Who says teens aren’t politically-savvy?

By: Maddy Bellew

PROFILE

One in 2000+

NAHS senior Asa Sipe has a lot of opinions, and he isn’t afraid to share them. Sipe says he gained his political knowledge by studying numerous television programs and politicians. Everyone knows Asa as the “political guru” of NAHS. He is truly one in 2,000.  

Question: If you could change one thing about NAHS, what would it be and why?

A: Oh, that is a difficult one right out of the gate. The one thing that can’t be changed is the size of the school and that is what I would like to change. I think a smaller setting is a better fit for me, but I have to say that NA is a great school. If given a choice between a small, mediocre school and New Albany, I’d choose NA every time.

Q: What are your political beliefs and how did you decide them?

A: Well, for anyone I have met that doesn’t know or for the ones whom I haven’t met, I am a very traditionalist conservative, both fiscal and social. Now please forgive me as I will try not to write a manifesto. I prefer a pre-Wilson state, but that is not going to grace us anytime soon, so I’ll go with a more Reagan stance. For the economy, a free market, capitalist system is best. The government should audit itself, just as a common American family would, to monitor and control spending. I am a strict constructionist, believing the federal government’s purpose is to defend its citizens from foreign and domestic enemies and promote freedom and interstate relations, while leaving more specific decisions to state and local governments. The funny thing is that the majority of my family is Democratic and we have opposite opinions on almost everything. I am from a tightly knit family with traditional Christian family values that influence me greatly in my political beliefs.

Q: How do you feel about the ultra-liberal Bob Dusch?

A: My attorney has instructed me not to answer this question. Really though, he has to be one of the most fun teachers I have had. He really gets the students involved and forces them to think. We have differing opinions and that makes for some very entertaining discussions, especially for the other students. He forms his own opinions and doesn’t let talking heads on television or radio tell him how to think and I respect him for that. Anymore, people just let someone else tell them what to think and that is disheartening. I had him as an instructor for AP US History junior year and Gov/Econ senior year. If I didn’t enjoy his class I wouldn’t have taken it a second year.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?

A: Admittedly, I watch a lot of TV, probably too much. I listen to a vast array of music as well. I have been trying to read more often and right now I am focusing on Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. It is an 800+ page novel, but a great read so far. TV can get a whole story in one hour, but a book tells such a better story on your own time. The television doesn’t stop for you, but a book relies on you to read it and get its story. In such a fast paced society, a good book can be a good break.

Q: Favorite TV channel, film and politician?

A: On TV, I watch USA Network for entertainment. The re-runs of Law and Order and Law and Order: SVU are the best. I also like to watch CNN and MSNBC for a good laugh, most of their anchors are so funny to listen to. For good reporting I watch Fox News Channel, especially Shepard Smith, Megyn Kelly, Bret Bair, and Bill O’Reilly. Oh, and Glenn Beck on the radio. My favorite movie is a tie between V for Vendetta (a view of a government gone awry) and The Green Mile. When you can watch a movie a million times and never grow tired of it, it has something special. My favorite politician has to be Ronald Wilson Regan. He demonstrated how to lead a party back from a tarnished image and how a nation can return to greatness after a failed (Carter) presidency.

Q: How did you gain your outstanding amount of political knowledge?

A: A lot of listening and involvement. Like I said before, I come from a Democratic family so I have heard all of the opposing views first hand. Since I have watched TV, I’ve watched the news (local and national, including all three major networks) and that is another prime source of information. I involve myself in the issues and have done extensive research on my own. We get to vote at eighteen and I think all voters need to be informed, not just the “grown ups”. I love politics. It is the system that governs our government.

Q: Where do you plan on going to college and what do you want to study?

A: I am accepted to and will be attending Butler University in Indianapolis to study Pharmacy. I always had a knack for the medical field and originally wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, but twelve years of school and residency didn’t seem appealing so I’ll cut that in half and go to school for six years and get a doctorate in pharmacy and be a pharmacist. What really sparked my interest was definitely Chemistry I with Todd Satterly. He is a great teacher and his class led me to take AP Chemistry my junior year where Clark Mumaw continued to fuel my interest. I am very thankful for their mentoring.

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