Political Independence as an Adolescent - Eres Croker

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

As adolescents, we are taught what is right and wrong by our parents. Typically, we do not have a valuable opinion in this subject. When it comes to politics, it feels almost impossible to be politically independent in my opinions when my family is critiquing my beliefs.

I see this issue a lot in the Gen-Z community. Many will rebel and be the exact opposite political party as their parents to prove a point. Others agree with their parents and some will agree but secretly have deeper beliefs that they are afraid to share.

The problem with political parties is that it absolutely divides us. I have seen relationships broken and chaos started due to the difference of opinion. In a perfect world, I would like to see everybody form their own opinion and not label themselves. If others don’t agree, then let them be.

Many get offended when people try to force their religion down others’ throats. Politics is the same thing. Each party discriminates and fights to show that they are better, and everyone should believe them or else they are in the wrong. The real issue is that people should be passionate about politics and their beliefs in order to see real change, but it shouldn’t be standing between everyone as a whole.

Some do not understand the term “divide and conquer” and that is causing the majority to walk blindly. The definition is as follows:

“To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition.”

Essentially, when our country is divided, we cannot stand together to fight for our rights. They can be taken away from us so easily. Politics is one of the best ways to do this. They cause chaos and division, which ultimately keeps us from uniting and being a powerful force.

The difficulty with finding your own political independence is in so many factors: location, family, influence, false news, and schooling. Location plays a role because different areas have a majority belief. Then if you don’t agree with the majority, you are automatically labeled as the opposite and, once again, “wrong”

Family comes into play most of the time because our opinions are determined by what beliefs we were raised with. As I started to get older and form my own beliefs, I felt extremely guilty when they didn’t resonate with my family and friends. I figured that I must be wrong because I am young.

Influence is a major role of social media. Depending on the people that you follow, if you look up to them as role models, your beliefs could change due to their influence. When you are following someone that is really inspiring and they post about politics, you will be tempted to go with what they are saying because of their influence.

False news and miseducation are very similar. A lot of the content that we see is filtered for our “protection”. This is why you may notice that the news won’t cover important things that are actually affecting us, or they blow something out of proportion to distract us from what’s really going on. Being young can make you feel less educated on politics, which is slightly true, but not a long-term issue. You have the ability to research from reliable sources and learn about non-biased truths and the information that the media doesn’t cover.

Lastly, schooling; Throughout school, you will be taught certain beliefs, but they do not get too harsh until high school and especially college. Therefore, it is important to properly educate yourself on political parties, presidents, history, etc. so you can stand true to your opinions and have the ability to have an educated debate.

The best way to deal with politics is to thoroughly research them on valid and non-biased websites and resources. This can be very hard to find, so make sure you dig deep. Check their facts and see if their sources are reliable as well. When it comes to political parties, I believe that we shouldn’t label ourselves. I am a free thinker and I agree with a little bit in every party. We are humans and our intelligence or value is not determined by if we are on the right or left.

I encourage you to find your beliefs. Allow yourself to think critically and let go of the influence in your life. Learn about every political party, see the use and understand why they feel that way. Forming your own opinion is one of the most important parts of life to be taken seriously. While you are young, educate yourself so that you can be prepared to fight for what’s right in the future.

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