I used to be like most voters in this country (or Americans because I was too young to vote). The level of involvement I had in the political process did not stretch past following the news on CNN or short discussions of political topics with classmates and teachers.
I was in 5th grade. Every morning my class talked about Bill Clinton, Kosovo, impeachment proceedings, Saddam Hussein, Boris Yeltsin who always had ulcers, etc.
My attention to the news was the start of something that grew into a deep passion for writing and posting news on Blogger.com by the time I was in high school.
A Spider-Man movie came out and Blogger had a skin that you could get to make your blog look more attractive than the plain-colored skins Blogger had to offer its users. I had never heard of blogging and was drawn in. Instantly, I became hooked on blogging.
I involved my friends. We all posted to the comments section and argued politics and religion. To most, this would be taboo for friendships. I think it made us better people because we were able to debate from positions that were right and left and still talk to each other in the school hallways.
As I continued to blog, my passion became more rampant. I would camp out in front of my computer waiting for comments so that I could be sure my side of the argument was more clear than the other side. I lost sight of the value of exchanging ideas between friends.
My friends got tired. John Kerry, Michael Moore, and logic and reasoning that clashed with their accepted values and opinions brought this blogging experiment to an end.
Sometime during the experiment, I joined a forum called "IHateLiberals.com" and posted vicious arguments against Bush and for Kerry. I took pleasure from the rebuttals I received and the knowledge that I was much younger than they were. I was pleased to be engaged in a political argument where I could hold my ground.
I will never forget having a discussion that once led to a discussion of NAFTA. Right wingers posted reasons why Bill Clinton was a terrible president. I heavily disagreed, but as I look back, I realize that they were correct for being angry with him about NAFTA and other policies he pushed during his presidency.
A couple years later, a semester into my college career pursuing a film degree at Columbia College in Chicago, I took a Documentary & Social Change class, an introductory course to the art of documentary filmmaking. This led me to a screening of An Unreasonable Man at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago.
I went to see it on the first Saturday it was out and wound up watching it twice. I came back for it a second time because I found out that Ralph Nader was going to be doing a video chat that would be projected on the movie screen after the film was over.
About a year ago, I watched Dennis J. Kucinich videos on YouTube as I was making a decision who to throw my support behind in the Democratic primary. I wrote an article titled, "Actually, George, This Debate is Insufficient," and submitted it to OpEdNews.
I proceeded to keep writing after this article was headlined. I hammered away at all the other Democratic candidates especially Barack Obama. I also made the decision then to campaign for Kucinich in Illinois when I went back to college in the fall.
Writing on OpEdNews earned me a job opportunity to help with the production of a documentary called, "Seriously Green," which is a film that will provide Americans an account of this 2008 presidential election through the eyes of the Green Party and ask what it means to be "seriously green" at a time when it is fashionable to be green.
My participation in the campaign for Kucinich widened my perception of American politics, opened my eyes to reality, and allowed me the opportunity to meet people who you do not see on CNN, FOX News, or MSNBC.