Politics is a dangerous territory that is best to be avoided. In the case of a presidential election, however, it is inevitable to be drawn into the race, joining the rest of the nation in scrutinizing the candidates and their actions.
Marking the 58th quadrennial election of the United States, this presidential race will be documented in future history textbooks as one of the most bizarre ones in the nation’s history. Officially nominated by their respective parties at the conventions in July, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are nearing the end of the race as Election Day approaches.
Media outlets have exhausted all the tiny aspects of the election, from undisclosed illnesses to the infamous wall proposed for the nation's southwestern border. These points have turned heads and made headlines, yet news organizations seem to have forgotten the premise of these presidential campaigns, failing to thoroughly report on the candidates’ policies and stances on issues affecting Americans across the nation.
There’s no doubt that reading the latest in Trump’s series of hateful comments or catching up to speed on Clinton’s private email scandal is as addictive as browsing through celebrity gossip magazines at the grocery store. But it’s disturbing to see how the presidential race is losing value in news coverage. It is this lack of attention to the candidates’ perspectives that is an underlying factor as to why people are “taking a stand” and refusing to vote this November, claiming that neither candidate is qualified for presidency.
To be honest, this attitude won’t have any direct impact on the election. It will easily affect the voter turnout rates, but either Clinton or Trump will come out victorious when the polls close. One less vote just means one less vote that determines the 45th President of the United States. So while it may seem empowering to not vote this election, it is essential to at least familiarize yourself with the basic proponents of the campaigns – bringing you one step closer to picking between the lesser of two evils.
When it comes to the economy, Clinton intends on equalizing the tax system by ensuring that the wealthy pay more taxes than working middle-class families. The former Secretary of State also plans on investing in America, helping small businesses grow and prosper. Some of Clinton’s major educational policies include offering free tuition at four-year, in-state public colleges and community colleges so that each American is equipped with the skills they need to succeed. She is prepared to deal with Congress to fight for paid medical and family leave, establish equality for women and develop comprehensive immigration reform. For the safety of our nation, Clinton will work closely with congressmen to put an end to gun violence and collaborate with our allies to defeat terrorist organization.
Although it seems like Trump is running on an empty platform, the Republican Party candidate provides some insight into his policies on his official website. Dedicated to simplifying the lives of parents, Trump envisions policies that cut down the costs of childcare and eldercare while providing families with options to choose the type of care best fit for them. Like his opponent, he also wants to simplify the tax system by lowering taxes and significantly reducing the income tax. He plans on repealing President Obama’s executive orders, including the Climate Action Plan and Affordable Care Act. Of course, his platform would not be complete without his plan to force Mexico to pay for a wall along the American border.
The candidates’ platforms consist of much more than these highlights, but this brief outline is meant to emphasize the core of any presidential race. It’s not about the racist remarks or covered up lies. While we should consider a candidate’s character before making a decision, we should also be aware of what they stand for and believe in. We cannot afford to sit at home, or in the pleasure of our own dorm rooms, on Nov. 8. It is our civic duty and coveted American right to choose the next president of the United States. If we don’t do it, who will?