By Abbey Masters | Staff Writer
Across America 138,884,643 people cast their votes in the 2016 presidential election, and although most Pearce students were not eligible to vote this time, they are developing their own political opinions that will have an important impact on the next election.
Now, more than ever, students are able to keep up with politics at the touch of a button. With apps such as Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, students can instantly submerge themselves in the world of politics, and share their opinions as well.
Sophomore Jaren Lewinson sees both advantages and disadvantages of social media. “I think it is really cool how social media has created a platform that engages young people. It allows us to start forming opinions at a young age, but it can also be biased and spread information that is not always true,” he said.
“Social Media can be a bit one-sided, I don’t think both sides are represented equally,” sophomore Gabby Villard said. “Apps like Twitter have definitely driven a wedge between people when it comes to politics. I feel like there are two sides, those who support Trump and those who don’t.”
Students each have unique reactions to the election of President Trump and will be affected in many different ways by his plans and policies for America.
Gabby is not sure how President Trump’s election will affect the country. “Our country will either improve and unify, or be destroyed by it, and nothing in between,” she said.
Sophomore Lily Winkelmann believes that the election of President Trump represents regression rather than progress. “The election says so many things about our country. I believe it is a setback because we were more progressive when it comes to things like gay marriage and women’s rights,” she said.
Its obvious that this election drew a line in the sand for some, and even led to disagreements, according to Lily.
“Of course people have talked about the election, especially on Twitter,” Lily said. “I have even seen people turn against each other, but the good thing about things like Twitter is that people always seem to be there to stick up for each other because you are connected to a bunch of like-minded thinkers.”
Lily then added that she doesn’t believe that President Trump is setting a good example for students using his large social media platform, but his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has said that social media has advantages for a leader.
“Donald Trump’s Twitter account is the greatest bully pulpit that has ever existed. In 140 characters, he can change the direction of a Fortune 100 company, he can notify world leaders and he can also notify government agencies that business as usual is over,” Mr. Lewandowski said.
Sophomore Bella Dane agrees. “Trump is a terrible example on social media. He is extremely xenophobic and a bully. He needs to show more respect towards others,” she said.
Some may argue that Trump is xenophobic, or dislikes people from other countries, but the struggle with racism and equality existed long before the election. Jaren argues that President Trump is not responsible for the racism attributed to his name.
“I think that there has always been racism and controversy in America, but now it has a platform,” Jaren said. “I’m not sure how Trump’s election will affect our neighborhood. Only time will tell. We just all need to hope for the best.”
“Racism existed long before President Trump’s election, and although I don’t agree with his Muslim ban, I do like the positive things he is doing such as helping veterans, because so many of them are homeless,” Gabby said.
“All students have their own opinion, because they all have a unique background that has shaped the way they are today,” sophomore Emma Young said. “That is what makes our school so great. Regardless of who is president today, we are given the opportunity to be the ones that shape the future.”