Decision 2016

A Year Ahead

More stories from Zach Tenney

Bad boys’ bathroom
March 21, 2016

Presidential Seal

The 2016 presidential election has taken over the news in recent months, due mostly to the nature of the candidates on both the Democrat and Republican sides. Approximately a year from now, the donkeys and elephants will duke it out again in a fight for control of the White House.

The Democrats have two primary competitors. The first is Hillary Clinton, wife to former president Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State. However, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Clinton. An investigation is ongoing into her use of a private email account to conduct official government business during her time as Secretary of State, as opposed to a government account. Also, she was recently investigated and put before court for her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, in which four Americans were killed. “I hate Hillary Clinton; she could have prevented Benghazi and she didn’t. And she should be in way more trouble for the email scandal,” says Cameron Pietrzykowski (11).  Some are going so far as to say that the government should ban Clinton from running. “If she has all this legal trouble going on, she shouldn’t be allowed to run,” says Cody Mizikar (12).

I hate Hillary Clinton; she could have prevented Benghazi and she didn’t. And she should be in way more trouble for the email scandal

— Cameron Pietrzykowzki

The second major Democratic candidate is Bernie Sanders, a longtime politician who is notable for his more socialist political views. “Our government isn’t socialist, it’s a democracy; so I disagree with Bernie Sanders’s views and don’t think he should be in office,” says Pietrzykowski. Sanders’s views have been anything but detrimental, however. “I agree with him on pretty much everything,” says Henry Poznanski (12). By the time of the election, Poznanski will be old enough to vote, and he says, “If possible, I want to vote for Bernie Sanders.”

Meanwhile, the Republican side began making waves in the media before the campaigns even officially began. The number of Republicans running for President quickly soared into double digits, and that alone was enough to garner some media attention. It really exploded when veteran businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump announced his candidacy, something that most people saw as a joke…until it took off. An unconventional campaign filled with talk of making major changes to this country has made Trump one of the front runners. “I think Trump will change things,” says Shea Bigelow (9). It would seem that many Americans share this view because for over one-hundred days, Trump led all of the polls, and even now he is still near the top. “Trump might win because he is somehow convincing a lot of people that his way is right,” says Mizikar. His experience in business may be contributing to his success, given the current economic situation in America. “I think Trump could help us recover from debt,” says Eric Anthony (9).

I prefer Carson over Trump and Clinton, based on his views on where this country needs to go

— Chad Arnold

Alongside Trump, another unlikely and also non-politician candidate has worked his way into second place, and is slowly climbing in the polls: retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Essentially, the top two Republican candidates are fundamentally different from all the others. They are also each other’s polar opposites. The media describes Trump “bombastic,” “brash,” and “blunt” (the Boston Globe), while Carson is more soft-spoken. “Ben Carson seems like a pretty good guy,” says Pietrzykowski. “As for Trump, I’m not really a fan. I do like his immigration policy, but that’s it. To me, he is a fake Republican.” All throughout the past summer and into early fall, Trump dominated in the polls. But now, Ben Carson is on the rise and has overtaken Trump in many polls. “I prefer Carson over Trump and Clinton, based on his views on where this country needs to go,” says Chad Arnold (12).

At this early stage of the election, it is difficult to tell which two candidates will be facing off in the actual election in 2016, as several months of debates and primaries still lie ahead and whether or not the current front runners maintain their support through these events remains to be seen. America could very well end up having to decide between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but the situation isn’t that cut-and-dry. Change is happening already with Carson’s support increasing nationwide. People are divided and still have a long way to go before they will make their final decisions. It is important to note that Clinton, Sanders, Trump, and Carson are only the current front runners; numerous other candidates are still running, especially on the Republican side. It is still entirely possible for the voters to change their minds and cause support to shift to one of these lesser-known individuals.

Out of the all the complexity of the race, the American people have sent a clear message. The past few months have shown a distinct and widespread desire for change in this country, a desire that has been most prominently displayed in the rise of outsiders Donald Trump and Ben Carson, and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. Although the identity of the next president is still a mystery, one thing is certain: 2016 is going to be an enormous year in politics.