by Jonathan Bergman, Erin Malley and Rowan Oberman
Hi's Eye spoke to students about their choice of candidates.
by Jonathan Bergman
Love him or hate him, you cannot deny that real estate magnate Donald Trump is the main attraction in the 2016 presidential election campaign. Trump, who’s enjoyed support from primary voters, has also galvanized the support of some WHS students.
One of the biggest motivations for Trump’s followers is an appreciation of his “¨tell-it-like-it-is” persona. Senior Blake Fallon, who respects Trump’s stance on guns, tax reform and immigration reform, finds Trump trustworthy because of his “no-BS attitude towards anything.”
On Donald Trump’s crass rhetoric, Fallon said, “I don’t vote for a president because of what he says. I vote for a president because of what he wants to do.”
Junior Eric Storms is leaning toward Trump because he doesn’t take orders—he leads. Storms said: “The freshness that Trump can bring to the office would make him my favorite candidate.”
But it’s not just Trump’s attitude that conveys confidence in his followers; the fact that Trump is a wealthy businessman gives his supporters assurance he will have continued success as president.
That’s why senior Nick Kay said Americans can trust Trump despite his lack of political experience.“ He’s made a lot of money — look at his empire,” said Kay. ¨I think that he’s amazing with money. With our current economic situation, that’s exactly what we need.”
What sets Trump supporters off from other students who are politically involved is the response they evoke in others. Kay said when he wears his “Make America Great Again” hat at WHS, responses have ranged from hostility to affection. Similarly, when senior Alex Grom wears his Donald Trump shirt, he said people call Trump “racist” and “stupid.”
Trump’s supporters do not agree with everything he says; for example, banning Muslims from entering the country is something Storms cannot get behind. “I’m not a full Trump supporter. I just like him the best,” Storms said.
For Fallon and others, the often coarse behavior of Trump makes him the antithesis of President Obama in policy and rhetoric. Fallon said, “For eight years now, we’ve had a president that is very presidential, a man that is very refined, very reformed and acts exactly as you would expect a president to. The problem is, I haven’t seen the results from that man as much as I would have liked to.”
by Erin Malley and Rowan Oberman
He’s a 74-year-old man who looks, acts and talks more like your grandfather than your friend. And yet, young people love him.
Despite Hillary Clinton’s lead in the Democratic presidential campaign, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been a major surprise, performing especially well among young people, including some WHS students.
Sanders’ dominant performance with young voters is a major factor behind his success. According to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll he has a 22-point advantage among people under 50 years old. But what sparked this Bernie-Mania?
The main reason Sanders appeals to younger voters is his focus on the issues that directly impact younger generations.
One of Sanders’ popular ideas is to establish tuition-free public universities throughout the U.S. Senior Aidan Sumner said, “His free college proposal is extremely alluring to me personally, due to the rising cost of college,” Sumner said.
Senior Connie Wolff also noted that Sanders’ priorities are highly relevant to the younger generation. “The problems young people are facing now—such as college debt, low-wage jobs, unemployment, and the inability to become financially independent—are all things he’s really striving to fix,” Wolff said. This sentiment is echoed nationwide by young voters, who rank college affordability and student debt as the second most important issue to them, according to usatoday.com.
Sanders’ policies aside, one thing is clear: People like him. According to quinnipiac.edu, Sanders has the highest favorability rating out of all the candidates. Young kids love that he’s consistent—he’s been fighting for the same issues since he was our age, whereas Clinton has received criticism for changing her views based on the popular opinions of the time.
Senior Justin Dudzinski said, “Whether it be his support for civil rights in the ‘60s, his support of gay rights since the early ‘80s or being staunchly against the Iraq War and the Patriot Act, Bernie Sanders has been dedicated to change, and still is.”
Dudzinski said that members of our generation love Bernie for the same reason that others love Trump. “They want change,” he said. “Young people are sick of corrupt establishment politics and those two candidates, while on very opposite sides of the spectrum, represent the anti-establishment politics that many young people desire.”