Opinion

America’s Loss: The 2016 Election

By Mira Zimmerman, Opinion Editor

After watching the September 26th Presidential Debate last Monday, I wanted to cry. This was not due to Trump’s lack of respect toward women or because Hillary didn’t talk about nearly any policies, although the former really made me violent, but because for the first time in near history, regardless of the person we inaugurate in November, I believe that the american election system has been made a joke. While I certainly have my opinions on which candidate would be better suited in the white house, I think that is largely besides the point. Trump has, in many ways, pointed out the flaws in the American election system, mainly by showing how little he cares about the political rules. Hillary, in order to defend herself from his often sexist and pointed attacks, has responded throughout the campaign season to many statements that shouldn’t be the focus of an election. Instead of hearing about policies and ideas during this election season, we hear about email scandals, wall building, and tax returns. I think a lot of children could have a more reasonable debate, at times, than our two choices. The effect of the often ill-focused political discussion, trailed-blazed by Trump, has led to a lot of people choosing not to vote, which I think is directly harmful to our democratic system. Representation of the wishes of all the people is absolutely essential for government to function, and I fear that record low turnouts by many liberals and conservatives alike will set a poor precedent for our political process.

I think a major issue with the voting population, on both sides, is that they don’t consider the bigger picture. Instead of comparing policies or certain issues, they identify as republicans or democrats, with faith nearly religious in conviction. I think that if liberals and conservatives sat down without naming their views and discussed social, economic, and political problems, there would be a lot of agreement on what is the right thing to do- and disagreement on how to approach that end goal. That, in essence, is what I think politics should be all about, reaching a united solution, and debating on how to get there. The current election is showing us two rams charging each other, which is undoubtedly entertaining, but not productive.

While some Americans are inspired by Trump’s non-PC tirade, other countries cannot fathom why anyone would think about Trump, and until recently, I didn’t understand either. What I realized is that Trump supporters are, generally speaking, not logical but extremely passionate. When I say they aren’t logical I don’t mean that they are unintelligent, I mean that they feel that his ideas are going to work, and they don’t need facts to back those ideas up. This is incredibly powerful. Trump has been able to make his own rules, and his own “truths” because the facts don’t matter to most of his voting population. I’m sure this idea will be controversial to many, and offensive to some, but from my perspective, it seems that Trump has gained his voting population through political rebellion. I think the pushing of boundaries is sometimes a fantastic thing, but the way that Trump has paraded his misogyny and blatant racism around astounds me. Trump is polling at 40%, today. To me, this says that nearly half the country is seriously ignorant, or that they don’t care about that particular aspect of Trump, and that scares me. On the other hand, Trump is a man of business ethics, where money is the goal. From that perspective, his treatment of workers and lawsuits over the years are just business decisions. If it is a cheaper gamble for him to go to court than to pay someone, then he will do so. The problem is, he’s a man of business ethics. It is up to Americans to decide whether those morals make for better country, and many have sided with him. Let me make it clear that not all of Trump’s ideas are about social issues. He actually does have some good ideas, especially if he could help implement a trickle-down economic system that worked in practice, rather than theory. He would remove and implement some fair taxes on trade and business. Unfortunately, choosing a president based on feelings rather than facts is a problem. Our country needs a leader without hollow statements. So, if he gets elected, I think he will either make rich people richer, because it is unlikely that he will change the trickle down effect, or he will cause serious outrage, or both.

Hillary on the other hand, is cold, methodical, and logical but she doesn’t inspire passion. She is less contradictory than Trump, which I think is a plus. By that, I mean she tends not to change her views on things all the time. As a woman, she is under the weight of many social pressures, and her problems are amplified by Benghazi and her email scandal. Many people believe that she is a liar, although when her statements are analyzed, many of them check out. Her scandals raise the questions- is she the corrupt politician that Trump and others believe her to be? Or has she just been criticized and attacked for something that many politicians do? Hillary is a politician, unlike Trump, which comes with it’s good and bad sides, but she actually has respect for many people. I think many of her political acts have done good for this country, and her diplomatic demeanor and experience is exactly what America needs in an ever-growing global economy with its set of political, economic, and social issues. I think she is too pro-war, but I don’t think she will inspire WWIII.

These candidates are not helping unite ideas or, for the most part, creating constructive discourse. They are causing extreme division among Americans, and it seems like nobody is talking about it the underlying issues with that division. I’m worried about the implications of choosing between these candidates, because it proves that they might be worthy of election, or that there is even a contest between them. I’m clearly biased, but I’m not really thrilled about the choice that we will make, either way, on election day. To be frank, this is probably one of the more difficult versions of “Would You Rather” that America has ever faced, and the fact that we have come to this point is shocking. Should we all be applying for Canadian Visas?

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Categories: Opinion, Politics

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