Political paradigm shift

I was never fully aware of what was happening in the world; I was in my own universe that rotated around me and only me.

The only things I cared about were boys, friends and what was happening Friday night.
News, what was the news? Sure, I knew who the president was, and the vice president, but after that, I was lost. Condoleezza who?

I could tell you about the latest Jessica Simpson rumor or that Brad Pitt was gorgeous, but other than that, who cared?

Then, it all changed. It was as if my life transformed; a miracle happened. One day I was sitting in class, and the teacher was doing her usual ritual of teaching, or so I thought. Then, all of the sudden, she started whipping out these news stories — massively important events taking place on the global stage, even in our own country. The election. The debt we owe to China. The hurricanes. The NAFTA Superhighway. The economy. I was awakened from a deep slumber.

When we began to discuss the NAFTA Superhighway, my interest grew. “What is that?” I asked myself. I knew NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement, a trilateral trade bloc comprised of Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. But what is this superhighway? It is a superhighway that will connect Mexico to Canada through the United States for trade purposes. It’s huge. Four football fields wide, ten lanes, plus passenger and freight rail lines running alongside pipelines laid for oil and natural gas. I was amazed.

To agree or disagree, I had to find out more. I had to know. The superhighway is changing the history books, and I wanted to be aware of what the changes would be. So I researched and discovered. It is going to cost millions, even billions of dollars to build. Can we afford the cost?

The government is taking land away from homeowners to make room to build it. Maybe an answer to that problem is to make the highway smaller. Then there are other issues I worry about: illegal immigration, terrorists entering our country wanting to harm us, illegal drug traffic and so forth.
The more I searched, the more questions I had, the more answers I needed to find. It seemed as if there were more questions about the superhighway than anyone could answer. More negatives than positives. I officially determined my first opinion about a political matter. I could not approve of the NAFTA Superhighway.

Now, I watch the news. I can challenge someone to a debate. I am registered to vote and counting down the days till I get to choose between McCain and Obama. Are Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson ever getting back together? This trivia somehow seems less important now than knowing the world around me.

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