Presidential election creates controversy


Erica Gudino, Editor-in-Chief

In a combined poll using paper ballots and Twitter, the Falconer conducted a poll of 290 students asking whom they would vote for in the 2016 election if they were allowed to vote.
With election day less than one weeks away, it’s crunch time for the presidential candidates who are two of the most disliked nominees in American history. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has been on the national political stage for nearly 35 years, as the First Lady with President Bill Clinton, the first female senator from New York, and as Secretary of State from 2009-2013. Republican candidate Donald Trump a business mogul and star of his reality show The Apprentice, is an outsider to the political office.
Roughly 25 percent of the population have unfavorable views on both Trump and Clinton according to a poll run by In the latest poll by the New York Times, Clinton has a six percent lead over Trump.
“It seems that [Trump] could get by in the primary election with 30-40 percent, but that’s not good enough when you want to win,” government teacher David Smith said. “The thing that many of the observers in the Trump campaign are not paying attention to is that you have to win the electoral college to be president. That means there are certain states that [Trump] just has to win. There may be some political pundits who will surprised [by the outcome of this election].”
Senior Gretchen Dietrich is leaning towards Clinton and agrees with her economic reform policies to rebuild the middle class and with her stand on abortion and women’s issues. Due to her years of working in public service, Dietrich feels that Clinton has enough experience to be in the White House and improve the infrastructure.
“I think she’s a really valuable candidate and will fix this country,” Dietrich said. “I was a Hillary supporter [from the beginning], but whenever people asked me [who I liked], they shot me down because of the email scandal. I know she has a lot of problems with trust, and I think that she should talk openly about it instead of sweeping it under the rug. Other than that, I think she’s a really strong woman.”
Senior Alex Amirato, who volunteers for the Clinton campaign, said that the 2016 election is probably the craziest of recent times.
“Some of the rules of a regular election have gone out the window,” Amirato said. “Usually, during the debates, the candidates are diplomatic, calm, and level-headed. At this point in the election, the candidates are bringing up stuff that isn’t relevant.”
Sophomore Anthony Doble originally supported Rand Paul, but shifted to Trump when Paul dropped out of the race. He also thinks that Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, is a good choice for Vice President and agrees with his views that businesses should not be required to provide services that conflict with their religious beliefs.
“I am choosing Trump because I think that we have a problem with the border, are losing jobs to other countries, and need to support our military more,” Doble said. “[Trump] loves our veterans; he wants to treat them with the best. Sometimes veterans are treated worse than illegal immigrants.”
According to a CBS/New York Times poll, 51 percent of voters think Trump would do better with the economy than Clinton. Sophomore Caleb Bristow agrees and is also a Trump supporter.
“Trump is more of a businessman and he’s really straightforward; he does exactly what he wants when he wants to,” Bristow said.
However, according to the CBS/New York Times poll, 67 percent of voters think that Trump would be a risky choice for president, and 64 percent do not think he has the right temperament. The release of tapes that record Trump’s vulgar comments about women, and his stereotypes of Mexicans and Muslims, have helped reinforce this perspective. Dietrich thinks that he should focus on how he is going to help this country, instead of attacking other candidates and people with crazed rhetoric.
“I think that Donald Trump is going to get this country into a lot of trouble and put a lot of fear into our eyes,” Dietrich said. “You want the U.S. to be a really stable country. We are a mix of every race, a kind of hybrid country, and if he wants to take that all away to make a white supremacist [country], then we’re not going to have any culture left.”
One of Trump’s primary campaign focuses is immigration; he promises to build a wall that would separate America from Mexico. Although he is a Trump supporter, Bristow disagrees with the deportation of immigrants.
“It’s very unethical; [he just wants people gone] because they’re taking [Americans’] jobs, but [at least] they actually go out and get jobs,” Bristow said. “He’s trying too hard and needs to focus on where he can get, instead of what he will never achieve.”
During her four years as Secretary of State, Clinton used a private email server to conduct government business. When requested by the State Department to turn over her emails, many accused her of hiding those that contained sensitive information regarding the attack on the embassy in Benghazi, leading to controversy about her honesty and trustworthiness. In June, the FBI decided not to charge Clinton with wrongdoing. Doble believes that Clinton is unfit to be in office and should be imprisoned for her involvement in the Benghazi and the email scandals.
“I don’t like her policies at all, supporting the TPP, being a feminist, and her tax plan for the middle class,” Doble said. “She says there’s a wage gap, but it’s proven that if women take the same amount of vacation days, they’d be paid the same as men.”
Trump has called Clinton’s health into question after she stumbled into public, implying that she was ill and unable to perform presidential duties. Clinton brushed Trump’s allegations off and continued campaigning. Amirato said that by not addressing the controversy, Clinton seems more untrustworthy.
“I feel that she needs to be much more open about [the health controversy]. A lot of people don’t trust her, which is rightfully so,” Amirato said. “She said she didn’t have health issues when she did; she was battling pneumonia, but she lied about that. If she had been more open about [her health and] emails, she wouldn’t be under as much scrutiny.”
Senior Adam Ward says that both Clinton and Trump are corrupt, represent the anarchy that is politics, and that neither would make a good choice for president. He is in favor of Libertarian Gary Johnson, one of the third-party candidates in the race because he thinks the government should be less involved in the civilian’s lives.
“Trump is obviously insane; I’ve always thought of him as one of those people that others think [represents] the stereotyped perspective of America: white, xenophobic, bigoted, and we don’t want that,” Ward said. “Hillary Clinton is also terrible; she is the epitome of corruption in politics. But at least she somewhat knows what she’s doing because she’s been involved in politics for so long. The fact that we have a two-party system that gives us such limited options makes us feel like we don’t really have a choice. A lot of people don’t even realize we have other options: Gary Johnson. To me, it’s a lesser of multiple evils.”