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The Greyhound

Our Poor Choices for President


The 2016 presidential election has led Americans to contemplate which candidate they dislike least, rather than which candidate they like more. It’s an election where we turn on our TVs for the debate expecting a showdown—a war between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton over who can dig up more of their opponent’s history of scandals and personal flaws in an effort to redeem their own weaknesses. It’s entirely negative, and the debates have tended to focus more on scandals and tearing each other apart than on improving the United States and upholding its values.

First off, I am traditionally in favor of the Republicans, but I take neither side of the political spectrum this year.  It may be because of this election that I now consider myself an independent.

Both candidates have proved very faulty, specifically in the second presidential debate.  The debate, held on Oct.9, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, began with high tension, as Trump and Clinton opened with an unprecedented refusal to shake the opponent’s hand.

Both Trump and Clinton performed weakly on the subject of discrimination against women.

Trump called out Bill Clinton for his mistreatment of women and said that Hillary Clinton only does the same, without offering any supporting evidence.  What I find Trump’s attacks on Bill Clinton shocking, considering the video released just two days before showing Trump talking about women in a vulgar and extremely demeaning way, telling tales of his pursuits of various women, including touching them without their consent, because “when you’re a star you can do it. You can do anything”.

Trump definetly gained the least amount of support on the subject of women’s rights. Even a number of Republicans pushed for him to resign from his candidacy, but he claimed he could not let his supporters down. He said that he regretted his disgusting language and that he apologized to his family and the American people. Even though he apologized, he did defend himself stating that it was only “locker talk”. Does this excuse it at all?

I have to give it to Hillary on the topic of trust though.

I almost laughed out loud when she said, “we have to restore trust.”  She attempted to make the claim that even President Abraham Lincoln needed to use different arguments for persuading politicians with differing public and private views to abolish slavery. This was Trump’s chance to call her out once more on her infamous dishonesty.

He said she was a liar and she can’t just use Lincoln as an example for being two-faced in public and private affairs. Trump fired at Clinton a memorable line, “Honest Abe never lied.  That’s the biggest difference between Abraham Lincoln and you.”

Trump also said that if he is elected president, he will make sure Hilary Clinton is thoroughly investigated for her dishonesty and crimes, especially involving her private email server, even going so far as to suggest he would have her jailed.

It is well agreed upon which candidate had the better temperament.  I don’t think I’ve heard one person say that Trump won that subject matter in any debate.

Clinton skillfully highlighted Trumps weak temperament as being a main concern for the country’s future. She said that it is a good thing that “someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.” Early on in his campaign, Trump put down some of his supporters’ calls to “lock her up” by simply saying “let’s defeat her in November.” But now he embraces it, and his implication of jail time shows that his behavior is increasingly disrespectful, intolerant, and aggressive.

It seems that the only thing both candidates could agree on was the fact that this country is in dire need of unification.

I could continue with multiple more examples of either candidate’s weak characteristics or dishonesty. Trump’s strength that keeps him competitive is his reputation as being a brilliant negotiator, whereas Clinton’s is her calm demeanor and her prior experience and qualifications.  Also, she undoubtedly gains support for the fact that she could be the first woman president, which I personally believe should not be a factor, but is a factor nonetheless. A candidate’s plans for strengthening our country should be of consideration and not his or her biological make-up.

But why them? This year it is agreeably unfortunate that these are the candidates the citizens of the United States must choose between. So why are Trump and Clinton the only ones left in the race?  Does it maybe have to do with our current political system, where it’s as if one can literally buy presidencies? Campaigning is extremely expensive and no matter how qualified or likable a candidate is among the people, it really comes down to which candidates can afford to stay in the running, or which candidates have the richest backers.

It is unfortunate that I am hearing voters say that they don’t even want to vote at all. Minorities used to put their lives on the line, fighting for their rights to vote. It shouldn’t be that way. We should want to vote and be involved. We shouldn’t stoop to such poor choices. We should be proud of our country, not embarrassed of what it might become.


*Photo by Dennis Van Tine / AP and Paul Sancya / AP, from The Atlantic


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Our Poor Choices for President