January- Following and Understanding Politics

With the aftermath of the government shutdown and the budgeting quarrel over border security, there is a lot to discuss and break down as far as politics, but what do students actually know about the issues at hand? How do they keep up with everything? We asked our writers if and how they follow politics with today’s abundant sources, and what would help them to understand politics better.

Leonela Cabral, Staff Writer- “I don’t (keep up with politics). It’s really depressing to read. I can’t grasp a lot of the information fully and I don’t understand it, I really don’t. If there was a person who understood politics and could explain it to me, I may be able to pick it up.”

Laura Madler, Editor-in-Chief- “I try to. It’s a lot harder these days to be really informed on politics just because there’s so much happening all the time. We have really good access to news from all around the world, but it seems like there are those breaking news headlines every night with our current political climate. I’ll read the news section of the newspaper sometimes, but a lot of times I keep up through social media because you can tell when there’s a lot of buzz around an issue. I follow news accounts on Twitter that will pop up, and that gives you an introduction to the story. Then you can go dig deeper with some authentic sites.”

Beth Ellis, Staff Writer- “I’ll see things occasionally on the news, but I try not to keep up with it, mainly because it always causes drama and depression. It just causes bad events overall to keep up with it and have an opinion on it, so I try to not focus on that portion of the news. (If she were to follow politics) I would like to hear both sides of the story and not have a biased opinion of the issue or hear any biased opinions. That would better help me to understand politics.”

Jay Mendez, Sports Editor- “I don’t necessarily, only when I see it on social media. it will pop up and I’ll take a quick peak at it. Other than that I’m not trying to search for it. Well, I try not to because it’s so negative now. People always say ‘educate yourself’ on this and that, but you’re always going be wrong, everyone is going to have different opinions, so there’s no way you can actually be right when learning about this stuff.”

Alondra Rivera-Pena- “I don’t necessarily, unless, again, like I see it on social media. My brother and my mom are kind of into politics, so I always end up hearing stuff from them. I would like to understand more about how our government works because I still haven’t taken government yet, so I feel like if maybe I educated myself a little bit on that I could understand more.”

With so many different sources reporting from various angles, it is difficult to keep up with politics and seek out information. Given the state of our current political climate, many students find themselves uninterested and discouraged by politics. However, I personally believe we cannot turn a blind eye completely. As the future, it is important that we take strides to remain well informed and passionate. We have the potential to fix what we see as broken, and to shape this world into a place where the younger generation won’t be afraid to turn on the TV. We shouldn’t force political participation in schools, but we should at least teach students how to properly seek out information and formulate educated opinions.