Politics vs Teenagers


Meredith Conrad

Politics?: In the world of teenagers in a world full of polarizing opinions it is hard to find out where they stand.

Meredith Conrad, Entertainment/Opinion Editor

From social media to news outlets, everywhere a person looks it is nearly impossible to ignore the polarized and sometimes hostile political climate of America. There are those who do their best to avoid the topic at all costs and others on the
opposite end of the scale who dive right in and are on top of all things political.
Teenagers are no different, the student body is comprised of many different viewpoints. From extreme left wing, to moderate conservative, and kids who rather sit on the sidelines and simply watch.
“I think we are definitely very active [in politics],” junior Aden Johanning said.
Johanning is one of many students who feel that teens are largely involved in politics.
Even though he will not be able to vote until this fall, Johanning strongly feels having a good background and a baseline knowledge of American politics.
“I follow a lot of our generation on thoughts [about politics] and see a bunch on the internet and social media. I’m very up to date not only with our generation but with our country,” Johanning said. ”Freedom of Speech means you can believe and say what you want with no penalty.”
Johanning also made it clear even though Americans have the right to Free Speech, people must be educated on the topics they speak on and not dive into a conversation or debate blindly. With the widespread access to the internet and social media, it can be hard to find trustworthy resources and information.
“I think anytime any citizen is involved in politics it’s a good thing,” said Government teacher Matthew Cribbs. “However what I would say is that teens need to know what they’re talking about or they sound somewhat ignorant when talking about politics.”
Cribbs also elaborated on the fact that political knowledge stems from life experience. As teens mature and spend more time participating in government affairs, such as voting, the more they will learn and gain a better understanding of what goes into politics.
While both Johanning and Cribbs believe that politics are an important subject to keep up on, there are others who believe that teens are too involved in politics and that many simply do not care.
“I don’t think teenagers are too focused on politics like Democrat or Republican,” junior Jordan Graysmith said. “I do think they’re focused on world issues and not necessarily the politics of it, but politics is inevitably involved because we just attach everything to politics.”
Another aspect of a generation becoming engrossed in social media is the attachment of politics to everyday life.
“Like queer people and abortion for example, we’ve made them political when they shouldn’t be,” Graysmith said.
Graysmith belves that topics such as human rights should not be made political. That who a person is and the way a person lives is not something that should be governed by politics.
The question of ‘Are teens too political?’ is not an easy one to answer. Just like politics there is no right or wrong conclusion.