I recently interviewed two students from Texas, one is a college sophomore and the other is a high school senior. This means, one is able to vote and the other isn’t. I decided it would be interesting to take these two people that I met while working at a camp over the summer and detail how varied the political views can be, even among people that have similar backgrounds.
As an important detail, both of these people are Reform Jews and have been active in Jewish activities since a young age, which generally can have a significant impact on political views.
Alec, the 17-year-old high school senior that won’t be able to vote, is a Republican.
Rachael, the 19-year-old college sophomore that will be voting, doesn’t claim a specific party, but does lean left on most issues, especially social.
Alec is from Dallas, Texas. A place he claims to be left-leaning.
Rachael is from Justin, Texas. A place she claims to be “a very conservative area with an entirely Republican local government.”
This causes for an interesting set of interviews, with both participants being political outcasts within their own communities.
Alec makes the statement that he is under a lot of pressure from the Jewish community to change his views. By and large, at least in Reform Judaism, most individuals lean further left and tend to vote for democratic candidates more often than republican. This no doubt would have created conflicting views from a young age, when the ideas expressed in a religious community don’t match with their families’ ideas.
Rachael has had similar problems, where she aligns with the more liberal mindset, but the area she resides in has negative opinions of it. She told a story of the experience she had when voting in the presidential primary election. She walked into the room at Justin City Hall and was met by disapproving glares when she announced that she would be voting in the Democratic, rather than the Republican, primary.
Alec’s primary concerns influencing his stance are debt, gun control, immigration, and the elimination of Obamacare.
Rachael’s concerns are more of relation to civil rights, gender equality, and socioeconomic issues.
Although these two people are from very different political cultures, they have one thing in common: they are both very active in this presidential election.