Photo by Will Buetow.
Today millions of Americans are casting their votes to determine the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Although the law states that you must be at least 18 years old to vote, that does not stop different organizations at the high school level from participating in politics. The Democratic and Young Republicans Clubs are two of these organizations who are working now to ensure their club members are well-informed and engaged in the political process.
As the election has approached in the past few weeks, one of the leaders of the Democratic Club, junior Emily Bond, said that the club has shifted their focus to more topical subjects.
“We have spent time talking about misinformation from both sides because it’s becoming more and more relevant, especially in this election cycle,” Bond said.
The Young Republicans Club has also strayed from their typical agenda in anticipation of the election. Club leader and sophomore Thomas Chaplain said the club has shifted its focus from their typical promotion of ideals to a more policial one.
“We recently had a meeting hosted by Indiana Speaker of the House Todd Huston in which he spoke to the club about civic responsibility and political engagement for high schoolers,” Chaplain said. “Afterwards we went door knocking for him to promote him in the election.”
While the clubs seek to promote different political parties and ideals, the ways in which they go about promoting them are quite similar.
“Because we have started so recently [last school year], we haven’t done much,” Bond said. “We hope to become more involved through volunteering and fundraising. This year we want to focus more on showing activism in our communities.”
Chaplain explained that the Young Republicans Club typically promotes their ideals throughout the community by committing acts of service.
“We’ve done a blanket drive in the past, partnered with the police department to do a drug take-back day and we try to just do a lot of community service and do as much good as possible to show that Conservatism is about helping to take care of the community,” Chaplain said.
Chaplain added that the club also hopes to attract new members at school by reducing how polarizing political discussions can sometimes be.
“We try to explain that you don’t actually have to be a Republican to join,” Chaplain said. “We try to encourage people of all political views to join because we want to create discussion; and an echo chamber isn’t a place where that can happen. And the club isn’t just all Republican politics. As much as it is a political club it’s a current events club where we can discuss what’s going on and how it affects us not just as Americans but also as high schoolers.”
The Democratic Club offers similar reasons for new students to join such as the opportunity for open discussion.
“We try to make sure that our club is welcome to all students and we are always open for discussion about different views within the Democratic Party,” Bond said.
Students that are interested can join the Democratic Club by following the Instagram page at @fhsdemocratclub and through joining the Remind at @fhsdems for more information.
Students interested can also join the Young Republicans Club by getting in contact with club sponsor Dr. Chris Edwards at [email protected], by direct messaging the club’s Instagram account, @fishershighschoolrepublicans, or by direct messaging Chaplain on Instagram at @chaplain.thomas.