College students give their perspective on how they view the current political climate.
The Democratic and Republican parties have the support of millions of Americans, but there are voters who do not affiliate with either party. I interviewed three college students, who identify as politically agnostic, and discussed the reasons why people may feel indifferent about America’s two-party system.
Junior public relations major at Azusa Pacific University
Q: What reasons have caused you to identify as politically agnostic?
Negrette: To me, belonging to a party is to be a blind follower. Both have corruption and both have too much power. America needs to embrace a multi-party system soon, or else it will be ripped apart, and having two powerhouse parties has done nothing good for America.
Q: Even though you do not fully support one party, what do you respect about the two main parties?
Negrette: For the Democrats, I respect their desire to do good. I also respect their commitment to the environment and to the unheard. I also like their desire for unity. For the Republicans, I appreciate their commitment to the truth and to the rights of the individual over the government.
Q: How does your faith affect the way you view politics?
Negrette: It is my conviction as a Christian to not identify solely with one party. We belong to the kingdom of God and that is not of this world. There is not a flag of any nation in heaven. Every Christian needs to be prayerful about their choices for votes, and every Christian needs to put the Bible before personal beliefs and feelings. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral should be the basis of our decisions. Every Christian needs to love their neighbor, regardless of who they vote for. Vote for what God would approve of, and pray before everything. Love every candidate and voter.
Junior psychology major at UC San Diego
Q: What has led you to become politically agnostic?
Mayorga: In the past, I would have considered myself a Democrat. As I learned more about the political system and started doing some of my own research; I realized that political parties are pretty much useless. In the end, they’ve both done some pretty horrible things and all they really want is to have power. I feel like that’s all it’s really become, which is why I’ve chosen not to identify as one or the other. I would also not strictly vote for one party over the other; I think it ultimately depends on who the politician is and what their beliefs, values and policies are.
Q: Should Christians associate themselves with political parties?
Mayorga: I think that it is okay for Christians to be involved in politics, but I would also be cautious when doing so. Politics can tend to be very dividing, and that’s not what God likes to see. Above all, no matter someone’s political views, you should still love them as God does. I think the most important thing, when Christians are involved in politics, is to remember to look back to God’s word for guidance and to model your own beliefs and values after His.
Q: With the current presidential election being so divisive, how has that affected your relationship with God and fellow believers?
Mayorga: I’ve really just tried to pray for healing during this season of divisiveness. I personally haven’t had any relationships affected because of differences of opinion, but I have seen many who have. It’s sad to me that Christians would value political beliefs over the word of God. I think that’s what so many people are forgetting these days, myself included. It’s easy to get caught up in the middle of everything, especially with the media spewing out different sides to every story. Instead of listening to and participating in all this hate, we must remember to practice love. Turn to God if you are having trouble with that, and look to Him for guidance.
Senior kinesiology major at APU
Q: Despite a third-party candidate being highly unlikely to win. What reasons have caused you to vote Independent during this election season?
Haas: In my opinion, the two-party system is what is causing our increasingly divisive elections. The voters have no choice but to vote based on party instead of based on the issues they truly believe in. The more exposure third-party candidates receive, the more likely it is that one day we will have a political system that truly reflects the wants and needs of the people.
Q: With the current election being so divisive how has that affected your relationships with fellow believers?
Haas: Political season is always difficult as it is full of passion from both sides. My relationships with my fellow believers have not been dramatically affected as I make it a point to listen intently to the other side and do my best not to argue, only present the information as I see it. Lastly, it is important to remember that everyone has unique life circumstances and experiences which inevitably make it impossible to fully understand where someone is coming from. So regardless of political affiliation, it is crucial to see people as people, not the candidate they voted for.
With the Republican and Democratic parties battling for control this election season, it is easy to get drawn into the us vs them mentality. With that perspective, division will continue to grow and so will hostility. Through the lens of being politically agnostic, viewing the current political climate does not focus on the party attached to the candidate. Instead, they look at the individual’s beliefs, values and policies regardless of what side of the aisle they are from.