Students and parents disagree on politics

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Tate Stewart, a DePauw senior, is a Libertarian who supports Gary Johnson. His dad is a registered Republican. His mother is an Independent and his brother supports Donald Trump.

“One thing we all have in common is our view on low taxation and that the government should stay out of the economy,” Stewart said.

When it comes to politics, some young voters follow in their parents’ footsteps. Others, like Tate, choose their own route.

In general, this election, a greater percentage of millennials are leaning Democratic rather than Republican, according to a poll published by the Pew Research Center on July 7. Sixty percent of people ages 18 to 29 support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, compared to 30 percent who support Republican nominee Donald Trump. The poll also found that older voters back Trump in greater numbers.

The Stewart family, who lives in Granville, Ohio also differs on climate change and gay rights.

“I have a conservative economic view,” Stewart said. “Social issues are where we differ. My parents are conservative, whereas I am more open and accepting.”

Even after living under the same roof as his parents, Stewart said his social beliefs stem from his entire generation which he believes is more progressive on social issues.

“I think our generation has been exposed to a wider dialogue on social issues,” said Stewart. “Those ideas and issues are constantly talked about on social media.”  

Not all members of Stewart’s generation feel the same way. DePauw sophomore James Malles said that just because he is a conservative doesn’t mean he is indifferent to social issues, like gay rights and the issue of racial inequality.

Malles and his parents identify as Republican. However, he insists that his political beliefs are not just parental hand-me-downs.

“It was entirely my own choice to follow the political path that I’m on right now,” Malles said. “I was raised under the guidance of conservative values, but those values were never forced upon me by my parents once I was old enough to make my own decisions.”

Malles believes that although his generation has focused more on social issues plaguing the country, it doesn’t imply that other generations don’t care about these issues.

“I know that the general conservative stereotype is that it’s people who only care about themselves,” Malles said. “But, at least in my family, I’ve been taught not to be complacent. I know that the world is not perfect, and I know that there are things I can do to play my part and try to make a change in the world.”