Electoral Circus ’16: Who are you voting for?

BY JACOB WARIING

The Iowa Caucus has recently been completed. Trump did  not win (Thank God!), Clinton did not dominate and candidates from both side have already dropped out. Thus, making this presidential election all the more tangible because instead of us all having a good chuckle over the gaffs made by those running for the most powerful office in the U.S., we are now at a point where the chuckles become groans and we are all (hopefully) taking a more serious look at the candidates. Where do I even begin?

We have a dwindling number of Republican candidates who are stumbling over each other and are bizarrely, trying to outdo each other in all the wrong ways. It is almost like they are purposely trying to outdo each other for the stupidest, out of touch and racist remarks. Some of the established candidates (I am looking at you, Jeb Bush) are failing to even make a connection with the crowd. Only today could a reality star be doing better than a man who is a product of a presidential dynasty.

While the Republicans are having a sleazy slugfest for the nomination, the Democrats are an after thought since many Americans hold the assumption that Hillary Clinton will get a nice gift wrapped nomination. Granted, that narrative has taken a beating since Bernie Sanders is making her feel the “Bern.” There was a third candidate, Martin O’Malley, who is an afterthought as he is neither part of the establishment nor does not have the love from millennials like Sanders does. The keyword is ‘was’ because he dropped out… not that anyone noticed him running anyway!

In the early stages of this election, we all would have laughed at the idea of a Trump vs. Sanders election. We are not laughing now since that could one day become a reality. Trump scares me, and the people who are voting for him, scare me even more.

I do not want some numbskull who thinks being a fear mongering, woman hating and racist xenophobic person is acceptable qualifications to become president. I do not want a Democratic candidate who cannot be trusted to handle classified emails or one who ideas sounds brilliantly awesome but can’t be accomplished due to the current political atmosphere in DC.

I am voting, the stakes are too high for me to not exercise that privilege. I almost want to temporarily become an independent because at the moment the most important aspect of this presidential election is who nabs the Republican nomination.

I am not voting for anyone that is running on the Republican side as it is one awful, continuous and pathetic gag-reel. Hillary Clinton’s email screw-up tarnished my trust in her ability to be an effective leader. Yes, it was a very stupid mistake that was made by a very intelligent woman who should have known better.

Bernie Sanders has big dreams, a compassion for all those who face injustice and has ideas that can pave the road for a better America. He is untested, likely chance he will get less done than Obama did but least he is genuine with his words. He is whom I am voting for because that’s the best we got right now.

I did an unscientific survey where I roamed the halls of the college. I asked passing students what their opinions of the election were, who they are voting for and why they are voting for that particular candidate.

Paula Villa, an ESL international student, who noted that she can not vote due to not being born in the U.S. Villa said that If she could vote, she said she would vote for a candidate who supports immigration. But she knows one particular candidate she would not vote for if she could.

“For sure, I wouldn’t vote for Trump. That’s all I know,” Villa said.

Bernie Sanders was a popular name dropped by students often in supportive tones. Paula Dobles, a General Studies major, said why Sanders resonated with her and not Clinton. Noting his genuine commitment to minorities and that, “he has the same ideas as I do and he is also looking out for minorities like me. Instead of pandering to them like Hillary Clinton does.”

Many students expressed their dismay over certain candidates making the election process more like a sitcom or a sick joke. Kimone Clarke, a Nursing major, was one of those students who said how politics once used to be a forum for serious discussion has now become a bad punch-line.

“I just feel like they are taking it like as a mockery. I mean things used to be more serious when it came to politics and now it’s just a joke,” Clarke said.

As the election drags on, candidates bow out and students will hold the whole process under more intense scrutiny. I fear, young voters would be less inclined to vote if they feel that everyone are buffoons making ridiculous comments. Yet, it is encouraging that others in my age group are least attempting to keep an eye on the elections developments and making an informed vote when the time comes.

I implore you all, go out and vote! We are the heirs of this nation and our vote matters.

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