Column: Basis for political arguments should not be influenced by parents

Janica Kaneshiro | Staff Writer

I hear it far too often — the heated political debates that usually spark from some unintelligible phrase like, “our president sucks.”

As I sat in class, I heard two boys in particular go at it. One was a Democrat and the other a Republican. All heads were turned towards the pair as they battled it out. Onlookers watched with uncertain eyes as though they themselves didn’t know where their loyalties lie. I too, turned to see what I could gather from this quarrel — I’m always in for a good debate, but I found myself turning back around deciding that neither of them were credible. It couldn’t be a debate because neither of them was arguing their own point of view.

When I looked around, I realized everyone’s eyes were still turned towards the boys. What were these people doing? Clearly these boys know nothing about politics. Does nobody else see that each argument they throw out begins and ends with “my dad said” or “my mom said?”

I realized this was a predicament as I watched these boys feeling so sure that they were right just because Mom and Pop said so at the dinner table. Despite what we thought when we were five, Mom and Dad aren’t always right. Well, people who use the “my mom said” in an argument still have that kindergarten mentality.

Seriously?

As teens, we’re constantly begging for more freedom from our parents: going out on the weekends, taking the car to the mall, staying out all night, you know: the norm. And yet we quote them in our arguments. If we want to be treated like adults, we need to start forming differing opinions—like adults do.

Being only 16, I understand that nobody here has a major in political science. I know I still have a lot to learn, but if you’re going to have a big enough opinion to have a debate about it, why wouldn’t you gather your information through other outlets? Forming an opinion is from research, not by parroting what parents are saying at dinner.

So we’re teenagers, and we rely on Mom and Dad for many things: gas money, help with the math homework, I mean, heck, a place to sleep at night. Let’s be honest we rely on them for most things, but does that mean that they should spoon feed us our political views? Certainly not.