Students Must Develop Own Informed Political Beliefs


by Joe Hittinger
Eagle Editorial Borad

With the 2012 Presidential Election drawing near, it is increasingly important for students to develop their own political beliefs.

However, an all-too-common fad among teenagers is to blindly follow the political views of their parents without actually thinking for themselves.

This is a terrible mistake to make, as it only makes the teens in question appear ignorant and misinformed.

What makes this epidemic so curious is that usually teenagers are quick to question everything that comes out of the mouth of their parents. Many teenagers purposefully go out of their way to do things in spite of what their parents say.

Yet when it comes to deciding where they stand on political issues, a staggering amount of teens holds fast to what mommy and daddy say without giving it a second thought. If teenagers are willing to question their parents over the most trivial matters like curfew, then why all of a sudden do they stop thinking for themselves when politics is involved.

Every student who even somewhat cares about politics ought to figure out on his own what he believes in, especially for those seniors who will be deciding the fate of our country for the next four years come Election Day on Nov. 6.

It would be a tragic waste of a vote if a student simply voted for whomever his parents deemed worthy without actually knowing the first thing about the candidate or his policies.

Watch the news. Read books. Do research online. In today’s technological world where information on any topic is virtually a click away, there is no excuse for not being able to hold your own political views.

While it is important not to simply mimic your parent’s political beliefs, it is still a viable option to use them as a resource. Find out exactly what they believe and why they believe it.

Granted, it is also possible for teenagers to figure out their own political beliefs and still happen to hold the very same views as their parents. The difference in this situation, though, is that these teens have actually taken the time to think for themselves and come to their own conclusions, instead of ignorantly assuming that their parents’ views are the “correct” ones.

This trend is very apparent on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, where students think that it is their duty to convert everyone else to their own misguided point of view despite having no real knowledge about politics whatsoever.

This rather annoying habit would be more tolerable if the students that post about politics actually knew what they were talking about.

However, it is clear that these self-proclaimed political geniuses really do not know what they are talking about when their reasoning is something along the lines of, “Romney is so frat,” or, “Obama is better because he is the freshest LOL.”

Every student is encouraged to ask himself what exactly he believes in. Then do the research to either affirm your beliefs or find out something new about yourself. Either way, a politically educated student body would propel our school to the next level.