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Monday, July 22, 2024

Former LWHS IB Student & Current Southeastern University Student Seeks to Heal America’s Political Divide with His New Book


by James Coulter

Americans are more politically divided than ever before. Nearly 86 percent of Americans claim both parties are more focused on fighting each other than on solving problems, according to the Pew Research Center.

 With the next presidential election on the horizon, political tensions continue to rise–along with the blood pressure of most Americans. About 65 percent say they feel exhausted thinking about politics, Pew reports.

 Fortunately, one local college student believes he can heal our nation’s political divide, and he claims his new book has the answers!

 With a highly-contentious presidential election right around the corner, Southeastern University student Antonio Ancaya has published “Awaken: The Rise of the Populist,” in which he addresses America’s growing political divide and proposes suggestions on how to heal it.

 “When you look at our world today, you see that it is very politically polarized,” Ancaya said. “I truly believe the polarization that we see in the world is because there is not enough balance showing both sides…The only way for our country to heal from this polarization is by showing both sides and emphasizing what [they are] presenting.”

 Ancaya graduated from the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Lake Wales High School. As an avid runner, he received an athletic scholarship to run cross country and track at Southeastern University in Lakeland.


The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns during his sophomore year in high school awakened him to the many political problems currently plaguing our country. He noticed how the lockdowns left many people, especially young people like himself, feeling isolated and thus disconnected from others.


“When everything started shutting down. I could not help but think to myself that we will have an entire generation of students who are unable to think critically. He said. “They have their education, but it is being squandered because of all of these lockdowns. Online learning does not really help anybody, to be honest. I knew a lot of people personally who did not have access to computers or reliable Wi-Fi, and those people, they could not finish. So, I really wanted to change that, and I wanted to make sure something like that never happens again in our country.”


As a conservative, one of his core beliefs is an America First national and economic policy. In his book, he argues that most of America’s current political problems began in the 1980s with most industries being outsourced to other countries like China, Mexico, and India. He firmly believes in preserving and creating American jobs for American workers.


“Everyone talks about unemployment, but we do not emphasize enough about underemployment,” he said. “It is not just blue-collar labor work. It is upper management positions as well. The upper management level. Because these jobs are going to India and China, we have the most college graduates who are working in service jobs that are lower paying.”


Ancaya is currently studying international business with a minor in political science. Upon graduation, he aspires either starting his career in public policy either in Washington D.C. or in a political think tank like the Heritage Foundation or the Leadership Institute.


As for the upcoming election and how it affects political polarization, he claims the biggest challenge will be for both political parties to accept the results no matter who is elected president. Our political institutions are only as strong as our collective faith in them, he states.


“I think that the biggest challenge will be on both sides,” he said. “I do not think either side will accept the results of the elections. And it is a real shame. It will only lead to further divide and to further polarization. I discuss that we are heading to civil war because that is where this political division is headed.”


Dr. Rich Swier, political columnist and former talk radio host, recently reviewed Ancaya’s book on his blog. He called it a “thought-provoking journey” on America’s ever-changing collective identity and how that identity change has affected its people.


“[It] is more than a book—it’s a call to action. A reflection on the past, a stark analysis of the present, and a hopeful vision for tomorrow,” Dr. Swier wrote. “It challenges readers to reconsider their assumptions, confront their fears, and embrace the potential of a brighter tomorrow. This is the time to make a difference, to stand firm against the liberal establishment’s narrative, and to champion cherished civil rights for all Americans.”


“Awaken: The Rise of the Populist” is currently available on Amazon in paperback and e-book: https://a.co/d/0d5Txtnn

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