Partisanship is no excuse for disrespecting beliefs

Democrat and Republican logos

By Eden Ovadia

Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC) is a school with over 4,600 students from a variety of different backgrounds. Somehow, however, political discussions are extremely limited on campus; and when they do occur, political ideologies seem to favor the left almost entirely. This is understandable, as California is generally a Democratic state. Even so, where is the representation for the other political beliefs?

Especially at GHC, there is little representation from more conservative students whose attitudes towards political ideologies differ from those of the majority of their classmates and Californians in general.

This lack of representation illustrates the widespread American tendency to disapprove of those who take part in one political party over their own. A recent poll taken by the Pew Research Center revealed that between 2004 and 2014, the Democrats and Republicans have become severely more ideologically divided with people choosing to be a part of either strictly the left or strictly the right. The same organization conducted another poll which revealed that about 38 percent of Democrats see Republicans as being a threat to the nation’s well being and 43 percent of Republicans think the same about Democrats. People tend to be associated with those that share similar beliefs and criticize those of different political parties. This is evident all over the United States, especially in our current political climate.

Like our nation, our school has reached a point where some students are making their peers too uncomfortable to express what they believe in if it strays from the majority opinion.

Take the planning for the campus’ very own Democracy Day, a day meant to encourage people to register to vote. Some students revealed that they felt discomfort in the way other students spoke about political parties.

“I went to some of the planning for Democracy Day and the others there had explicitly states their significant distaste of conservatives,” senior Shayan Moshtael said.

Due to the clear level of disgust the student expressed towards those with conservative beliefs, Moshtael left the meeting with the friend and did not return to participate in the speeches for Democracy Day.

There needs to be a higher level of respect from GHC’s student population when it comes to sharing political ideologies. There is only a limited representation of beliefs being spread and students are failing to understand and learn the truth and different opinions. It is wrong to let negative stereotypes about political party attributes dominate one’s beliefs. We must give all students, regardless of their political beliefs, the platforms and respect they deserve. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing, but first we must hear the other side to know if we disagree.

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