Lens of The People is a column dedicated to the capture of the real-life scenarios and events in the local Houston area whilst also giving the thoughts and opinions of the Houston community itself its own voice to speak through.
Previously, I spoke on and interviewed people in Houston about the necessity of voting (why it is so). Today, my focus is not on why you should vote, but rather how you choose to vote and why you stand the way that you do on the political spectrum. As most people know, politics as a whole tends to lean in one of two different directions: Liberal and Conservative, representative of the Democratic and Republican parties respectively. But if you were to ask anyone from either far side of the spectrum, they would most certainly believe that their side has the moral high ground and that what they support and who they choose to vote for is “right” and “correct.” But what exactly is it that forms those preconceived notions of right and wrong as far as politics are concerned? Here’s what the people have to say:
“I’d say my political beliefs are based and centered around my biblical faith. People have different mindsets and can tend to usually be persuaded by the popular belief and as such, politics continues to be a touchy subject within our nation. I firmly believe God and his work is the right way to go about things. The path I follow might not be the simplest one, especially in these times, but great things hardly come easily.” –Demitri Villanueva
“Most of my political beliefs were shaped by the way I was raised and the morals my parents and family instilled in me. However, I do differ some with my family based on what I believe each person has the right to do with their own personal lives. I certainly believe that the government shouldn’t be able to intervene in certain decisions women make for their own mental wellbeing.” –Courtney Sterry
“I base my political beliefs around my morals and while my morals have been formed by my own personal experiences in life, in truth they’ve definitely been inspired by my Christian faith a great deal as I’ve been in the church my whole life and I genuinely feel as though they go hand in hand with each other.” –Craig Taylor
“My mother and father and the majority of my family have always voted Democrat, and so for a while I did so too because it was what everyone else was doing. But what really got me into voting more independently and democratic was researching what they provide for each individual demographic in the United States. I realized that women’s rights supporters, which I am a huge supporter of as well, and the fact that they tend to offer better benefits for veterans, which I just so happen to be. They also advocate for better housing and equal opportunity employment which are issues that I can get behind.” –Tahsandra Poullard
“I’m not very involved in politics so I would consider myself as an independent voter so basically I care about the issues and not really the parties. And as a college student I’m a lot more concerned about if there are going to be better chances for me to get a job when I graduate. I don’t agree with the wall idea and the current immigration laws because you can’t really stop someone from coming here if they really want to. You can reduce it but that won’t fix the problem, especially with what they’re trying to do with birthright citizenship. As for morality, I don’t think you can have a country without morals.” –Brittney Hawkins
The way that I choose to view politics is that I choose to view everyone as an individual. And what I mean by that is that I believe that every person has an inherent right to certain freedoms both internally and externally. I would say that my viewpoints are largely moral-based, because while I do believe in freedom, I can’t support freedom at the expense of others’ or that causes others to feel that they don’t. I personally believe that in order for a political system to work, that both morals and what simply needs to be done should both have a place, but that neither should be overpowering to the other. There is no one true or correct way to run a government, which is why every government needs different people from different cultural and ethical backgrounds so that there are as many different perspectives being weighed as possible.
This was Lens of The People, a column dedicated to giving the Houston community a voice and a platform. Stay on the lookout for more, all made possible by The Forward Times!