Ah, it’s that time of the year again where the air turns cold, snow is just starting to fall, and the sweet smell of politics linger in the air. We all love the time of the year where the bickering and slander between politicians are just ringing in our ears. I remember sitting on my deck in the middle of the summer thinking to myself, “Man, I can’t wait for election season to roll around, so I can get criticized for my beliefs and be told what the ‘right’ opinion is.”
I hope you all could catch my sarcasm in that last statement, but with no more sarcasm, I am going to fill you all in on a pressing issue I have noticed among all age groups. That is political pressure, I see it all the time from young children to full-grown adults.
Basically, political pressure is where people conform to someone’s ideals so they fit in or aren’t criticized for their beliefs. People tend to change their political views for spouses, parents, friends, etc. I know a lot of people my age who conform to what their parents think, even if they disagree themselves because of fear that their parents will bash on them. I have seen people change their views over time because they hear that view being the “right” side of the argument so many times.
On a broader aspect, this is also known as conformity pressure. This can be anything from conforming to groups by what they wear or do, to even the political aspect where you conform to certain groups’ ideals just to fit in. You see this a lot of times with teenagers and young adults.
According to https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-conformity-2795889, there is such a thing called “compliance.” This means someone changing one’s behavior while still internally disagreeing with the group. This happens a lot with political pressure. Say you are with a group of friends and they say that they agree with abortion rights, and you think that is morally wrong. You may also feel pressured to say that you are pro-choice, even though you know you are truly not.
I personally believe that we may change our views every once in a while, but not rapidly to match the group we are with. I have even seen people change their views on most topics throughout the day that people tend to stick with throughout their lives such as abortion, gun laws, gay marriage, etc.
I would tell people who do feel the pressure to change their views depending on the group they are with to be themselves. Be who you are and believe what you believe. I personally do not hang out with people who are closed-minded on topics. I am always up for a fair debate as long as we are both respectful of each other’s views.
In conclusion, do not conform to people’s ideas. Believe what you think, no one can truly change that so why put a mask on it? Why cover what you think? Why let others who are not afraid to talk about their views influence what you think?
Pailey Gordon is a student at Fillmore Central High School. She is one of eight area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 21st year.