Turn on the TV, and what do you see? Trump said that, or, Hillary did this! Have you recently checked your Facebook newsfeed only to find articles with reasons to vote for Gary Johnson? Login to Twitter? Reposts are everywhere of why America should just take a break and not vote in her commander-in-chief.
You got it: presidential election time. Except this time around most of us are eligible to vote.
News flash, this isn’t about politics.
The point of every article I write is to be the voice of the Union College student body. We want to hear what you have to say. Which is why I went around school flashing my figurative Clocktower badge while interviewing students.
As with any matter in which an opinion is expressed a few guidelines must be followed for a productive environment: respectful listening, openness to differing points-of-view and prevention of conflict and misunderstanding through asking of questions.
My question to the student body was, “What do you think/feel about this year’s presidential elections?”
Dikchhya Karki, a senior business administration and pre-med major, said, “I don’t know what to feel about this election. I feel bad because there are issues I do agree on with Trump. However, I side with Hillary for a majority of the issues. Actually, the only issue I agree on with Trump are his proposals to aid our financial crisis. Say he does become president and end our national debt, I still feel he’ll mess up everything else.”
Seeking clarification I asked, “What do you mean by everything else?”
“I mean like our international relationships,” she replied. “For example, his proposed wall project. I don’t believe in his immigration policies at all. In my opinion, the only thing Trump has going for him are his financial plans.”
Some students feel the election isn’t as bad as your grandmother boasts. Julius Ellis, junior theology major, added, “I feel like everyone is making it appear worse than it really is. Like, the candidates are good at what they do outside of potential presidency. For example, Hillary Clinton is great at being a politician—she’s sleazy. Also, Donald Trump is a great businessman. However, I feel people are looking at it as both candidates being unfit—which is true now that I think about it. My piece of advice for voting is to not judge the candidate’s past actions and words and correlate it to how well they’ll do in office.”
Aria Bodden, a senior business administration major, felt differently, sharing her opinions on the matter. “They both suck,” she said bluntly. “I feel America is in trouble either way. However, if you ask me, I hate Trump a little bit less. Hillary is a terrible person. She’s killed people. The worst Trump can do is cause America to go bankrupt and say mean things. I don’t understand how people know what she’s done and still support her.”
Her perspective prompted me to ask, “Do you have a safe haven in case America goes down the drain?” to which Bodden thoughtfully replied,“I had a friend invite me to Peru if anything. I don’t know what to expect there regarding the culture and how it would differ from America, but it’s an option.”
Dan Hernandez, a freshman international rescue and relief major, concluded the discussion with a comment that probably sums up how we all feel. “I hate politics, and I hate the candidates. I think it’s a joke,” he commented. “They’re both so unprofessional. If you’ve watched the debates the whole event turns into each candidate bashing the other. Also, I feel it’s unfair the media focuses on just two political parties when we’ve got, like, five other ones.”
In sum, vote responsibly.
A special thanks to all who took the time out of their day to answer my inquiries.
Sean Hendrix is a senior studying biomedical science