The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media


Politics Colliding With Conversations

With 2020 being an election year, politics surrounds many topics. Not all of these topics necessarily begin with politics but end up down that road anyway.
Olivia Gerhardt
Those who discuss human rights are well aware of the political issues that come along with it. With some many colliding thoughts and opinions that differ for every political party discussion of significant topics might take a back seat. Knowing how to keep serious political issues out of important human rights discussion can help give light to what really needs discussion.

The use of the words “right” and “left” can be used in many different contexts. They are adjectives, but they are also nouns, and occasionally adverbs as well. Being “right” in the United States means being morally or factually correct, and having right-wing or Conservative views. According to Diffen, these possibly contain the need for social order, nationalism, a desire to maintain the past instead of changing it, and private healthcare. The word “conservative” comes up in conversations about those who lean to the right, but there is a difference between being a Republican and being conservative. One having conservative beliefs may mean that one wants to preserve traditional values. Republicans are part of the popular political party that tend to gain followers of those who have more conservative values, but they do not go hand-in-hand. 


Those who consider themselves to be left-wing may support some of the following beliefs: universal health care, immigration, equal opportunity for education, and increasing income taxes on the wealthy. The party that many of those on the left of the political spectrum may consider themselves in is Democratic. According to Pew Research Center, 47 percent of Democratic voters considered themselves to be liberal in 2019.


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Republicans and Democrats have been the two major political parties since the early 1800s. While there are still other groups––considered “third-parties” such as the Libertarian and Green parties,––Republicans and Democrats continue to hold most American voters. 


According to the Pew Research Center, in 2019, 38 percent of the American population considered themselves politically independent. Being part of the Independent Party is when a citizen does not align him or herself with a specific party, but instead aligns with the Constitution and the nation’s laws.


The two-party system that America has fallen under for decades has become a plane spraying paint over the people of this country. Two different wings for two different guns, one shower is, a deep blue, and the other a dark red. In theory, these colors signify the symbol of the United States—the flag. The Independents are white and in the middle, while those on the plane’s left and right stand tall and uniquely opinionated. It is as if there is a line separating the two parties, or possibly a border filled with facts, both fake and true, luring those on the opposite side to rinse off and prepare for the plane’s return.


2020 is an election year, which means that a specific date holds power possibly to change the country’s course–. When the plane comes back around, people are reminded what side they and their friends stand on. On some occasions, they may find that they stand on different sides. The parties’ original intention was not to be enemies; however, they disagree on matters that some might find fundamental to a friendship. 


“I don’t believe [a person’s political beliefs are] an accurate representation of that person as a whole,” senior and registered voter Ty McGuire said. “I think it’s shallow and ignorant to [choose your friends based on their political beliefs]. Everyone you meet in life is going to be different so why would you try to only subject yourself to people that are most like you?”


According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was created and agreed upon by the United Nations in 1984, every being in a conversation is a human being. They all have equal rights as humans. Some of these rights include health, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and freedom of religion. 


These rights come from both the UDHR and the United States Constitution but are known to come up in political conversations. One of the many is the stance on health care; health is a human right, but the two parties’ deliverance has different beliefs, as stated previously. Other beliefs that blur the lines between politics and human rights are anti-discriminatory laws. These beliefs have the chance to become political the second they become laws, but still include ideologies that mix with human rights issues. 


“Human rights should not be a political issue, but they have become so in recent years,” senior Tessa Wolf said. “I do not expect everyone to have the same political views, but human rights are its own thing and it surprises me that people can even debate that.”


A big human rights issue in the United States currently has to do with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. BLM is a social group that formed in 2013 to fight racism and injustice against the Black community. This organization protests police brutality against Black people and asks for there to be police reform.


Since George Floyd, a black man, died at a police officer’s hands, the BLM movement has grown significantly. Its increase in popularity has caused many conversations about whether there should be police reform. The two candidates for the presidency, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, have both shared their views on the issue, possibly causing a sway of votes in either direction. Therefore, BLM has become a political issue that involves human rights. 


There may be  Democrats that support BLM and some that do not, and the same goes with Republicans. A current factor that is crucial in this conversation is the fact that one does not need to be in the same party as another citizen to agree on human rights. 


While some disagree on some of the rights included in the UDHR, it is still a widely recognized agreement that spans across the entire world. No country is excluded, and neither is any human so that each human may continue his or her trek along the political barrier, but people should not shove another simply because of the color of the paint they decided to value.


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About the Contributors
Beatriz Warnes
Beatriz Warnes, Online Lifestyles Managing Director
Beatriz Warnes is a senior, and has been on the Tom Tom for four years. She writes anything from poems to politics, and has been on Antioch’s speech team for one year before qualifying for the national competition.
Olivia Gerhardt
Olivia Gerhardt, Photography Director
Olivia Gerhardt is a senior and has been on staff for three years. She is a part of the Antioch girls soccer team. Olivia spends too much of her time obsessing over the small details, especially when it comes to photography. Additionally, she participates in dance and has interests in drawing, painting and reading.
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