Donkeys and Elephants Wage War in Room 214

Politics has pervaded room 214. For some, a battle of bumper stickers and television commercials is the only politics they see. But for those who can look past colors on a map, the Young Democrats and Republicans Clubs beckon.

The Young Democrats Club and Young Republicans Club are nationwide networks that offer support for politically active young adults. Mr. Paul Spencer supervises our school’s respective Democratic and Republican chapters.

Mr. Spencer said, “Essentially it gives [students] an opportunity to look at the merits of their particular political beliefs. It just gives them the opportunity to engage politically even though they’re not old enough to vote, a lot of them.”

While Mr. Spencer only sponsors the clubs, he occasionally spurs discussions during students’ meetings as well.

Mr. Spencer said, “My goal is that they become able to speak authoritatively on what they believe politically. I also hope that in looking at the issues, with regards to either party, I am able to reconcile them within the context of the Catholic Church’s social justice teachings and general philosophy.”

Junior Tyler Gibbons, head of the Young Democrats Club, seeks to reach out to those with left-wing views.

Gibbons said, “In Young Democrats, you have all these young people with all these bright ideas that nobody listens to. But when you have them come together to voice their opinions and make sure they get out there, they make a mark and people start to notice it, and that’s when it starts to make a change.”

Despite aligning with the Democratic Party, Gibbons urges others to think for themselves. He said, “People like to hear stuff from their parents or from other adults, and that’s not how it’s supposed to be. You should form your own opinions from what you believe is right and from what you believe is wrong. That’s what Young Democrats Club tries to strive for; we want the younger generation to stand up in their place for who they are.”

Gibbons also emphasizes the importance of compromise during club discussions. He said, “It’s not supposed to be black and white. You look at the similarities you have and not just the differences, and you come to a common ground. That’s what some people don’t understand.”

For those leaning toward the right side of the spectrum, there is the Young Republicans Club. Seniors Spencer Brown and Connor Epps founded this chapter and are in the process of officially establishing the club.

Much like their Democratic counterpart, the Young Republicans intend to be politically active outside of the classroom. Epps said, “We plan to volunteer in the community to help in campaigning and aiding in the advancement of the Republican Party.”

The Young Republicans Club aims to be accommodating to all opinions. Epps said, “We’re just regular guys sharing our political beliefs. We’re not trying to convert anyone or sway anyone’s opinion. We will show everyone respect and we expect the same respect in return.”

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