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Students have a voice. The diverse melting pot of SHS serves as a cross-section of people around the United States and a means for these future citizens to be brought up into society. So, what do they think of the way their country functions? None of these interviewees can vote, since you must be both 18 or older and a United States citizen. The political climate this time of year always seems to heat up even in high schools and it shows how younger generations care about the world around them and how it functions.
Millennial English teacher Sara Mullins is a Canadian immigrant with permanent residence in the United States who is inspired by dedicated politicians in Texas.
“I tend to lean towards Beto O’Rourke’s plans, goals, promises, and how Beto has no overlap between the policies he wants to put in place and personal beliefs,” Mullins said.
Mullins is a self-identified “left-leaning moderate” and she, coming from Canada, seeks to fulfill universal healthcare and appropriate gun control which would help make America more “egalitarian.” “If politicians want young voter support [they] will have to look at the issues [that are] really important since [Gen Z] is brought up in a post-9/11 generation with school shootings and immigration issues at the forefront.”
“President Trump is basically running a campaign himself and is instilling that sort of fear-mongering among his voter base and he’s talking about the [migrant] caravan and taking the big issues of his voter base and just amplifying them to the extreme,” Mullins said.
Many other millennials and Gen Z kids also support this ideology based around the ever-popular left-leaning common politic. However, there is another side to the teenage wasteland of complaining about things you have no control over. Many students instead have their support behind the Republican Party. There are many reasons for this, one of which being the unwavering support for President Trump and his administration, the other perhaps being a certain dissatisfaction with the general masses and their groupthink ideology.
Senior Reese Surles is a young honor student that wants his voice to be heard despite not being old enough to vote.
“I support the Republican Party because of what Ted Cruz has to say and his beliefs and the idea of taking the border back, in the sense of how you can’t allow illegal immigration in the same idea of how you lock your door at night,” Surles said. “I support [Republicans] as opposed to the Libertarian Party or the Green Party because of the majority and the ability of the party to do something that agrees with me”
Surles visited a Trump rally and saw how the President deals with crowds as if he were a performer.
“When you hear about Trump, it’s kind of like having someone explain a movie to you, and when you go to a rally, you’re actually seeing the movie and you can decide for yourself your opinion on it.”
Despite not being able to vote on restrictions of age, Surles kept himself as informed as he could to be knowledgeable about politicians and how they affect daily life.
Junior Gavin Miller also shared his take about voting and how he would like everyone to play it cool.
“I guess you could say I support Ted Cruz but I’m grateful that I can’t vote because I don’t really know.” Miller said, “Beto obviously has the popular support from most kids at Saginaw, but like I haven’t heard a single thing about his actual policies.”
“The Democratic Party just seems like they’re trying to manipulate everyone to get their way, you know what I mean? I haven’t seen a single Cruz sign in peoples’ yards and all the ads on TV are for the Beto guy,” Miller said. “I’m a Republican by default” which he clarified “secured my position as radical centrist.”
When asked about the climate of voting season Miller said, “Everyone gets real testy during these elections. Not really for any particular reason other than to spite the other guy.” “Yeah, I’d vote [for] Cruz since he’s the one already in office and we could just keep things like they were,” Miller said. “You could probably say I’m ill-informed on [voting], but like so are all these other people if they just sit in front of the idiot box with the ads saying how bad Republicans are.”
These three socially aware citizens are just a few of the many people caught up in the excitement of election season. The recent drive to get young people to vote in their state elections has been kickstarted by politicians doing their midterm campaigns to garner support from large cities as well as rural counties. Even when the guy with the D next to his name loses by 1.6 percent, his supporters are readying for round two, even if that means the presidency. This congressional election is just one of many across the U.S. that are inspiring young people to take up an interest in their democratic process.