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Presidential Elections Evoke Hard Questions of Introspection

By Karyll DIaz
On November 2, 2016

As the election heads toward its final lap the following week, the United States is still confused and divided. According to BBC News, the polls are almost neck and neck with Hillary leading by only six points as of Oct. 25. What does this mean for our nation come Nov. 8? I’ve tried to watch the election from different perspectives trying to understand the gravity of it all seeing that it would be my first presidential election I will be able to vote in. From foreign affairs, immigration reform, and the overall income inequality, I can’t see either of the candidates being ideal. After all, I am not a political science professor and I have no experience in politics other than voting itself. Yet, I find myself drawn toward the nastiness of it all. It all comes down to my civil duty to vote.

Now, neither candidate is perfect and if we’re being honest, what candidates in the history of presidential elections have been so? If we’re being totally fair, regardless of Donald Trump’s racist and misogynistic remarks (which are not justified in any way), I can understand to a small extent why someone would vote for him. He isn’t a politician; he’s a businessman and although he’s a far cry from us regulars, he speaks in a vernacular that average American folk would talk in as opposed to all the political jargon that’s thrown around making it so only congressmen and lawyers could understand. Still, that’s as far as I can get to hypothetically understanding why someone would vote for him. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is experienced. She was the former Secretary of State and the junior United States Senator of New York. Nevertheless, her reputation behind Benghazi, emails, and the Clinton Foundation seem to drag her down at times. It seems like most of our leaders reflect this disconnect between those who write the narrative and those who live in it. With the controversy and confusion this election has brought upon us, how can we have hope for change? It’s not like we have Batman Sanders here to save Gotham.

Instead, we have to think, how does this affect us? These issues that they attempt to bring up in the debates and in news hour after news hour are the ones that will most likely directly affect us, the people we know, and the communities we live in. Sometimes because we see how high they are in power and what they’re nationally trying to grab, it seems like what they discuss have no correlation to our everyday lives.

How many of us know of someone or are someone who is an immigrant? Where the process of becoming naturalized can cost between $5,000-$7,500 just to hire an immigration lawyer for the green card process alone.

How many of us know a veteran and someone who is currently serving? In which the Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t equally allocate a billion-dollar budget in providing health care services and job opportunities?

How many of us work dead-end or minimum wage jobs with no benefits, yet, still don’t qualify for health insurance while making the bare minimum? How many of us don’t receive the proper healthcare we need?

How many of us know someone who died of a gun-related death? Do our gun legislations need improvement?

These are just a tiny handful of the issues that the country faces today. There’s also education, budget spending, taxes, etc. and while our leaders may not face these problems firsthand, they are the ones who are chosen to bring a voice and bring aid to those problems. It comes down to, who do you think will do that job better? That’s why we elect government officials: to represent the majority voice. How will your voice and your issue be heard if you don’t vote? Yes, neither of the candidates are our perfect match. If it were up to me, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would have been inaugurated by now. But, we have to face the fact that these four years might not fly right on by and that truthfully, we don’t know how well it could go. Vote because the suffragettes fought for decades for a woman’s right to vote. Vote because you don’t want a racist or misogynistic person to be elected office. Vote because you feel like you want your voice heard. Vote to do your part of the election; they are trying to win you over.  


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