Pro Politics in School

Over the past couple of weeks newspapers and websites have been filled with election related information. One would think that with this sort of mass media attention, the majority of the American people would be experts on the agendas of both presidential candidates. I don’t just mean knowing the take Fox News has on Barack Obama or that MSNBC has on Romney. What I am referring to is the ability of each individual to think for themselves and understand why they have certain views on each issue. Instead, it seems as if the American people are content to sit back and blindly follow the heavily biased teachings of certain TV stations. A prime example of this could have been seen while watching the political debates. As opposed to actually arguing about the issues, the candidates, especially Mitt Romney, seemed to be content with serving the American people a big plate of political poppycock. Before, if a legitimate presidential candidate mentioned a 20% tax cut all across the board, they would have to have a clear and definite plan to prove it, as opposed to glossing over the important details in order to try and please as many people as possible. The fact that we now need a team of political “fact-checkers” to verify or debunk what a certain candidate says only proves that we are moving in an undesirable direction. To me this is the most pressing issue of the current election and it is something that should be corrected as soon as possible. Perhaps the best place for this correction to take place is in high schools. Schools are a place of education, an environment where factual information should facilitate the formation of legitimate opinions. This should apply to all topics, especially that of government and politics. Now I understand that there will be dozens of opinions floating around and that in certain towns or cities there may be a heavy leaning towards a certain political agenda. The idea of mixing different opinions and being forced to understand what you are trying to say, however, is the very thing that is going to create a more knowledgeable American public. Honestly, if we, as the American people, continue to live in our sheltered, media biased corners, then we might as well do away with the vote and decide the president based on who can come up with the most funding for ads and media promotions. Now I understand some people worry that politics in school would foster unnecessary animosity between students, but high school isn’t meant to serve as a protective bubble from the outside world. In fact, high school is meant to be a stepping stone before students enter a college or the workforce, environments where people will definitely be expressing opinions. Moreover if people are able to learn how and what government is in high school, then the number of completely radical and ludicrous statements will substantially decrease. This in turn will help make the American people more educated and thus allow for our country to progress forward.