Politically Pitiful

Politically Pitiful


The class of 2024 is now partially responsible for the future leader of America, but should we be trusted?

Most of the young voters at Knoch are merely vessels for their parents’ political beliefs: we watch the news channels they have on the television, we hear what they feel about certain people or legislation, we know which side they are on during the Thanksgiving arguments.  

It’s only natural that we do what they do seeing as they are usually the most influential people in our lives and we look to them for advice, but lest we forget, these are the same adults who have lied to us about Santa Claus and told us that our art projects were worthy of hanging on the fridge.  Thank you mom, but let’s not kid ourselves here…

The youth vote is one that is sought after by all politicians, but one that hasn’t exactly been consistent or reliable with only about half the qualified voters actually voting in the 2020 presidential election.  The scale for voter age has slid down to be more comprised of Millennials and Gen Z.  Entering 2024 with a presidential election waiting for us in November, knowing that the same peers that I see in the halls everyday and I will be eligible to vote–the students that view a Spikeball match as the end-all-be-all– it makes me question if we have really earned the right or have the proper qualifications.

“Students typically follow the beliefs their parents hold without researching and exploring different opinions for themselves,” said senior Alicyn Rhodes.  “I don’t think that they are exposed to enough of the world around them to come to an educated conclusion on how to vote.”

Senior Hunter Essary agreed and said, “Almost all of the people our age just vote for who their parents tell them to.”

Saxonburg has obvious political leanings, and that is all that a majority of the seniors here have had to live with.  No matter where you are raised, you are more inclined to have the same viewpoints as those people because you don’t want to be the rogue kid against an army of adults screaming at you, condemning you for your own ideas.  This is the situation that thousands upon thousands of young voters across our nation face.

Knoch is no stranger to political discussions taking place in school, and it is an extremely polarizing topic with little middle ground to be found.

Essary puts it as there being, “Heavy leanings, split between Democrat and Republican.  Most of the time it’s easy to tell who’s who.”

This is only amongst the politically active or interested people; for the most part, it seems that there are not so many “moderates” per say, but rather just apathetic people.  

“There’s a mixture with people who aren’t as involved because they don’t really care,” said senior Natalie Anderson, “and people who revolve their whole lives and personality around government.” 

“I honestly don’t think people really care or know enough about current events to care,” said Rhodes, further backing up Anderson’s claim.  

To be fair, the world of politics is a dizzying and intimidating one to get into, especially when you hear about all the arguing and animosity involved.  

English and sports literature teacher Mr. Miller pointed at our own self-absorption as a cause for the lack of interest in our nation’s circumstances.

“I think too many students are too involved in their own bubbles,” said Mr. Miller.  “Too many people are too ignorant, either by choice or circumstance.”

Choose the candidate who will do the most good for the most people.

— Mr. Miller

In school, we focus more on what has already happened instead of what is currently happening, but current politics should be as much of a subject that has to be learned like any other.  

“I don’t know anything about politics,” said Essary.  “But, I’m smarter than most people that can vote,” (humble king).  

Being involved in politics doesn’t make anyone more or less smart on paper, but it does make a difference when it comes to voting and making informed decisions.  In the 2020 election, I had to explain the concept of the electoral college to an older student who was confused how Biden won because “the map was all red.”

This only fueled my fear of the upcoming voters.  Although I like to think that this experience only represents the minority of students here, this is the same school that had a sink stolen by its own students.

Even though I think that we should all try to educate and inform ourselves more of the current events in our country, I can’t blame the ignorance that most people have.  We are just in high school, we haven’t had the opportunity to see other walks of life or confront people in different living conditions than us.  Some at Knoch haven’t gone farther than any adjacent state.  It is unfair to expect a bunch of 18 year olds to prioritize presidents and debates and laws when we haven’t been affected by any of it.

For some grandfatherly advice, Mr. Miller recommends you, “Find trusted sources of news and analysis. Think about your core values. Think about the values that this country really tries to preach.”

It is my belief that either the voting age should be raised or there should be more of an effort to educate the students of America, but that is not the world we live in.  It has been made our responsibility to care or at least be just a bit competent in our executive branch.  Voting is a privilege, and it would be a shame to not take advantage of it.  

So, to all my fellow current or soon-to-be 18 year olds, take a scroll through the apple news feed, register to vote, and come November, go to those polls and submit your vote for that sticker if nothing else!


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About the Contributor
Lara Ejzak
Lara Ejzak, Editor-in-Chief
Oh hey! My name is Lara Ejzak, and I am a super (cool) senior here at Knoch. I am involved in tennis, German club, history club, and Youth and Government.  I am still making atrocious puns and baked goods that just don't quit! I write articles about school and whatnot, but my specialty is any article that allows me to spew my opinion everywhere because I am always right.  I'm a sucker for a good mango or raspberry, and I am still out on a hunt to find the best apples, so hit me up if you know of any.

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