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A Cynical View on Parents and Politics

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Written by Devon Mitchell

Growing up, I thought “Democrat” was a bad word.

Whenever my parents said the word, it had such a negative sound, like they were talking about something nasty. Until I was 15, I was under the impression that being a Republican was good and being a Democrat was bad. Then I began doing my own research and making my own opinions. Life truly changed from there. 

The reason I bring up this story is because I am fully convinced my parents were brainwashing me. Sounds crazy — but think about it. Did you support Obama in the 2008 election because he’s who your parents voted for? If you were old enough to vote, would John McCain have had your vote? Or vice versa?

For so long, our parents are our primary circle of communication, and they have a huge part in shaping our young minds. So just because our parents believe one thing, we automatically believe it’s right, and sometimes we’ll just continue believing they’re right and begin forming opinions around their own. Then we do the same thing to our children, and they do the same thing to their children, and suddenly it’s an endless cycle of parental brainwashing.

I realize this is an extremely harsh view of the people who raised us; however, it’s something we should be more conscious of. I’m happy I grew out of believing everything my parents told me, but part of me wonders what my parents instilled in me as a young citizen and what my opinion really is. There should be a sense of responsibility amongst parents to educate their children on our democracy, but there should also be a sense of responsibility when it comes to allowing kids the opportunity to come to their own conclusions. It’s a balance we need to find, which may not always be that easy. 

We are raised in a system that is designed to corrupt our young minds into believing what our parents believe, who in turn believe what their parents believed. This may be a cynical position, but it is important to reflect on just how much say our parents have on our political views.