Filtering political views
April 10, 2021
From the view of a conservative at East:
This junior’s political beliefs first started during the 2016 election, when he conducted his own research about the parties that ran for office and made his own decision, though it may have not been in line with the beliefs of most of his friends and parents.
Although his beliefs may oppose his friends’, family’s, or even state’s political demography, he says that he likes the diversity of political affiliations pertaining to people in his personal life, whether it be speaking with people on their views, or following news outlets that have dissenting opinions.
“Something that I would like to do is run for public office of some sort and if I’m in an area where it’s 60% [liberal] and 40% [conservative] I am not going to win. That’s why I want to relate to my community, where the sides are [relatively equal] and everyone can come together and talk about [their opinions]”
Despite this, he feels he must be specifically careful about some political topics because he does not want to say anything that can be taken out of context. Additionally, he feels that this sentiment can be taken to what he publicly showcases online and says “Specifically online I feel like I have to step around my own thoughts even though they aren’t hateful thoughts”.
In the classroom setting, he prefers to keep his views neutral, if not hidden, because he feels that some teachers do not speak objectively about political topics. He says that though teachers may not openly say what they think, they display their political affiliations indirectly, such as having liberal news articles on their wall, or wearing their political party’s clothing.
“School should not be a place where you go and a teacher tries to teach you how to think politically” and it should not be biased one way or the other… sophomore year I had a teacher who thought that socialism was great and how she would love to be taxed double to pay for free [college] education, and I don’t think that was the right place to be talking about politics”
Nonetheless, the student says that he tries his best to look at both sides of every single topic and then come to a decision. He does not have right winged sentiments on every currently debated subject, and says that there are some grey areas in his beliefs. He is inclined to listen to other peoples’ opinions on political subjects that he does not fully understand, and in doing so, says that these conversations add to his views.
Furthermore, he does believe that the country is divided, and that people nowadays do not engage in political discussion because they “don’t want to hear the other side” of topics.
Ultimately, though he finds it beneficial to engage in discussions with friends and family who have differing views than him, he does not believe that his political affiliations should hinder him from speaking his mind. He says that teachers should do a better job at narrating objective truths without displaying side commentary about their opinions.
From Lauren Perry (‘22)’s point of view, she feels that speaking about her own political views is something that has gotten easier for her over the past year. Her political beliefs also started in the 2016 election, and have become more profound over time.
Perry says, “My political views started with the 2016 election. I was a very strong democrat and recently in the 2020 election, I’ve definitely shifted further left but definitely in favor of strong economic reform, if not a complete overhaul of how we operated the country politically and economically”.
Ultimately, this belief led her to avidly post on her social media accounts in the spring and summer with relation to nationally recognized events.
She says, “In the summer I had people replying to my stories denying these pretty objective truths, in my opinion”. Perry says that her political views are pretty clear cut, but she is still working on educating herself on topics that she is not fully familiarized with.
In the classroom setting, Perry says that she is very comfortable speaking with her teachers about her political views and states that she feels she has a stronger connection to her teachers due to their relatability in political affiliation.
Perry says, “I’m very comfortable with my teachers. Sometimes I email my history teacher and say ‘listen… this capitalism thing isn’t working for me.’”
Perry states that in the classroom setting however, teachers are as objective as they can be. “We discuss historical things… not so much modern events that we talk about. I think that a lot of teachers are careful because they can get in trouble for speaking on their political views”, she says.
Furthermore, she thinks that when serious events happen that deserve to be brought attention to, like the storming of the capital for instance, teachers bring up these events, but mostly just give their opinions about historical events.
Perry says that her and her friends generally have the same views about big political issues, and if that’s not the case, they usually engage in a friendly debate over their beliefs, and says that she feels comfortable about engaging in debates with conservatives. Despite this, she feels that she would not befriend people who have significantly different views than her own.
“I feel like politics are really your morals and actions and that is embodied in how we vote….I’m not going to form connections with people I disagree with on big issues”, she says.
Subsequently, though Perry knows that some people may object to her posts on her instagram story, she feels that she can speak openly both in the classroom setting and online, as she says that she’s always been a very political person, and wants her voice to be heard.