Political socialization: who cares?

CJ Brown, Writer

Of all of the many stresses of high school, politics is probably in the back of one’s mind. However, adopting a political ideal is very important for the start of one’s early adult life. David Rider, the current AP politics, government and US history at BFA, just finished up a chapter in his class. The chapter was about Political Socialization, the influences behind the political ideals of people.

“I think that involvement is critically important to the future of our country, there’s no question about it,” Rider said. The “millennials” are the future of this country. In order to keep honest politicians in spots of leadership, one must be involved in the government.

Family is possibly one of largest influences of people’s political views. According to the National Social Science Association, 97.5% of high school students follow after their parents.

“There are other factors that include: gender, level of education that we just talked about, your faith life if you’re involved in a faith community, religion. But even things like your geographic location in the country,” Rider said.

Based on many different factors, one’s political views evolve over their life. For instance, somebody who lost a loved one from suicide with a handgun would be more wary of gun right laws.

“Most Americans believe that they are laws on the books today that prevent convicted felons or people with violent histories or people who have been hospitalized for mental illness that those people cannot purchase a gun, and that is just not true. Private gun sales occur all the time in America, in which no background checks are conducted,” Rider said.

Because the lack of education of the various policies in America, most voters vote off what they heard in the news, rather than becoming more educated about the issue and digging for more info.  This is a trend that has to stop if Americans would like to keep favorable policies in act.

Although news sources are supposed to be as least biased as possible, often news media is somewhat opinionated. For instance, FOX News has been known to be much more conservative than CNN, which is known for their democratic views. One watching from an early age might have an altered view on their news because of the opinions pushed into the reporting.

School is also a huge factor as to whether students start to follow politics. School is designed to teach students about America and the various laws the country has, as well as learning to love America. Becoming educated on the rights Americans’ have is huge in discovering what political party could favor.

The “Gender Gap” in voting is described as differences in voting between men and women voters.  In 2012, 55% of women voted for Barack Obama and only 45% voted for Mitt Romney. The leap between the two vote totals signifies the favor of democratic candidates in women, whereas men tend to be more conservative. This has been a trend since the beginning of political parties.

With the arrival of the new generation into the political world, one must keep in mind of the various components of Political Socialization. The future of America’s leaders rely on: proper education of the issues, as well as checking the validity of news. In America, the choice of the next leader is up to the voters, and the voters alone.