What happens between political parties affects everyone, including students. According to the Washington Post, our country is more divided than it has been since the Civil War, but this can be changed by our generation.
Because of how divided politics have become, some students are pushing themselves away from the subject. Student Sydney Severn, 16, said it’s just not worth it to engage in politics.
Political parties are more hostile towards each other than they used to be, said Tomas Dardis, 16.
Liberals and Conservatives are more than just hostile to each other. A 2014 study by the New York Times found that views from both sides have become more extreme by roughly 10 percent since 2004.
Republicans and Democrats have gotten to a point where, in some cases, they can barely speak to each other. Republicans and Democrats are supposed to be able to argue with each other, but it has become a battle, said Devonte Boos, 19.
Dardis brought up why a split is unhelpful and why teenagers can and need to change the trajectory of the parties’ separations.
“If we are fighting constantly, we are not going to progress,” he said.
Severn said she feels the separation of our country has resulted in many young people feeling like politics are a “huge pressure.”
“I mainly just want there to be a big sense of peace in this world,” Severn said.
In a 2017 study by Pew Research Center, it was found that the divisions between Republicans grew during the time of Barack Obama’s presidency but reached even further levels of divisions with President Donald Trump.
Dardis said that now, politics infiltrate his everyday life.
“You have to censor yourself, even when you are just making jokes,” Dardis said.
Not only has the recent extremity of politics affected what friends can joke about to each other, but some students are even showcasing their political views at school.
“There were a lot of people wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ hats to school,” Boos said. “It was kind of touchy and it was the wrong timing.”
At one of his school’s football games, some students brought politics into the game.
“Someone standing outside the game (cheering on his high school) was holding a sign endorsing Trump,” Boos said.
Being affiliated with political parties is not the problem, he said. Many young people like Boos, Dardis and Severn know that not everyone will agree with their political views. They said they know that there needs to be a balance between Republicans and Democrats.
Boos said he believes teenagers can “change the whole course” of our country’s divisive state. But, to make that change, Boos said, people have to vote.