Vista’s Political Socialization

Vista's Political Socialization

Alliya Esmael, Staff Writer

Throughout 2016 and 2017, young people all over the U.S. talked politics and participating in movements more than ever in the last 50 years.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Donald Trump was the elected 45th President of the United States. The election results sparked outrage; news outlets turned against each other, political conversations between strangers quickly turned to street fights, and some marriages broke.

However, this new wave of political involvement has influenced younger generations to form opinions independent from their parents, and it has even become a classroom discussion topic for students.

Vista del Lago High School has seen an increase in political involvement among students since the November election. “I definitely do not remember politics being part of everyday conversation my freshman year, or even my sophomore year of high school,” said senior Olivia Palermo. “I do think it is a good thing, though. Seeing students participate and trying to educate themselves about political issues makes me hopeful for our future leaders of this country.”

Students discuss politics in their writing, Socratic seminars, AP exams, student clubs on campus, and even in science classes.

“I remember watching documentaries in my science class about climate change, and then students would break out into discussion about the future of the earth, and how Trump isn’t doing enough to protect it,” said senior Josh Nielson.

“Students are definitely more engaged,” said Kelly Hillesland. “The progressive club, the feminist club, and the Young Republican club are all new to the campus in the last two years.” Despite some clubs holding opposing views from one another, the club’s participating students have remained civil and respectful toward one another.

“I think the main thing that drove many people to become more involved after the election was concern about what would happen under Trump,” said senior Sophie Moore, the president of Vista’s Feminist Club. “I think they had a need to make a difference that really wasn’t there for a lot of people under previous administrations.”

Teachers encourage that students try to make themselves more politically involved. In the last two years, it has become such a prevalent topic of discussion. Students coming together now and forming common opinions could reflect well on our leadership 40 years from now.