Blog 3: Being politically ambiguous

I’ve always been a very private person- I’m particular about the things I tell others about myself, and what I post online. The same goes for how I hold myself at work (whether it be in Ann Arbor or here at the DOJ).

There are many components that make up my “identity,” but the one I’m going to focus on here is my political identity!

“Legally Brunette” sounds like a low-budget-straight-to-DVD sequel of Legally Blonde, but whatever.

Like I’ve touched upon in a previous blog or two I feel like I am coming of age in a particularly important time in American history (something I heard on the news a few times). I think that it is very important that when people form beliefs they should have access to or try to read up on the facts of the matter.

This kind of internship, so far, has been relatively easy to be political neutral in the office (despite the fact that we keep CNN on the TV), which I find to be pretty important. It’s easy to be ambiguous- no one ever asks for your opinion because, quite frankly, it doesn’t matter! It’s not that kind of job, nor do I think I’m qualified for something like that at the moment. The job is to do my part and in doing so I’d like to believe that I, and the other interns, help the office run smoothly.

My office:)
The DOJ’s Great Hall.

However, the difficulty comes when I gather news clips, help write press releases or speeches, and preform other tasks. The subject matter is what it is. Sometimes I’ll like what’s happening on the government’s end, and other times not so much. The thing I’ve learned when it comes to the latter feeling is that it’s very important to learn as much as I can. I don’t think people learn about things they don’t like or agree with because it makes them uncomfortable. I’m generalizing, but I feel like when it comes to the uncomfortable and the general unknown people tend to crutch back onto their passionate gut instincts that are often fueled by the beliefs of their parents or whatever media outlet they consume.

As I grow up I’ve been conscious to try speak only when I know something well enough, and to admit flat out when I don’t know something. It’s easy for me to tell when people cross the line from knowing things to pretending that they do. In my book, it’s better to admit ignorance than to sound stupid – your word carries more weight that way. Hemingway’s emphasis of a built-in, shockproof, crap detector is useful in all areas of life, not just writing.

Anyways, in this job, I’ve caught myself mid eye-roll, and have checked myself before speaking about (basically) anything. I find myself googling literally anything I question the definition of, and have a running dictionary/vocabulary list of [often legal] words that appear often. I’m taking in as much as I can in the time I have left.

5 thoughts on “Blog 3: Being politically ambiguous

  • August 3, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I feel the same way as you- I often don’t speak unless I am 100% sure that what is coming out of my mouth is accurate. However, it is important to express how you feel; often time gut instincts are what make the most change and prompt the hard discussions that are usually necessary! I hope you are able to speak your mind more as you grow in your career!

  • August 4, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Anna what a well written blog!

  • August 4, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I think this is a very thoughtful way to approach your internship so that you can learn a lot and communicate with people with very different values! I agree with what you said about many people reverting to gut feelings rather than researching or admitting ignorance, and perhaps when you do that it will help to lead by example.

  • August 31, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    So interesting! I interned in Ottawa this summer as a legislative assistant for Senator, and I found myself to not be under such stressful vetting measures in terms of conduct. Certainly my writing was checked thrice over before being published, but I found it odd that my superiors didn’t ask for citations, not bothered to investigate if my material was legitimate.

    All that mattered was that it sounded good, which was kind of strange.

    But, keep up the great work! If you keep checking and double-checking yourself, you’ll have a spotless record when you run for public office!

  • September 13, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Your internship experience is very insightful.


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