GCHS, What Are Your Political Views?
February 26, 2018
With the upcoming general elections, seniors at GCHS registered to vote last week. Being able to vote is one of the major milestones of becoming an adult in today’s society. But, how much do GCHS students really know about America’s political system? Where do they fall on the political spectrum?
“Of course, there’s always room to be more informed,” said GCHS senior Emma Vinson, “but I would like to think I’m pretty informed…I think it’s very important for everybody to be as informed as they possibly can about politics.” One of the most common and pervasive stereotypes about the American public is that we are completely unaware of how our own government operates.
“I’ve been involved in politics since I was seven or eight years old,” said GCHS junior Faith Turner. “It is extremely important to know how politics work because politics decide how your country is run, and that definitely affects you.”
Junior Brayden Allen said, “I think it’s very important, because they’re the next generation; they need to be able to watch how it works so we can see…what, as the next generation, we need to do to fix our country.”
To get a better look at what the GCHS student body believes, these students shared their personal political opinions.
“I’m socially liberal; I’m not sure where I stand on economic issues,” Emma Vinson said of her political views. According to a Gallup poll, twenty five percent of Americans identify as liberal, thirty four percent identify as moderate, and thirty six to forty percent identify as conservative.
Brayden Allen told me, “I’d say I’m more liberal, but that doesn’t also mean I would say I’m a democrat; I don’t really identify with a political party.”
“I’m a libertarian,” said Faith Turner. According to the official libertarian party website, “Libertarians strongly oppose any government interference into their personal, family, and business decisions. Essentially, we believe that all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another.”
“I’m more conservative on an economic standpoint, but on a social standpoint, I’m more liberal,” said Turner. There are many other political parties in the United States besides the standard Republican and Democrat parties; these include the aforementioned Libertarian Party, the Green Party, and even the United States Pirate Party.
I asked these same GCHS students what they thought of America’s current and most controversial president, Donald Trump. “He needs to not act like he’s a teenager ranting on Twitter,” Faith Turner said. “That’s my biggest issue with him.” The forty-fifth president has become infamously known for his informal and often threatening statements on the social media app toward other public officials and leaders of other countries; his most recent controversy involved nuclear threats between himself and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
“I think that he can be a little tactless, but he was elected to inspire change,” senior Emma Vinson said. “That’s basically the reason a lot of people rallied behind him.” The former reality T.V. star won the 2016 election with 306 electoral votes, compared to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s 232 votes.
As for Brayden Allen, he said “I think he has a very rough way of talking; I don’t think he understands how his words and actions will affect people…I just don’t think he understands what he’s doing.”
Voting is not only a coming-of-age ritual, but it is our duty as young adults in American society. It is the only way to protect our freedoms granted to us by our founding fathers or to protest against policies that hurt our country and all of us. Facebook rants and retweets on Twitter can only do so much; next time you feel angry about something that a politician said on the news or feel upset about a new law that is about to be passed, remember: the best way to make your voice heard is to get out and vote.