An Open Letter to Candidates

The+media+often+skews+poll+results+to+put+bullies+like+Donald+Trump+as+the+frontrunner.

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The media often skews poll results to put bullies like Donald Trump as the frontrunner.

Charlotte Pierce, Editor-in-Chief and Opinion Editor

Dear 2016 Presidential Candidates,

This year is the first year I will be able to vote. This makes me a candidate’s dream. I’m impressionable, passionate, and ready to explore the adult world you all want to win over so adamantly. In the past couple of months, however, I’ve become discouraged over the partisanship and mudslinging brought on by you candidates.  Between the constant name-calling, finger-pointing, and screaming matches, I’ve been pushed to the point where I’m unsure if voting will do me any good at all.

Each time I turn on a debate to try and inform myself, I find I must take it with a grain of salt, taking the obscene pandering into account. I can easily place each candidate into one of two groups. First up: slimy politicians. You’ve spent your lives enacting a balancing act between shameless flip-flopping and self-interest. I’ll give credit where credit is due; some of you turned around your state and local governments (Martin O’Malley), but many are notorious for flip-flopping on issues and making statements not consistent with your legislative voting history or past campaign platforms (one of the most notable being former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton).

The second group may present small numbers, but your voices never fail to be heard: the multimillionaire corporation leaders. I’m not fooled by your whole “I don’t play politics! I’m not like the others! I can make America great again!” While your fiscal policies are backed by years of financial management experience, your social views make me die a little inside. The sheer lack of compassion when it comes to diversifying our country is the exact opposite of what a progressive teenager wants to hear. Yes, I would love to hear about the graphic play-by-play of a Planned Parenthood abortion, former candidate Carly Fiorina. Of course, tell me about the rapists, drug dealers and criminals that hail from Mexico, Donald Trump! All of you are extremely educated and well-spoken individuals, which is why I’m baffled by your backwards social policies. Since your livelihoods have depended on corporate tax breaks and making sure the rich stay rich, you candidates forget to think about the actual people you’re speaking to. Corporate leaders simply view their supporters as consumers of their campaign “product”, and frankly, I’m not sold.

The final straw, however, is your constant bickering that resembles my family deciding on a movie to watch. The term “debate” is used loosely and all I see are a bunch of self-interested men and women convincing themselves that being the loudest one in the room is equivalent to being the most intelligent. At a Democratic debate, Secretary Hillary Clinton insulted Senator Bernie Sanders (in which Sanders gave the greatest side-eye ever known to man). Any time Donald Trump opens his mouth, a dig at a fellow candidate flies out. The pettiness and name-calling is so unbearable and every campaign advertisement filled with accusations convinces me more and more that no matter who I vote for, I’m putting a fraud into office.

Nonetheless, nothing can stop me from dragging my tired, college-student self to the polls on November 1. While this campaign leaves me disillusioned, I know that the worst thing I can do is to do nothing. As a citizen of this country, I was given the right to vote and have a voice in my government, and I plan to carry out that right to the highest extent. The best I can do is vote for the lesser of all evils, but if that doesn’t work out, there’s always Canada.