A nationwide poll of 22,300 of the best high school students has been completed and the results are in. The poll reveals some interesting political views expressed by the young adults.


To begin, the students “...have confidence in government institutions, but not in those running them.”  When it comes to having confidence in the Presidency, Supreme Court and both Houses of Congress, 80 percent of the students had “some” faith in those entities. However, politicians did not fare as well. 


As for the President, his performance on domestic policy was rated fair to poor. His inability to solve the country's economic problems was cited. Students thought this should be the “number one priority.” 


Still, the rating of the President was a bit more positive than for politicians in general. The students felt that 73 percent of their elected representatives “are not persons of integrity.” Three-fourths said politicians do not vote “the will of their constituents” and 55 percent said politicians' votes were “too often influenced by major corporations and interest groups.”  


When asked about major issues, the students' views were pretty clear. They overwhelmingly back gun control legislation with 74 percent favoring “a law requiring registration of all guns.” They also support increased spending on education (76 percent), pollution control research (65 percent), environmental preservation (71 percent), energy regulation (54 percent), and decreased spending on military aid to other nations (71 percent). 


The issue that received the highest priority was health care. Some type of government health care program was favored by 87 percent of the students. 


The poll concluded: “Politicians who shrug off student opinion (could) get their comeuppance at the polls. Ninety-six percent of the teens plan to vote in the next election.” 


Oh, by the way, at this juncture I need to inform you of a couple of things. First, this poll was done by “Who's Who Among American High School Students.” Second, and perhaps more important, the poll was conducted in 1976. 


You read that correctly – 1976! The President was Gerald Ford. The U.S. Senate and House were controlled by Democrats. Michigan's U.S. Senators were Robert Griffin (R) and Phillip Hart (D) (who passed away in office and was replaced by (D) Donald Riegle). One of our state's representatives in the U.S. House was Cadillac's Guy Vander Jagt (R).


In this light, the phrase that comes to mind might be: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” According to Quora (, there is a deeper meaning to this phrase. “The phrase (means) that the huge changes that you often see happening in politics don’t represent real change, and are covering up the fact that the status quo in society tends to remains unchanged.”


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at and