Politics in School and Friendships

Steven Grigereit, Opinion editor

Politics may be considered one of the the most divisive forces in the United States. Since the 2016 election, friendships have been ruined all because of the belief of right and wrong. The friendships that are still standing seem to be due to politics being avoided. But why is it such a big deal?

The country we live in is now divided. There seems to be no middle ground anymore, it’s either left or right- Democrat or Republican.

The election of Donald Trump seems to have changed politics forever. A new standard was set. The person that seemed to be the most radical candidate was representing the right.  And Hillary Clinton represented everything that conservatives hated about the left. So why does all of this have such an impact in everyday student relationships? Well, like their parents, many young adults chose a side; and almost every time it is dependent on the students peers or family.

When you live in a household that is as passionate as many of the households are, to be different may be frowned upon. This can be seen in school as well.

Being young adults, most of the time, a filter is lost and others’ feelings aren’t necessarily taken into consideration; This can be magnified in school. Students generally hang out with people that they get along with. When a student in a certain group has a different belief, it becomes very easy for everyone else in the group to target the student in a joking manner. This is why students generally have the same ideas about things since they embed ideas into each others heads that something is right or wrong.

In Royal Oak Michigan, middle school students, started chanting “build the wall” after the election, which caused some students to feel “threatened” and many parents to become upset. Yes, this is an extreme case, but it just shows the division politics cause. For the most part politics is just uncomfortable to talk about with other students, especially if students have opposing views.

The solution is as simple, avoid politics all together. If you feel that your political view could affect your relationship with someone then make it so that your view is unknown, by simply not talking about it. Or if it is brought up in a conversation try not to be too pushy or seem to extreme with your views even if you are.

It is good to have healthy conversations and debates, but when politics is taken into school and people feel as though they cannot be friends with someone with opposing views, a line has been crossed.