As the November presidential election comes closer, NS students express impassioned dissatisfaction with the state of the race.
Even though nearly all students are too young to vote, they still have strong opinions and most of them are critical.
The vast majority of students (82 percent) feel that neither major party candidate is fit to president. Additionally, 63 percent of students who are asked to make a choice for president report that their choice was made in response to a dislike of other candidates.
“I don’t think that either of the candidates would represent the United States well,” said senior Cody Booher. “I don’t think [Trump] is good as a person; I don’t like his standards, morals, and how he treats people. [Clinton] treats people better, but I don’t like her policies.”
Senior Brenden Blackham has similar negative feelings about both candidates.
“Trump is a wild card,” Blackham said. “He’s probably going to start another war and cause another recession. Hillary is completely corrupted, but at least you know what you are going to get.”
This idea of voting for the lesser of two evils is the attitude of most of those actually voting in the election in a month. A USA Today poll reports that 85 percent of Americans plan on voting for one of the two major party candidate. In that poll, Gary Johnson polled at less than ten percent, with other third party candidates polling at even fewer numbers. At NS, though, third parties are considered a viable option.
Over half, 55 percent, of students at NS would vote for somebody other than the two major party candidates.
Senior Brenden Blackham would vote for Gary Johnson, and he feels that a third party ballot is a viable option
“For my conscience, I don’t want to vote for someone who is completely corrupted or someone who is completely inexperienced,” Blackham said. “Voting to stop someone is a dumb reason to vote. I would recommend writing someone in.”
Although many students don’t like either candidate, some students do like a specific person. Sophomore Coldir Cox is one such person. He has strong feelings about this election, but if he could vote, he would cast a ballot for Donald Trump.
“I think [Clinton] is kind of a liar,” Cox said. “I think Donald Trump is more of an honest person. At this point, the US needs a man that is not afraid to speak his mind.”
Although Cox admits Trump has little executive experience, to him this is not a big issue.
“I’m pretty sure he could learn very quickly,” Cox said. “[Trump] has an understanding of how to lead things.”
Some students, though are anything but positive about the political landscape. Freshman Tawnee Allen is one such student who, for once, is glad that she’s still a minor.
“I’m just glad I’m not eighteen so I can’t vote,” said Allen. “I know everything is just going to go downhill; I might just leave the country.”
Allen’s solution is extreme, even for students at NS. Booher, though, is confident about his generation’s influence in the future. For him, that future voice is a good enough reason to be an informed citizen.
“It’s up to us next election; we do have real power,” Booher said. “Following politics is part of being a good citizen.”
Blackham also expresses the belief that students should be involved, and learn about politics.
“Politics affects everything in your life,” Blackham said. “You should care about what is happening in your country. If you don’t care about it now, are really going to care about it later.”
When students are too young to vote, it may seem meaningless to become informed. Speech, debate, and drama teacher Alex Barlow holds that the rising generation has the biggest reason to become involved in politics.
“The policies that the older generation are making are affecting the younger generation more than it does them,” Barlow said. “These issues stick around for a long time; I don’t think they are going to go anywhere.”
Barlow also offers ways for students to participate in the decision process, while giving his plug for the speech and debate class.
“I wish that [students] would research and form their own opinions, opinions separate from their parents,” Barlow said. “Form opinions and take stances on issues that concern you… [you] students do have a voice.”