Harrisites’ views on conservative interest groups

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Last month, the annual Election Simulation Kick-off Rally was held in the school courtyard to introduce this year’s candidates and special interest groups. From TikTok wars to rap battles, this year’s primary presidential Election Simulation has stirred up much excitement. However, conservative special interest groups in this year’s simulation received a considerably negative response from liberal Harrisites. 

Right wing interest groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA), the American Family Association, and the America First Action, have more conservative stances on many important topics such as abortion, immigration, and gun reform. 

The NRA is America’s main defender of the rights stated in the Second Amendment. They emphasize the importance of gun safety and law enforcement training, believing that it is a “God-given right that benefits youth, women, law enforcement agents, hunters, and more.” 

There was particular disinterest when the NRA spoke at the rally. “At the Kickoff Rally, the stigma against the NRA at Townsend Harris was extremely evident, as we got a vigorous negative reaction from the crowd,” NRA representatives said. “We went into this Election Simulation fully knowing the backlash that could come with being the NRA. This just means a minor set back as we hope to inform students directly with classroom visits… and not go along with the crowd’s opinion towards us.”

Other groups shared similar experiences. The American Family Association has fundamental beliefs in pro-life, the idea of a nuclear family, and the protection of Second Amendment rights.There has been a very negative reaction to our actual policies on social media because of how radically conservative our group is… Comments of disbelief and anger are often on our platform because it advocates for an ideal white, Christian society, which, when faced with the diversity at Townsend, is unbelievable,” representatives of the American Family Association commented. 

The America First Action group, which endorses the agenda of President Donald J. Trump, commented, “Townsend’s Democratic bias makes it hard for people to approach issues with an open mind, and only with proper respect towards all groups, conservative ones included, will they be better informed on the problems that plague our nation.”

Despite this, the Election Simulation can be a valuable learning experience for many students. “It allows us to examine political issues from another perspective— the conservative one,” the American Family Association said. 

Sophomore Angela Chen added, “Conservative groups offer students a new way of perceiving the current issues. I think it’s still important to learn about these different groups because it’s beneficial for us to look at both sides of a topic and deepen our comprehension through this process.”