Family values shape political views

Jared Dean, In-studio Anchor

political perfection
Infographic by Jared Dean

The race for America’s next president is in full swing and so are the debates,  opinions, and arguments among peers. Both teachers and students alike have agreed and the results are in; the main source of an individual’s political opinions actually originate from one’s family.

Whether one is a Democrat or a Republican, it is clear to see that politics play a massive role in everyone’s daily life. They are a part of our paychecks, our identity and our beliefs.

Family Influence

History and government teacher Matthew Bergquist explained,“There’s all these forces at work creating who you are, you’re no unique special snowflake like your kindergarten teacher used to tell you. You’re made up of your family and your beliefs from your friends.”

Bergquist  added that there are many socialization factors contributing to an individual’s opinions and beliefs, but above all, one’s family will play the largest role in the opinions one holds. It may not always appear that way, but if one truly traces back where those beliefs originated, it almost always goes back to the family. This further shows evidence that family forms the person one will become.

Senior Will Bugbee and all of the other individuals interviewed agreed with Bergquist. Bugbee added, “My beliefs come from more than just my parents, they come from spiritual beliefs, mine and other’s opinions will come from morals as well.”

Bugbee added his parents are Republican and that is where he leans, his opinions are formulated on their own.

Candidate Critics

Everyone has something new and different to say about the four candidate’s, Bernie Sanders (D), Donald Trump (R),  Hillary Clinton (D), and Ben Carson (R).

Kathleen Ferguson U.S. Government and Policies and Practical Government teacher made it clear that as a government teacher she tries not to let her political biases show so her students can have their own opinions.

She did however say this about Republican candidate Donald Trump: “He’s certainly very confident. He has a lot of experience in the business world and I wonder how that will translate into government. In a company you can just tell people what to do, but as president you have to work with all sides if you really want to get anything done, and I’m not sure how well he would do with that. So I’m not sure if his business acumen will translate well to the presidency. I don’t know though, I think he is an interesting candidate.”

Ferguson added that Trump believes that he will help the economy to grow faster, but because voters don’t have those concrete plans yet, they will have to look at the detail, how he could do that and how he could pull Congress with him.

Junior Corri Gardner is known for her strong political standpoints. She writes a political blog and is educated and informed on the matters of politics.

Gardner said, “I think that our generation is so infatuated by him because he has a lot of money, he is all over the media, he has a big mouth, and our generation just loves entertainment. We love social media and  popularity and that is why he is leading the poles. Our generation is so important because we will be able to vote next year and Trump is good at drawing their attention.”

It is important to me that a president has experience, knowledge of the system, not only intelligent but well educated and are articulate, and someone who has proven leadership skills.”

— Kathleen Ferguson

She added that his policies on illegal immigration would possibly mean that families might be torn apart and that people like the idea of Trump without really knowing what he stands for. She also mentioned that people may not know the potential danger Trump could be and that people need to be informed and not just paying attention to who is all over the media.

Gardner talked about Hillary Clinton, saying that she is a good role model for young women and she handles everything in a very “classy way” and that Clinton is assuring the people that healthcare is not just going to be “ripped away”.

Republican candidate Ben Carson is a former neurosurgeon who has seemed to have caught people’s attention. Bergquist said, “I think he represents almost a protest vote. He receives a lot of respect for his PhD, he speaks well, he is very intelligent and obviously he is very knowledgeable on healthcare issues. I think he feels that will get him a lot of attention because he can speak with some authority on the healthcare system.”

Carson has seemed so have accidentally started some controversy because of his comments on how certain religious groups couldn’t be president. In his interview with Meet the Press, Carson was targeted with a question about religious positions in office, he said that one’s faith should be “consistent with the values and principals of America,” and that “If it fits within the realm of America and fits the constitution then no problem”. He was then directly asked about Muslims in office. He said that he wouldn’t advocate for a Muslim in office, but congress was a “different story”.  He said that it would also depend on who they were and what their policies are no matter what faith they were.

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has also seemed to accumulate lots of attention. He is appealing to young voters, but also has received attention because he has said that he is a socialist. Bergquist said, “In America the term socialist is viewed as negative… I think he will have a hard time running because of that label… I think it will be interesting to see who will bring up the ‘S’ word.”

Bergquist added that the economic views that are given by Sanders seem to have been shied away from by the conservatives and that both Sanders and Trump form a kind of “revolt” because they are both so far out of the range of the mainstream positions of these parties.

“It is important to me that a president has experience, knowledge of the system, not only intelligent, but well educated and are articulate, and someone who has proven leadership skills,”  said Ferguson.