Current Events and Involvement
By: Hannah Hornsby
Politics. One of the most dreaded topics in America. People would rather spend their time doing anything else than discussing the world of lying politicians, checks and balances, or the direction they fear their country is heading. The problem with this is, if adults (parents and teachers) are stepping over the topic altogether, what is this teaching the next generation? There is only a small percentage of this great nation that realize the miracle of its political system. To keep the American Dream alive, students today should be learning everything they can about what goes on in Washington, and what is good or bad for the nation. The problem is, students are unaware of the ongoing issues.
With the massive importance of the recent election, people are realizing they need to be more involved and able to understand what exactly the media is telling them. As some adults are realizing they have no clue how the political machine works, teenagers fall into a limbo of not caring what happens in Washington because it “does not affect them”. No one helps them understand politics, yet, when teachers ask them in the classroom they are expected to know as much as the average Washingtonite. It is not like the topic throughout the halls is the division of powers between federal and state government, and the majority of parents would rather allow their children to be informed by someone other than themselves.
Thanks to my parents, I grew up in a house where everyone sat down at night and watched the news until bedtime– after a debate on politics and conspiracy theories at the dinner table, of course. However, the problem is that most children will never have that kind of opportunity. So then what happens to their children, and the generation after that?
Before long, no one will understand what it truly is to be an American. They will not understand the Constitution, or what was sacrificed to make it. They will not know how their government works, which is a shame because the United States government is a miracle that has lasted almost two hundred and fifty years. This behavior is not what the founders of this nation laid out for their posterity.
So, instead of following what everyone else does, teens need to feel a push within themselves to better comprehend politics. This will light a fire among students everywhere to care about this country. Parents need to enforce the rule that at the dinner table, everyone must discuss what is going on in the world. They need to stress to their children the importance of the political machine. Instead of watching mindless television, they should require their children to watch an hour of a news channel each night before bed, so that, even at a young age, children will have an appreciation for politics. Parents should ask their children what they know, and then tell them something new, each day. Teachers, instead of asking and expecting students to know, should explain in great detail recent events and what and whom they affect.
The main problem in today's society lies not within America itself, but Americans’ view of it. People have never truly pushed teens to understand government to the best of their ability, and it is affecting the country as a whole. Whether the idea appeals to most or not, politics go hand in hand with nearly everything in life. They correspond extremely to morals so much that most political beliefs actually rely on one’s moral standing. They play a role in people’s daily lives, in just about everything they do. Thomas Jefferson once argued, “If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done”. Teens do not know it, but they are in desperate need of an adjustment concerning the government, and parents as well as teachers need to accept that challenge, before it is too late.