What a year it has been.
To many students on the City College campus, welcome to your first election. I wish I wasn’t writing that with dripping sarcasm. Your first election should be one you’re proud to be a part of. Voting is one of the rituals of age that we look forward to.
You finally get to create a mark on society without your parents’ permission. Unfortunately, in this election, many are heading to voting booths scratching their heads and asking, “What just happened?”
We approach an election unlike any before. On one hand, we have the opportunity — and the obligation — to elect Hillary Clinton. For the better part of her life, she has been immersed in law and politics. From her law degree at Yale to becoming the first lady to becoming the first female senator from New York, and then most recently, to being Secretary of State for the United States. She has years learning and honing her craft in the political halls of many institutions.
On the other side, America has the opportunity to become the laughing stock of the world if Donald Trump is elected president. How Trump came to be the Republican candidate for the presidency is hard to fathom, even now. He was given control of his father’s real estate and construction firm after earning his bachelor’s from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the first candidate to not share his tax returns in over four decades. Although he has never declared personal bankruptcy, six of his hotels and casinos have filed for bankruptcy.
Since the beginning of the election process, these two candidates have been treated like the worst candidates to ever run. Half of that statement is true. Trump is the worst candidate to ever run.
He has made a complete mockery of the nation’s once proud democratic process. As alleged by nearly a dozen women, he has routinely groped and sexually assaulted women for years. He degraded a Miss Universe winner and called her “Miss Piggy.” He has alienated and insulted immigrants in this country. If he’s not winning in the polls, he declares the polls, the microphones, the system as rigged. Just ask the Emmy Awards presenters.
Trump declared, during the national debate, that he would “wait and see the results. I’ll keep you in suspense.” Every presidential candidate in U.S. history has accepted the results of the election. Trump treats it like a cliffhanger for his television show “The Apprentice.” He has effectively turned the presidential election into the next reality TV show. Americans are rubbernecking, afraid to look, but still amazed that they can’t take their eyes away from what may happen next.
Clinton has unfairly had her name attached to Trump since the beginning of the election process. But unlike the smear campaign Trump has been running, she has a clearly organized and thorough campaign. She has extensive experience with health care reform as former first lady and plans to improve the Affordable Care Act. She met with and negotiated with the world’s most powerful countries and leaders as U.S. Secretary of State. She has been an advocate for LGBT and women’s rights. Her biggest issue this campaign has been the Wikileaks emails from a non-secure email server when she was Secretary of State. The FBI has stated it can’t find any real wrongdoing — and still hasn’t — even in the wake of the latest Wikileaks bombshell of the past few weeks.
While the candidates’ personalities and policies are the main story this election, there are two very big issues in our future that will influence all Americans, as well. One, the next president will likely appoint three new justices to the Supreme Court, crafting the political atmosphere for potentially the next half a century. And two, the fate of the new president’s policy on global warming and climate change will alter the future.
Clinton has shown the political makeup and knowledge to understand the magnitude of those impending decisions. Trump has shown the ability to leave us hanging and cringing, peaking with one eye open to see what in the world he’s going to do next. We, at the Express newspaper, hope we, as Americans, will keep America great and elect the first woman president of the United States of America.