Staff Editorial: Why We Don’t Talk About Politics

Rambler Staff

There is one topic at school that students and instructors tend to avoid like the plague: politics. Even in the Rambler, we rarely cover this subject in fear of publishing something that is controversial or that creates problems around the school. There are a number of reasons and examples backing this fear but the only way to understand it completely, though, is to break it apart.

The Rambler staff feels that part of the problem stems from people and their passionate political stances on certain issues. People are so set on their political beliefs that any disagreement quickly becomes a verbal sparring match. We try so hard to convince people that we are right and they are wrong, but people don’t easily change their minds, especially when it comes to a matter such as politics. Holding strong to your beliefs isn’t a bad thing, of course, but people would rather argue about politics than respect people’s different opinions and discuss it in a civil manner.

Right now, in the world of politics, there is an ‘us vs. them’ mentality that bars any meaningful conversation. Both sides believe that politics is about right and wrong but it isn’t. Some people, especially the younger generations, don’t realize that politics isn’t about deciding who gets to benefit and what group suffers. Politics should be more about compromising and finding middle ground that makes both sides happy. But since we can’t compromise on anything, we choose meaningless argument instead.

Yet another half of the problem begins and ends with social media. Anonymity emboldens those with strong opinions, knowing they won’t face consequences for starting an argument where neither side is really winning. Often these debates escalate into nothing but insults back and forth, prompting others to join in. Examples can be found on, say, a Facebook group in a small town or arguments on twitter. It can be bad enough that family members might cut ties with relatives or life-long friends. Politics can spark such intense conversations that we forget our political beliefs do not make the whole of our person. We sometimes let politics dominate who we are and it shows tenfold online. Not only that, but media sources tend to downplay or embellish important political happenings, leaving the masses greatly misinformed.

Why don’t we talk about politics in schools, online, or on the Rambler? We believe that there is too much emotional involvement, too much negative mentality, and not enough free knowledge for anyone to have a civil discussion on politics. In this article we have answered why, but it is up to the community to solve the how and remove the stigma around political talk.

We encourage next year’s Rambler staff to publish more stories relating to politics, whether local or national. We also ask that any political stories published on the Rambler cover both sides of the political spectrum so that everyone gets fair representation in the media. We know that we are a small high school newspaper and that we don’t get nearly as much viewership as CNN or Fox, but that doesn’t mean we should be afraid to write about controversial subjects. And for everyone else, we ask that people stop engaging in meaningless arguing. Instead of saying that someone’s opinion is wrong, ask them why they think they are right or why their opinion is what it is. Understanding is necessary to start change.

Rambler Staff Vote:

10 agree, 1 against