Rising political turmoil

Alexandra Whitlock, Editor-in-chief

The political turmoil in this day in age has led to people keeping their mouths shut when in the public eye. High school students, and especially those at Highland Park, tend to not share their political beliefs and ideals with their peers and teachers. Whether they are Republican or Democrat, the fear of getting in trouble or ostracized prevents teens from sharing their opinions. The main culprit for this new wave of silence involves the mass media and its portrayal of politics. In an age where technology is sweeping over the nation at alarming rates, this can be viewed as an advantage and a disadvantage. For starters, the world can communicate in a multitude of ways and spread information faster. On the other hand, this leads to an overload of information and the power of the media crushing down on citizens.

In the past, the media was much more deferential toward politicians and not out to get them.  For example, the media had a gentlemen’s agreement not to publicize the fact that Franklin D. Roosevelt had polio and was in a wheelchair. They also “looked the other way” when John F. Kennedy engaged in affairs with other women. All of this changed, however, with Watergate and Richard M. Nixon. There the press led the charge to bring down a President, making celebrities out of the journalists at the Washington Post in the process. Ever since then, it seems like the media has been gunning for politicians. This creates a problem, because we have a free press.  However, with that freedom comes responsibility and the media today doesn’t seem to be living up to that responsibility. There seems to be a concerted effort to find as much dirt as possible on President Trump, and an equal effort to condemn those who support him or his policies. This creates a dangerous precedent for our democracy, because it makes people afraid to express their true beliefs. Ultimately, Americans are not going to speak their minds anytime soon as long as this pattern of condemnation continues.