Parental influence impacts young voters

With the presidential race taking off, the influence of parents’ political views on teens’ political views becomes an factor in how the voters of the next generation sway.

“Involving people our age in the political process is necessary to building a robust government that represents all the people,” president of the Young Democratic Leaders Association and senior Raman Khanna said.

Although many adolescents eventually develop their own personal opinions, a majority of high schoolers still base their views on the beliefs of their household. In a poll of 80 Marshall students, approximately 73 percent said their political party correlated with their parents’. Of the 27 percent whose views did not align with their parents’ many respondents stated that they or their parents did not fall under a particular party or had little interest in politics.

But there is more here to consider, such as to what extent an adult teaches their child to be an independent person, and the extent to which that affects the child.

“My parents respected my own choices and influenced me to choose what I believe is right,” freshman Timothy Hutchinson said.

Khanna presented the counterpoint that some parents are more insistent about their beliefs and that students should strive to make their own decisions anyway.

“I think that it is important that young people don’t necessarily ‘fall back’ on things they don’t believe in,” Khanna said. “I believe that if you believe in the policy of either party you should stand for what you think is right.”

Ultimately, it can be a mixed combination of both external influence and internal thinking that contributes to poltical stances and voting tendencies.

“Part of it is because my parents influenced me, but I also think it is the right choice,” sophomore Regina Guerrero Perez said.