; despite the non-surprising factor of this news it is still important. With more people being interested in politics that does inherently lead to many difficult conversations that most likely would not have occurred. These conversations in some instances can become toxic quickly simply if people have different opinions to each other, although it could be argued that this had always been the case I would argue that situations like these are more frequent now.
Despite the toxicity or potential for it, I personally feel that this is a good thing-more people being interested in politics that is. It opens up the possibility for more discussion, people sharing what they believe and are passionate about, from this I feel we’ll hear more ideas and perhaps entertain things that we would not have otherwise. Once we as a society allow ourselves to fully hear out opposing opinions and respectfully disagree-maybe we will be able to find common ground and slowly push the country towards a direction that leads to less polarization. Whether this is possible, that remains to be seen but I believe the groundwork is being set.