‘Political Heritage’ Runs Rampant

PASSING THE TORCH: Political ideals are often passed down through generations, a practice that could hold some controversy.

PASSING THE TORCH: Political ideals are often passed down through generations, a practice that could hold some controversy.

Peter Visser, Staff Writer

People often regard their heritage very highly. For many, heritage guides them throughout their daily activities.

Whether it be how they worship, the clothes they wear, or even their name; heritage appears to be the driving force in many cultures; however, heritage is much more than family traditions. It appears that even political views can be passed down through the generations. One family may be strictly Republican while the other strictly Democrat. If a family member chooses to follow a different set of ideals, they are often shunned from gatherings and disconnected from the family altogether. In order to get a grasp on the idea of political Heritage, MS surveyed 100 SVHS students on their political heritage. The results were hardly surprising.

NOT SO SURPRISING: The graph above compiles all of the data from the recent ‘Political Heritage’ survey conducted by Peter Visser. “Despite my best efforts the results were as I expected. Kids do what their parents tell them and that’s just how things go.”

Eighty-seven percent of the students surveyed claim to share the same political views as their parents. Typically parents attempt to raise their children the best way they know, this includes imparting everything they know. Politics can be deeply connected to emotion and tradition. It makes sense that a parent would groom his or her child with the political views he or she sees as acceptable. But is forcing children to adopt parental political views an ethical practice?

One of the most interesting facets of the small survey is that 15% of students reported feeling pressure by family members to adhere to similar political ideals. That figure is deceiving large. Fifteen percent reported that if they do not hold similar ideals with their parents, they might experience serious repercussions. While there is merit to teaching children values, force feeding political ideas eliminates the child’s desire to explore and experience ideas for themselves.

“Obviously setting ground rules is an important aspect of parenting, but if parents start stripping their children of their right to an opinion, then I think we have a problem,” said junior Johnny Hunting

A  trait that characterizes American politics is party association. Essentially, if someone is a Republican they generally adhere to conservative viewpoints and will balk at considering the other side. The same goes for Democrats and liberal thinking. In spite of this,  76% of survey participants claimed to have conducted further research when presented with a subject they did not agree with. This is surprising considering that 69% of participants have experienced strong emotions when given disagreeable information. Perhaps there is hope for American politics.

Heritage plays an important cultural role. It defines a person’s roots. Heritage can exist in every piece of one’s daily life, even politics. It appears as though that the majority of teens continue to share the same political views as their parents, and likely their grandparents’. Political heritage is simply an older generation influencing the younger. Eventually the young will influence the next in turn.

While some believe that a line should be drawn in a parent’s influence on their children, enforcing that point would prove a legislative nightmare. What is the best thing one can do to form independent opinions? Simply consider the opposing side.