Toxic Political Spin: A 9th Grade Atheist Freethinker Speaks

Corvalis Cohen
Corvalis Cohen

By Corvalis Cohen

There are quite a few social and political issues I have seen that really bother me. I find these to be issues mainly because of their context. These issues are often used to spin “minorities” or any opposing political party in a negative light. They are also used subjectively to push personal agendas rather than facts and actual topics. They mostly tie into one another, which is why I believe they all need to be addressed. Here are a few of those issues:

My first issue is the repetition of biased or false information in some political stances.  I find that right wing and conservative speakers often repeat false or biased information. For example, some use surveys with small selective groups to provide a biased result in order to prove a point and possibly spread misinformation.  This strategy takes advantage of an average person who most likely does not have any background information on the topic. They will learn this information from what they believe to be a factual source, when it is actually heavily biased and selectively pulls information to help prove conservatives’ point instead of what the information was meant to reflect. This biased manipulation of information causes many misconceptions and misguided views among people today.

Another issue I have is religion’s placement in political and supposedly professional environments. I find that religion is often used as a weapon or is relied on too heavily for guidance in areas it should not be, such as politics.  I’ve seen many moments of this during President Barack Obama’s time in office. He was often said to be “the devil” himself who was going to bring about “the apocalypse” or “the Rapture”. Now in this instance the right has used very loaded words for people who are religious which plays on offensive racist imagery. This causes an instant negative opinion based on hearsay and not actual merit. Another instance is using a person’s religion against them, such as incorrectly calling Obama a Muslim—as if being Muslim was a bad thing. It is stated in the Constitution that each American has the right of free religion, so it should not matter in the slightest. But far too often many politicians use it as a talking point of why not to vote for their opposition. When the conservative base believes in it, then problems are caused.

This brings me to my final talking point; the liberal use of constitutional amendments and their interpretation. Now, I do know that loose interpretation of the Constitution is a political practice as old as the Constitution itself. However, what I see in today’s media and political debates is outright negligence. I’ve seen moments of politicians denying or going against constitutional amendments with anti-religious or biased religious campaigns, violating the freedom of religion amendment.  I’ve also seen liberal usage of amendments to the Constitution, such as conservative opposition to gun control. They often state that guns should not be regulated because it goes against the Constitution, but the amendment states that individuals merely have the right to “bear arms”. It factors not into lowering the lethal caliber of weaponry available to the general public, but many still complain it goes against the Constitution. Whenever I see such selective use of the Constitution I am greatly saddened by how common a practice it has become.

Those are my three central arguments and issues with modern day politics. Most of which I see practiced and generated from right wing conservatives; but the left wing and liberals are guilty as well. Some ride on a constitutional point or statement too much, to the point of doing more harm than good. When I see moments like these, it makes me sad for where our politics are going, but it also gives me another feeling. It makes me irritated and motivated to try and fix it, and do something about the issues. That is one of the reasons why I am writing this essay. To help people acknowledge these issues so they will be able to help fight against them.

Corvalis Cohen is a 9th grader in the Young Male Scholars’ program at Gardena High School.  He would like to pursue computer science and biomedical engineering.

Toxic Political Spin: A 9th Grade Atheist Freethinker Speaks

2 thoughts on “Toxic Political Spin: A 9th Grade Atheist Freethinker Speaks

  1. 1

    Mr. Cohen’s essay seems to me to be clear, relevant, and insightful. Thanks for posting it.
    On a separate topic, let me remind everyone interested in a science or engineering career that the most schedule-demanding course sequence is mathematics. People should make sure they are doing well in each math course, and that they are signed up for the proper next course in the college sequence every single semester. One can double-up later by taking chemistry, biology, and physics at the same time. But there are so many semesters of math that must be done in order. So it is vital to make sure no semester is wasted in terms of math progress. Keeping up or getting ahead in math can make a difference as to which year one completes one’s college years and starts on a job or on research experience. Whether male or female, one should not let outside pressures deter one from taking the needed courses, and math is the most challenging, not because it is difficult but because it’s sequence is so long.
    Clear thinking such as demonstrated in this essay is a predictor that it’s author is likely to do well in math. But not every advisor, no matter how well meaning, will always remember the importance of constant progress on the long math schedule. So all science students should stay strong and plan the sequence that is right for themselves.
    Best wishes to all.

  2. 2

    The positions are eloquently stated. Regarding the final point about ‘gun control’, the conservative/gun fondlers also crop out the first part of “A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of the State…” and never specify which well regulated militia they belong to (The nearest I can see is the National Guard to what the militia was in the founding time).

    I have had one friend who said that, just by living in the state, made you a member of the militia — which doesn’t seem right as the slave states had that provision for the express purpose of keeping firearms out of the hands of free/escaped slaves (IIRC).

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