Staff Interview about Politics


Politics have always been an important facet in American history. With the ever shifting political landscape, we have yet to really look at how it has developed and changed throughout the years. This problem has been facilitated by an ever prevalent stigma of political discussion in schools. I hoped to rectify this issue with an interview with one of the faculty members within our school. They wished to remain anonymous and will go unnamed unless the individual says otherwise.


Q: What major change do you think politics has had in the last couple of decades?  


A: With the advent of the internet in 1983, and the subsequent development of websites being used as mediums for the transfer of knowledge/thought/information, the change has been drastic.


Q: Social media has had a major impact on how politicians can advertise their views and goals. Do you think this was a good change? Why or why not?  


A: Like many things, social media is not inherently bad or good in and of itself.   It has both advantages and disadvantages.   Intrinsic here is the motive behind how it is being used.   I appreciate the fact that we live in a country where freedom of speech has historically been protected.   While I do not agree with many things posted in social media or on particular sites, I would hate to see free speech shut down because of disagreement about issues.  When a person’s inherent rights are being violated….that is a different issue.   If freedom of speech is curtailed, those who are not currently ‘in power’ will be at a disadvantage.  


Q: Corruption is inherent in governments across the world and the US government is no exception. What do you think of the major companies influencing our policies and laws?  


A: Money has always talked, and there are companies on both sides of issues that lobby for their particular interests.   Ideally, the voice of the people would override company influence….but I’m not sure how you curtail that effectively.


Q: Do you think the country is more divided now than it was before?  


A: It certainly feels more polarized.  Social media has allowed people to change the tone of the conversation to levels that I would deem unhelpful and/or offensive.   That happens on both sides of the aisle.   We need to learn to care for one another and at the same time express our views with respect and reverence.

However, it needs to be acceptable that disagreement with another’s views does not equate to an infringement on their rights.   People are going to disagree about things…such is life.

However, all of this becomes liquid lava quite quickly when we start talking about specific issues, and it’s hard to cover these nuances in some generalized questions.


Q: Do you think politics impacts the mental health of students?  


A: It can, but I would hope it wouldn’t.  Students need to realize that they and their peers are in the process of formalizing their worldview, which will likely morph as they get older and tackle issues from a new perspective and/or understanding.   


Q: Do you think more political discussions need to be had in schools?  


A: Tough to say…


Adding to this last question, I do believe that discussing politics in school is an important issue; however, I see that there are inherent problems that arise. Students and even teachers are fearful of being ostracized for sharing their opinions. Our political system is so polarized now that it’s hard to not group people into being a Democrat or a Republican. Nevertheless, I find that there is a need to overcome this barrier, not ignore it. I think what needs to be realized is that a person’s ideology isn’t just black and white. Having more political discussion in school will help remove this divide.