In my last blog, I gave you advice on how we can be increasingly active and engaged when regarding local, national and international politics.
Many of you probably thought that the concept of the blog was superfluous and redundant. Some of you might even think that we, the youth of America, are sufficiently politically informed as it is.
I hope you’re right.
To get an idea of how politically informed Pine View students are, I decided to interview five anonymous students of varying grade levels to determine their level of knowledge in local, state-wide, national and international politics.
Starting with preparatory questions like, “How often do you read/consult the news or other political forms of media,” I slowly progressed into more intense content-based questions.
Question One (preparatory): How often do you read/consult the news or other forms of political media?
Student One: “Every day. Usually in the morning while I eat and right before I go to sleep, and then during the day when I want to know what’s going on.”
Student Two: “A few times a day.”
Student Three: “I check the news at least three times a day and also when I get notifications on my news apps.”
Student Four: “Not often but sometimes.”
Student Five: “Every day.”
Analysis: For the most part, students, if representative of the students I interviewed, seem to be okay with taking the initiative to learn and read about politics. I like that!
Question Two (local): Can you name two candidates running for Sarasota County Commissioner?
Student One: “Christian Ziegler? Bridget Ziegler’s husband, right?”
Student Two: “Christian Ziegler. I’m not sure about a second candidate.”
Student Three: “Alan Maio and Wesley Anne Begs? I’m not sure about Wesley.”
Student Four: “I have no idea.”
Student Five: “I don’t know.”
Analysis: Not quite as promising. Everybody who guessed did so correctly, though!
Question Three (state-wide): According to political analysts, why did Ron Desantis win the republican nomination for governor of Florida?
Student One: “Donald trump’s endorsement? I’m not sure.”
Student Two: “He’s loyal to Trump.”
Student Three: “Was it because of the Trump endorsement?”
Student Four: “I really don’t know.”
Student Five: “Trump endorsed him.”
Analysis: Correct! Most political analysts believe Desantis won the nomination because of his close ties with Trump, something which greatly appealed to Florida’s ruby-red Republican voters.
Question Four (national): The latest import tariff imposed by President Trump was directed at which country/region of the world?
Student One: “China! 中国!!”
Student Two: “China, right?”
Student Three: “I’m going to guess China but that might be wrong. If it isn’t China, it’s probably Canada or Mexico because of all of that NAFTA drama.”
Student Four: “China.”
Student Five: “I not sure of the latest one.”
Analysis: This might have been too easy of a question, but everybody who guessed answered correctly!
Question Five (international): Who won the presidential election in the Maldives today?
Student One: “I don’t know. He beat the incumbent, though.”
Student Two: “Ibrahim Solih? I don’t know how to spell it.”
Student Three: “Solih if I’m not wrong.”
Student Four: “I have literally no idea.”
Student Five: “I haven’t the slightest idea. I need to start paying attention to the news.”
Analysis: Wow. I’m really happy about this one. Props to Students one, two and three!
Question Six (students): Do you think students need to be more involved in politics? Is the level of interest okay as it stands?
Student One: “More involved!! Not okay!!”
Student Two: “Yeah, students should be more involved in politics considering its consequences will affect our future.”
Student Three: “I think that of course everyone should be aware, but if you aren’t super into politics or don’t like it, you shouldn’t be forced to be involved.”
Student Four: “I think the level of student involvement in politics should be dependent on their interest, but I think students should be more interested in politics as it becomes increasingly relevant and important in the world we live in.”
Student Five: “Yes. We need more involvement!”
Analysis: I tend to agree with the majority on this one. Politics matter!
Final Thoughts: I’m hopeful that Pine View students are informed, but regardless of the knowledge displayed by our prosperous students, there’s undeniably room for improvement in terms of political knowledge both at Pine View and across the political sphere; a well-accepted philosophy across the political aisle.