Bonner Springs News

Finding my political voice

Alayna Dooley, Co Editor-In-Chief

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As this crazy election season has unfolded, it’s been impossible to escape the madness and angry rhetoric. It seemed like everywhere I went, people were talking about politics. But this was especially true in my home.

I remember listening to back-and-forth opinions of one of my brothers and my father about the merits or the downfalls of Hillary or Donald after the first presidential debate. They were both so passionate about their candidates, so I went into the room and listened to both arguments, yet I almost felt left out because I didn’t have anything to add.

I’ve wrestled with the question, “Where do I stand in this debacle?”, on many occasions since then. I am not 18, so I cannot vote, yet I feel it is my duty to weigh in. After all, the next president will be making decisions that will impact the next chapter in my life.

I’ve felt as if I were obligated to have the same burning red opinion as my father. And that, of course, is my struggle. How do you find your own political voice?

At one point in this battle, I found myself defending my father because I thought his opinion was right.

I was so confused as to why my brother was so passionate about a different candidate. I was certain that everyone in my family had the same opinion because that’s just the way we grew up.

My indecision followed me into my government class where we had to create our own government based on our own beliefs. I had to work in a group, and I found myself just repeating my father’s opinions. My classmates challenged me and I was dumbfounded because I didn’t have any context for my statements. No facts, no proof. What did I really believe?

I started with my brother; he had his own passionate opinions, and he was more than willing to argue with my father about them. I wanted to learn about the “blue side,” the other side. He told me he made a serious attempt to research the candidates online, so I did the same.

By the time I watched the other two debates, I found my own political voice, and it felt really good. I felt like I had taken a baby step into adulthood. I finally knew who I would support, regardless of my father’s opinion.

I was going to emulate the passion of my brothers and support the “blue side,” and it was okay that I had formed my political viewpoints all on my own. Even though my opinion isn’t the same as my father, I can still respect his views, while still being true to myself.

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Finding my political voice