Politics for teens

Graphic by Brian Hwu.

Graphic by Brian Hwu.

By Sarah Police
Staff Writer

It is a teacher’s most dreaded question: Why is this important? Teachers dread hearing the question, and if it does not come, they ponder what made the difference. Did they do something right?

Graphic by Brian Hwu.

Throughout the nation, some high school students remain uninformed about the outside world. They find subjects that do not relate to them meaningless and are more focused on other things. While some youths focus on the latest Katy Perry song, few others are focused on the presidential nomination. This situation is no different at Coppell High School.

“There are so many distractions in school and extracurricular activities, and I do not have time to keep up with everything,” senior Caroline Gibbons said. “I do think people are really caught up with trends to pay attention to the news.”

With the primaries fast approaching, students, particularly seniors, need to know significant facts about each of the candidates and how their proposed policies will affect them later on. High school students are the next generation of voters, taxpayers and lawmakers. And many students at CHS feel the path of our future is completely up to us.

“We are the next generation of voters, and who are you going to rely on if we cannot rely on ourselves?” senior Hasika Sarathy said.

Similarly, many teachers agree students need to show more concern about what will happen in the future.

“Policies are made every day that will affect them not just in college but beyond,” English teacher Susan Creighton said. “It will affect them when they get to buy a house, the choices they have for occupations, how they get to repay their college loans.”

With the world of technology expanding, source availability is growing as well. The Internet is making it increasingly easier for students to keep up with current events.

“I keep up (with politics) mainly online, and I try to look at as many news sources as possible,” junior Matt Shaw said.

However, some feel the information students are being fed may not be 100 percent straightforward.

“It has been proven that the network news is extremely biased toward the left. There was a study done a couple of years ago that did a survey of the political position not just of the reporters but the producers and the directors and everybody involved in a news show,” Creighton said. “ABC and CNN came out 85 percent Democrat while Fox news came out at 55 percent Democrat.”

While some of the information students research may be biased, many people believe it is particularly crucial for juniors and seniors to be well informed because they will be taking big steps into the world in the upcoming years.

“It is especially important for the upperclassmen to be informed because  they are at the age where they are closer to voting, and if they are informed about all of these issues, then they can make a good decision, and they can vote correctly and accordingly,” junior Jackie Suh said.

Others share the opinion that students, whether they can vote or not, need to remain involved in Coppell.

“They need to be involved initially on a local basis,” Creighton said. “Some politician once said all politics are local. And the meaning beyond that was the effect of what we do trickles up. In order to have a groundswell of support for any movement it has to start locally so you can see the impact nationally.”

The Republican candidates have been competing for the nomination for a number of months now, and some candidates have had old “ghosts” come out about them.

Controversies may hurt their campaigns because they show a lack of honest character.

“I would want a president to have a good moral character and not do the shady things like offer money to keep dirty secrets. I know everyone is human but there is a certain extent to how you should act if you have that role of power,” Suh said.

Before these scandals came out it looked as though Herman Cain was set to receive the Republican nomination. He has risen from a “nobody” to a potential presidential candidate in mere months. He has gotten a lot of Americans attention because he is a business man not a politician- which is exactly what many people think we need.

Cain has been flagging swarms of media attention through his controversial 9-9-9 plan. This will include a nine percent business tax, a nine percent national sales tax, and a nine percent individual flat tax.

Basically, the big way this will affect students in Texas is that our usual 8.25 percent tax will rise to nine percent. Some argue that this will hit the middle class hard while others feel that it will benefit the nation by getting rid of the debt the U.S. has.

Texas Governor Rick Perry has strong opinions about public education. He thinks if there is money sitting around then it should be spent on education instead of firing teachers or not having enough textbooks.

With the scandals coming out about Perry and Cain, there is also one main contender left from the Republican Party: Mitt Romney.

Like other candidates, Romney seems very focused on creating more jobs in America.

President Obama is most likely to get the nomination for the Democratic Party and will most likely be competing against Cain, Perry, Romney, or former Speech of the House Newt Gingrich. According to McClatchy-Marist poll, Obama has favor in 47 percent of America. But many people are concerned that he hasn’t done what he promised when he was first elected.

“In the beginning when Obama was running for president I was in favor of him just because I thought he would make change and I know he’s getting the troops out soon but it didn’t come as quickly as I would have liked it too,” Suh said. “I just don’t see any change from the past.”