Editorial: Why can’t we be friends: Why we should talk more about politics

Politics, a word that is seen as a cause for tension and turmoil. A lot of people seek to avoid this topic whether it be in the workplace, schools or family. It has become almost a “forbidden” topic. Being knowledgeable about general ideology, as well as the political state of your federal and local government is extremely important. When the general public is ignorant of politics, it causes chaos.
Right now the senior class is close to being able to vote in their first presidential election, this is the most important time to talk about politics. Political conversations can prevent so many of the problems that are feared when thinking of the word “politics”. If more people start talking there is a possibility of decreasing the division because of ignorance, education in the general youth and finally starting conversations without as much hate and intolerance.
When people are involved in politics and actively discuss what is happening in their government, they spread information and knowledge to a wider audience which helps hold our officials accountable for their actions.
It is especially important for young people to be active in the discussion of politics. People that are between the ages of 18 and 25 are the least likely to vote. This is probably due to young people not being informed about the issues happening all around us.
As high schoolers, we are about to venture into adulthood. That means that we are about to be flung into a world that can often be very intimidating. It is imperative that

we stay up to date on the people who make decisions for us every day so we can make sure our representatives are actually representing us.
We should remain strong in our personal beliefs, but it is also important to be open-minded about other’s opinions because there are many issues that are not black and white. Being able to talk with your peers, friends and family is very important when you are still developing opinions on certain topics.
Participation in government is extremely important. Not only is it our civic responsibility to engage in the ever-present voting process, but it’s also a chance to transform the lives of ourselves and the people around us. If you advocate for a change in the country that you reside in, then there is no better way to support your cause than to vote for political candidates that are fighting for what you particularly believe in.
With voting, it’s important to understand how government processes work and to be educated about the candidates that you’ll be voting for. The more educated voters that the country has, the more prosperous our government could potentially be. That being said, it’s important to pay attention to political developments as they happen.
This is especially true for teenage high school students. Many students often claim that they’re too young for political interest, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The voting age of 18 approaches faster than people realize. It’s important to become educated early on in order to gain information that will inform your future vote. If not, all that we’ll gain is another uneducated voter.
We live in a communication-based society that heavily relies on the internet.

We are a generation that has open access to new and different ideas. We should be encouraging the open expression of those ideas.
Nowadays, there are few credible sources for information when it comes to opposing viewpoints, there are so few, that even news channels like CNN and Fox are inaccurate of their portrayal of either side of politics. Whether hyping their own side or tearing down the other, the only real way to get some sort of accurate information is to have a stable conversation where you discuss your opinions. Try to have a talk without insults, generalizations about the opposing side, or not even acknowledging what the opposing view is talking about.
Respectable, calm behavior like this would, in turn, encourage more conversations that can help clear up misinformation and locate a middle ground so the huge division between people can be mended so the entire idea of politics doesn’t come off an ugly toxic mess.
Silencing bad ideas leaves the space open for more radical ideas to take their place. Allowing people to talk about whatever they believe allows other people to decide for themselves that those ideas aren’t good.
Refusing to discuss politics creates internalized hatred between sides because neither side can be mature and have a civil discussion about the political landscape. This leads to the effect seen after the 2016 election, where both sides of the issue demonize each other.
This has led to two government shutdowns during the Trump presidency. A “no-compromise” attitude to politics is how things like this happen and that attitude is entirely caused by a refusal to discuss issues.
The solution to all of this is simply to discuss political matters. This will allow for more compromise, progress and understanding. Having more frequent civil conversations about political topics allows everyone to be better informed about topics and, though they may not necessarily agree, understand those with differing beliefs.
In this day in age, having a civil conversation about controversial political hot topics such as abortion, immigration, political party association, climate change or even our President can be practically impossible with all the tension surrounding it. Many feel as though their opinions are the only opinions that exist, plugging their ears to the other side of the conversation completely.
The danger in doing so is tremendous; without hearing opinions different from your own, perspective is lost.
Being able to understand, even without necessarily agreeing with the other side is crucial for broadening your mind to new ideas and thoughts. Sometimes the most significant “ah-ha moments” arise from listening to others and coming to new conclusions. Trapping yourself in a bubble with your opinions and your opinions only enclose you into a small box, stunting your ability to expand your knowledge and broaden your beliefs. Opening that box will open your mind to other thoughts, perspectives and ideas. You never know, you might just agree with someone you thought you would never agree with.