We need to stay politically involved

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In the past few weeks the entire nation has been immersed in the drama concerning Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings and sexual assault accusations from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Our student body seems intrigued like never before. Rivaled only by the 2016 presidential election, I have never heard this much political discussion at school.

While one might expect these conversations to come up just in political science classes, I have heard multiple people discussing the hearings with their friends during lunch and passing periods.

While the nation struggles with how to go about this polarizing issue, we as high school students are in a unique place. We are, or close to, the ages that Ford and Kavanaugh were when the alleged assault took place. I believe this to be part of the reason the issue has resonated so deeply with students.

Many are unable to wrap their heads around the idea that something one did at a high school party could affect them more than thirty years later. Some are painting Kavanaugh as a confused teen who didn’t know better, and have attempted to minimize his ability to comprehend the severity of his actions.

Others believe that high school students are more than capable of understanding the impact of their actions. Many are worried about what message this would send to the country, especially young girls, if he is allowed on the Supreme Court despite being accused by three women of sexual misconduct.

In the past week, I have heard students arguing both sides of the issue. Although there are many reasons students are currently engaged in the issue, I believe it is important that we all stay engaged.

Throughout middle school I was interested in politics and always tried my best to stay up to date on political events.

I’m sure part of the reason for my interest was always wanting to seem more mature and keep up with my older sisters, but deep down I knew these issues had importance.

Although not everyone wanted to show off to their older siblings, I thought everyone at least understood the importance of being informed.

One day in class when a classmate told me she didn’t care who the president was because it didn’t affect her. I remember standing there stunned and shocked at her genuine indifference as to who the president was and I was unable to formulate a response.

This memory has always stuck with me, but not until recently was I able to fully understand it.

As students who live in a privileged area, many of the national issues don’t affect our day to day lives. Sure, we might be upset or angry when we see a news story about a certain national crisis, but more often than not we are able to move on, because the issues rarely affect our own lives.

Regardless of how the rest of Kavanaugh’s confirmation process plays out, as students, I believe it is important to maintain this political interest. It is necessary that we continue to care.

According to The Washington Post, 43 percent of eligible voters did not vote in the 2016 presidential election. As the next wave of voters, we have the ability to change that number, to make the role of  president be a reflection of more than 57 percent of Americans.

This change only occurs though if we continue to stay informed.

I know it can sometimes be difficult to read the news, as we can be left feeling hopeless after reading about the monstrosities taking place in the world, but we still need to.

So however you feel about Kavanaugh and his eligibility or lack thereof to be a Supreme Court Justice, allow yourself to stand strongly in support of your beliefs, because regardless of where you stand on the issue, having an educated position is better than being indifferent.

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