By Nathaniel Butler
Published: November 2nd, 2016
With the upcoming November election, an unfiltered political opinion is more than commonly expressed at Brooklyn College.
“I think it’s a mess, it’s kind of like the release of the new iPhone and the release of the new Galaxy. Like one doesn’t have a headphone jack and the other one explodes,” said business major, Safa Hussain. She then clarified herself, “I mean, Hillary’s not that bad, I don’t mind her. Even though she does have flaws, who doesn’t?”
That’s just one of many examples of how the average Brooklyn College student looks at the election. However, with experience comes wisdom, and students who have voted in the past tend to have a more critical approach towards both political parties.
“I just think it’s really sad the circus that it’s been turned into,” said psychology major, Deborah Lee. “There’s so much hoopla that the actual concerns of the American people are not being met. This is more like a reality TV show, as opposed to something that we really should take a look at and see what needs to be done within our country.”
Lee is 40 years old and of African American and American Indian heritage; meaning she was of voting age when Bill Clinton signed the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Lee was a young woman throughout the Clinton presidency, which could be why she’s so skeptical. She also feels that Trump is very good at getting people riled up—whether they agree with him or not.
“It’s brought a lot of the ugly truth within America, such as racism and the way we really think,” added Lee. “It brings up a lot of raw emotion and negative energy. Hillary Clinton, I believe she’s good, but there’s a lot of negativity on that side as well.”
Many voters like Lee have noticed that a majority of the election’s negativity centers around immigration. Immigration is among the most complex and most debated issues of the 2016 presidential election. According to The Encyclopedia of American Politics, sixty percent of registered voters report that immigration is an important factor in how they will vote in November.
19-year-old BC student Hai Han Chen is an immigrant from China and is on the road to U.S. citizenship. According to Chen, even if he did have the ability to vote, he most likely wouldn’t because of the current choices of candidate.
“I feel like I have no hope to any of them, Trump or Hillary,” said Chen. “I don’t feel like [either] of them is the best candidate for the future U.S. presidency.”
The current status of the 2016 election affects both present and future voters, with none looking favorably at either candidate. A recent national poll conducted by Quinnipiac University showed that most Americans favor voting against a particular candidate, rather than voting for them; among Clinton voters, 54 percent say they mainly are voting against Trump, whereas 66 percent of Trump supporters say they are voting against Clinton.
From what it seems, are voters truly weighing the best candidate? Or is it a race of what’s more tolerable?
“Besides it being a big joke?” said kinesiology major, Nagat Galal-El’din. “Hopefully people have enough common sense to not vote for Donald Trump. Even though Hillary isn’t all that great, she’s the lesser of the two evils, so might as well go with her.”
The term “lesser of two evils” is used commonly throughout this election—as is comparing and contrasting both candidates to President Obama.
Professor Robert Ramos of the Puerto Rican and Latino Studies department has voted in the past. Ramos believes that what President Obama accomplished throughout his terms was brilliant, and that he could have gotten done a lot more if the government was helping him.
“Well, I’m sad, worried, and angry, in no particular order,” said Ramos when asked about the current election. “It seems to have exacerbated a lot of people’s fears and hatred, which I blame the Republican Party for obstructing the government for eight years. “
In Ramos’ opinion, the problems that Trump voters raise can actually be directed to the actions of the Republican Party.
“There is no supreme court justice for however many days, so that is an actual prong of our government that they are thwarting,” said Ramos. “I don’t know, is that treason? What is that?”
The collective consciousness of our campus in uniqueness is staggering, varying from different, ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds. When November comes, the best we can do is hold our breath.