The Passionate Political Prowess of William Quigley

The Passionate Political Prowess of William Quigley


   Perhaps the most relevant class to the election taught at PPCHS is AP Government, which not only covers the foundations of American democracy, and politics of the past, but also politics currently occurring in front of our very eyes. Mr. Quigley, one of two AP Government teachers at Pines Charter, has plans to implement this unique and challenging year of 2020 in his curriculum. 

   The 2020 Presidential election has been often slated as one of the most important elections in history. However, Mr. Quigley himself sees every election as important. “I don’t know if this is the most important election, and we won’t know that for years to come. Every four years, each election is billed as the most important.” He, like many Floridians, remembers the suspenseful election of 2000, and considers its impact still felt, 20 years later. “I will say the most consequential election was 2000. That was the election before 9/11 and President Bush’s response to that war has set the US on a difficult path since then.” While we may never know, he suspects things would be very different if the results went in the opposite direction. 

   Voter turnout determines the results of an election, and often, the younger voting blocs, including millennials, don’t turn out in as high numbers as others. “The largest voting bloc in the United States are those under 35, if the people under 35 voted in the same percentage as their grandparents did, they would run the country. But they don’t.” Mr. Quigley thinks the voices of these young people are important and realizes the power they wield. “The generation that is likely to decide this election and is the most important is those over 65. They vote. They vote in very large numbers and there are many of them in very important states.” Mr. Quigley thinks the voters who may end up deciding this election are Americans over 65. 

   Of course, all of this information is difficult to think about in the minds of students, but that doesn’t mean both AP Government teachers aren’t trying. “I have tried to spend time as often as I can with students talking about, discussing, debating, arguing about, writing about and learning about both candidates.” Learning about the history of American government should also have a focus on current political events, especially a Presidential election. “The last day before the election, the 30th and the 2nd, I am devoting the whole day to looking at the election. Including allowing my students to express themselves and argue for which candidate they would like to see elected.” As citizens in a crucial swing state, it’s important for everyone, even students, to understand the election process. This state could very much decide this election. 

   Throughout his life, Mr. Quigley has always loved politics, from the convention to the debates. He’s grown up around politics, aware of how important it was. This AP Government teacher just wants to pay it forward and teach his students, from a man just as passionate about it himself. And for that, PPCHS is grateful to have him.