What is perhaps the greatest political spectacle of the 21st century will finally come to a close in five days. The 2016 presidential election has raked in the interest of every American, whether they were previously engrossed in politics or not.
Media consumers have placed an unprecedented magnifying glass of scrutiny over this circus of a race. Some call Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton “crooked” and “corrupt.” Some call Republican candidate Donald Trump “crazy” and “unfit” for the presidency. Everyone it seems, ourselves included, has a strong opinion toward the race and the national conversation that it has inspired.
This brings us to Trump and the violence, contention and disorder that have been part of the mayhem he has caused.
On Oct. 14, 2015, attendees at a Trump rally in Richmond, Virginia physically confronted immigration activists protesting the rally, spitting in their faces and shoving them.
On Nov. 21, 2015 in Birmingham, Alabama a black protester at a Trump rally was punched, kicked, and, according to The Washington Post, briefly choked by Trump supporters. In response to the act of violence, Trump defended the attackers by stating: “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
Even those who critically oppose Trump and his supporters cannot be excused from resorting to violence. On June 2, 2016, protesters attacked and threw eggs at Trump supporters after a rally in San Jose, California. Whether in support or opposition of his cause, Trump inspires a reaction of hate and hostility to those who are affected by his vicious message.
We at The New Paltz Oracle officially endorse Hillary Clinton as our presidential candidate of choice. As young adults, we are voting for a safe and secure future to succeed in.
An experienced and seasoned politician, Clinton has served as First Lady of the United States (1993–2001), U.S. Senator from New York (2001–2009) and as the United States Secretary of State (2009–2013).
Clinton comes from a middle class background that identifies with a large portion of the voting population. She grew up in Illinois raised by her businessman father; with the context of this rhetoric, she speaks with sympathy for American middle class families and plans to reduce taxes for this demographic.
Conversely, Trump was born into money and proposes tax breaks for the wealthy. Additionally, he is the first major-party nominee in 40 years who refuses to release his tax returns, causing some raised eyebrows among voters.
Honing in on political issues that affect college students specifically, Clinton supports a refinancing plan for students to experience some sort of debt relief while taking out new loans. Tackling the issue of paying back loans as the priority of a fresh graduate, Clinton has proposed legislation to permit start-up founders and early employees in foregoing payments on their federal student loans for up to three years.
Clinton defends Planned Parenthood and the various healthcare services they provide for women. She also supports child care, equal pay and paid leave and recognizes them as fundamental economic issues, not simply women’s rights issues.
Additionally, she is looking to protect and expand the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community and plans to appoint Supreme Court judges who believe in equality for all. We fully believe a Clinton presidency will help bridge divisiveness within our nation and bring people together. But at the same time, it is important to look at the candidate with a critical lense.
There are allegations against Clinton regarding the widely known scandal in which she supposedly deleted thousands of emails and was almost prosecuted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Additionally, Clinton has a past voting record in favor of policies unpopular to most young Democrats.
Twenty years ago at a political event in New Hampshire, Clinton spoke in support of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (CCLEA), which Bill Clinton signed into law. At the event, Clinton referred to African Americans as “superpredators,” after noting CCLEA would function to reduce the number of African-Americans being killed in gang-related incidents.
While holding office as Secretary of State, Clinton was also in favor for the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. In Oct. 2010 she told the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco that she “feels inclined” to sign off on the project. After years of discussion however, the pipeline was rejected by the Obama administration in 2015.
Clinton has retracted her use of the word superpredator when confronted this election year by media, saying she would not use those words today. She also took an opposing position to the pipeline in 2015.
Clinton’s foreign policy is equally as vulnerable to criticism, including misguided U.S. operations in both Iraq and Libya that she supported. Ultimately, both countries experienced political and societal strife, with the latter resulting in the tragic attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi.
With a potential elected Trump, his presidency may be distracted when he is asked to answer to at least 75 of the 4,000 plus lawsuits involving his businesses, according to an ongoing, nationwide analysis of state and federal court records by USA Today.
What cannot be ignored even by his most ardent supporters are the comments that he made with Billy Bush in a recently unearthed recording from 2005. We all heard it, we all know what he said. We all heard a grown man, someone who believes that he should be the leader of the free world, brag about sexually assaulting women and how acceptable it is because of his celebrity. Those statements, that “locker room talk,” are completely unjustified and should be disqualifying if the reasons listed beforehand weren’t already disqualifying.
Many elections are seen as a choice between the “lesser of two evils”— this year’s presidential election rings especially true. But with Trump’s blaring, bombastic orange siren subliminally saying “Don’t vote for me!” this race is a clear choice between a potentially peaceful future and guaranteed societal chaos.
Editorials represent the views of the majority of the editorial board. Columns, op-eds and letters, excluding editorials, are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The New Paltz Oracle, its staff members, the campus and university or the Town or Village of New Paltz.