To be honest…with Julia Yamate Geminiano de Almeida

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To be honest, I hate politics. I hate how it gets complicated and how important it is.

I don’t know a lot about politics here in the United States, but back in my home country, Brazil, politics is such a touchy subject that it can make families break apart, lifelong friendships end and even wearing a specific t-shirt color can cause a huge discussion. Yes, it is that bad.

The worst part is how the whole political system in Brazil is corrupt. The most important people in this system are involved in some type of corruption. The United Nations estimates that Brazil loses $60 billion per year due to corruption. That makes the population, or at least me, not have faith in the system and not even want to understand how it works. In the end it feels like there’s nothing I can do to help.

Another issue in the middle of all this mess is that we don’t know whom we can trust. There are so many official channels that share fake news that seems so true that most of the population believes it. With social media, this fake news is all over the country within minutes and in Brazil no one really thinks about checking sources. But who can blame the population? There are 11.8 million illiterate people in the country, and 52 million Brazilians live below the poverty line. It is easy to mislead an illiterate and starving population.

Another problem, is how we never actually learn anything about this topic in school and as soon we are 18 we are obligated to vote. This lack of political education gives people wrong assumptions and maybe that’s how my country got to the way it is right now. People are easily manipulated by politicians, and they don’t even realize.

One of the reasons I came to the U.S. is because I wanted to run away from all that mess. But at the end of the day I’m still Brazilian, which means that during this year’s election I need to fulfill my duty as a Brazilian citizen and vote. Yet, I have no idea who would be a good option and I don’t know how to look for the ideal candidate.

To be honest, I wish there was a less stressful way to deal with this, but there’s not. So the only thing I can do right now is go out on a search for the candidate I think will be the best. If they are actually the best option, they will probably not get elected, because that’s how things usually go in my country.

 

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