You Should Have a Diverse Political Mindset

Illustration depicting the two components of politics and education held at an equal status of importance. It is essential to implement politics into education in order to create a more knowledgeable and vocal younger generation.

Photo taken from Scholastic

Illustration depicting the two components of politics and education held at an equal status of importance. It is essential to implement politics into education in order to create a more knowledgeable and vocal younger generation.

The election for the president in the United States is one of the most important events in America. All of the American people who are of legal age have the ability to cast a vote for the candidate of their choice. There are a variety of candidates but there are two main choices, the Democratic and Republican Party. As the years go by, thousands of more Americans become eligible to vote, however, a large majority of them aren’t educated voters. For such an important event in the United States and around the world, it is vital for the American people to make an educated decision and cast a vote for the candidate they believe is best for the nation.

In 2020 the presidential election occurred with the projected winner being declared by the media to be former vice president Joe Biden. Millions of Americans were happy that their candidate won, however, seats in the House and the Senate were also up for grabs as Americans voted for the candidate they wanted to represent them in congress. A lot of Americans only vote in the presidential election and hardly vote in local or state elections, which is a big issue. 

As important as the role of President is, the other electable positions in the government are just as important, especially on the local level as they are the ones who decide how local funding will be spent on the city. A lot of poor and run-down cities in the United States suffer from heavy corruption, the people that hold office in these cities hide behind political parties to get elected just to benefit themselves personally.

Joe Biden, the newest president-elect to serve as the 46th president. An eminent political figure, Joe Biden holds importance of the future of our country, similarly to schools, which is why it is essential for politics to be implemented into the curriculum.

Voter education is extremely valuable and it is also important for those eligible to vote, to exercise their right to vote for local leaders. Many Americans are grown up and told to vote for a singular party and never hear from the other side. This can be dangerous as it can be easy to develop a hate for the side you know nothing about which can cause a societal divide.

This is further grown by media outlets that lean to one side of the political spectrum as they tend to always make the other side seem unreliable, dishonest, and false. Without hearing the other side and with slogans such as “vote blue, no matter who” grow popular and trend on social media, impressionable young voters are often pressured into voting for one side without hearing the other. That is why it is important for all Americans to be educated on how to vote and why they should teach modern political views in schools every so often so people can be open to both sides. Americans should also be educated on doing some research on candidates’ past history and what their agenda is, just because someone aligns themselves to a party doesn’t mean that their agenda is going to follow everything their party believes in.

Once people are taught the views of each party in school, they are able to form their own political thoughts on each party. They get to respect both sides and see why some people would support one side over the other and eventually there would be less division within the nation. Some people think that politics should be taught in school, others don’t. Daniella Liang, a junior at Masterman school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania doesn’t think politics should be taught in the classroom. 

“I think that politics should be presented in a factual way, but not discussed,” Liang says. “Students can learn about the steps in the impeachment process, and about the government. I just don’t think that people’s opinions should be discussed as it can hurt people’s feelings and maybe even offend people on what they think is right/wrong.”

Voting booths are set up in a community voting center, a common site during election season where people can privately cast their vote for the candidate they support for US President. With voting something for students to look forward to, it’s important to educate students on the implications behind it while in school.

Others, however, feel differently and feel that politics should be taught at schools as it would help diversify people’s minds about politics at an age where they are just getting introduced to it, which is very important if we want the future generations of the United States to be united and not divided every time there is an election. Paula McAvoy, one of the authors of The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education believes that politics should be taught in the classroom.

“How political do we want students to be? That’s really a question that a lot of communities struggle with and a lot of teachers struggle with,” McAvoy explains. “And the point of the book is to say that, in general, to be able to talk about politics is a skill that people need to learn. And it would be great if it were learned in school because these are great moments in which you bring a group of young people together who are forming their political views. They can really learn to engage across their differences and to start to see that political conflict is a normal part of democratic life.”

McAvoy brings up some excellent points here, which are very important in places like the United States where everyone has the ability to express themselves freely. Individuals are bound to run into some very different people from very different backgrounds, teaching students young about politics and making them aware of both sides will diversify people’s mindsets about politics and will help prevent them from forming a hatred for the other side. 

However, when being taught politics in school, teachers could heavily influence impressionable students with their own political views. As Anders Olsen, a student at Hoggard High School in North Carolina puts it, teachers trying to hide their views actually do more damage by subtly indoctrinating their students on their views unintentionally. 

“Teachers often feel that they are protecting their students by ensuring that their actual political leanings are kept a secret,” Olsen says. “In reality, by not being truthful about any potential biases that the teacher might have they are leaving their student wide open to be indoctrinated through subtle tactics and ideological influence.”

An illustration depicting a thumb war between the democrat donkey and the republican elephant in a classroom setting. This visual is used to symbolize politics in the classroom, as it’s important for students to learn the meaning behind politics due to its value outside the classroom.

Although teachers may subtly express their views if an education system came out where educating people about politics and voting came out it would be able to prevent this from occurring. By diversifying our political views, society will be able to prevent hatred from arousing in the United States and prevent people from being hurt over politics once we understand both sides, being an educated voter will also prevent us from electing people who want to hurt our communities and will allow us to vote for the candidate who wants to help the community and build it back. 

With just having an open mind to politics and being taught this it will help the American people get along and understand one another, it will help us grow into a bigger, better, and stronger community which is important for the future generations of Americans. This could be our battle, our generation’s battle for a better America.