The Paw Print

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Woodside’s Waning Faith in U.S. Government

As the United States government continually grinds to a halt, students at Woodside express their lessening faith in government- and their determination to change it.

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On the Woodside High School field, an American flag flies.

The U.S. Government shutdown over the weekend of January 20th is the latest reason Woodside students do not have faith in the institution.

The government shutdown ended via a ‘stopgap’ bill, which gives the government temporary funding, assuring the confrontation that forced the latest shutdown will repeat itself later in the year. This marked one of many government actions over the past year that have faced derision from both citizens at large and students of Woodside High School.

The shutdown came after many temporary budget bills which attempted to give Congress time to construct the year’s federal budget were passed. Despite bipartisan efforts, Congress does not have a finished 2018 budget, with the newest bill giving government funding only until February 8th.

As Woodside junior Amelia Bailey puts it, “I think kids my age see actions like this -the government shutdown especially- and they see how the government can’t work together. It’s really disheartening.”

And while this year’s Congress has just ended their least-productive year in recent history, passing fewer substantive measures than any Congress in two decades, it’s not only the House and Senate that have drawn Woodside student’s displeasure.

“The failure of Congress to pass a Clean Dream act have made it very difficult for many of us to maintain hope,” Woodside senior Mia Cadet expresses -but just as quickly, she adds: “This comes on especially harshly because of the open threats of deportation the president has expressed.”

President Donald Trump enacted many controversial measures during his first year in office, and those actions are often at the forefront of Woodside student’s lack of faith in government.

Adrian Reitmaier, Woodside junior, brought up “the mannerisms of Donald Trump,” describing them as “distasteful at best,” and Bailey’s first consideration was President Trump “calling Haiti a shithole country.”*

But while many students expressed lack of confidence in President Trump, opinions are far more mixed on the origins of that lack of confidence.

Cadet explains: “Our generation realizing if we want progressive change, we have to reflect our needs to be shown and represented in our system.”

Cadet, who identifies with the Democratic Party, is not alone in this analysis. Many liberal groups have been pushing for voter turnout, and participation amongst democratic citizens, including youth, in rallying against President Trump and the republican party has been fervent.

However, some Woodside students have less faith in their peers. As Reitmaier puts it, “despite there being some people who care….I think that students and younger people aren’t generally aware of a lot of things happening within the government.”

Despite the idea that students are simply not politically engaged enough to lose faith in government, many at Woodside are still interested in changing the happenings in Washington.   

 “I think,” Bailey pauses, choosing her words, “The loss of faith makes youth more encouraged to take matters into their own hands. I think we can do something about this.”

*It is the official position of the Woodside Paw Print to leave profanity or offensive language uncensored when included in a direct quotation from a source.

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