WJ students are really into politics: is that a good thing?

For+WJ+students+the+past+Presidential+election+was+significant%2C+as+42.3%25+of+students+said+they+were+invested+in+it++and+another+27.4%25+said+it+meant+everything+to+them.++Overall%2C+WJ+students+are+really+into+politics.

Photo by Alex Wolfson

For WJ students the past Presidential election was significant, as 42.3% of students said they were invested in it and another 27.4% said it meant everything to them. Overall, WJ students are really into politics.

The 2020 election showed that America is immensely polarized. The election had the highest voter turnout in US history — for both the winner and the runner-up. 81 million Americans voted for Joe Biden and over 74 million voted for Donald Trump. But those numbers only include Americans over the age of 18. Today, those who cannot vote are already forming strong political beliefs and sharing them on social media. And WJ students are no exception.

In a poll of 177 WJ students, 92% said that they at least follow politics a little, with 13% saying they are really into politics, and 9% saying they are really passionate about politics. At WJ, students are very vocal about expressing their political views, whether that’s endorsing a candidate on their Instagram story, reposting political cartoons, sharing posts on controversial issues or posting their own commentary. Roughly 40% of WJ students said they post at least a little on social media about their political beliefs.

But is it really a good thing that students are becoming so interested in politics? For the most part, students do not have full time jobs, nor do they pay taxes. They don’t worry about 401(k) plans, paying mortgages, or paying for healthcare. Politics have the most direct impact on adults in this sense, so maybe it’s not as crucial for students to follow them so passionately. Students are also at an age where their minds are still growing. Forming strict stances on issues we may not completely understand isn’t right. It’s better to remain open to more opinions and views before we’re ready to make a judgment on complicated and controversial issues.

Do you think students into politics is a good thing?

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When it came to the last election, 19% of WJ students said that they cared about the election, 27% said they were invested and another 19% said that the election meant everything to them. Only 11% said they didn’t care. These numbers were put on full display when one student shared his preference for the presidential election on WJ Pitch’s own Instagram. He was met with hundreds of commenters attacking his views, often calling him “ignorant.” One commenter even said he wished that there was in-person school so that he could bully the student in the post. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the level of outrage expressed over an election that almost no students at WJ can vote in is shocking. And it’s surely not healthy.

Politics are stressful and can often bring out the worst in people. This past election proved that. Forming beliefs and values is a natural thing, but making politics the be-all and end-all is not. If us students are perhaps a little less consumed by politics, then we’ll feel better and be more open to each other.

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