South students shed light on their choice candidates

Maddy Ruos, co-features editor

With a record number of Americans paying attention to the upcoming 2016 presidential election, South students take time to reflect on the candidates involved and the rhetoric surrounding their campaigns. Nov. 8, Election Day, is predicted to be filled with debate and will ultimately end with a new President of the United States.

Senior Dani Revello says her decision to support Hillary Clinton was made much easier by Clinton’s qualifications for the job as well as her calm demeanor while debating Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, during the three presidential debates.

“I think [her experience] is going to make it a lot easier for her to transition from Secretary of State to President [because] she has served over 30 years for the U.S. government and she has done way more good than [harm],” Revello said.

Like Revello, senior Max Shapiro has chosen to support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton because of her extensive experience in public service. Shapiro also cites her involvement with international leaders on issues facing the nation and the world as one of Clinton’s strengths.

“She’s a Democrat, and what is most important to me is that liberal values are passed on and carried,” Shapiro said. “I also think that she has a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge of policy, and she is somebody who would be able to […] talk with foreign leaders about real pressing issues.”

Unlike both Revello and Shapiro, senior Ashur Moshe became a Donald Trump supporter as a direct result of his frustration with traditional “career politicians” like Hillary Clinton, whom he claims fail to enact meaningful progress.

“People are sick and tired of the same politicians that we elect, and they get nothing done, [which is] why I like [Donald Trump] and many others like him too,” Moshe said.

Supporting Trump, according to Moshe, was an obvious decision because of Trump’s clear goals to improve the mentality and conditions of American citizens, particularly in the middle class.

“What Trump’s really aiming for […] is he wants the middle class to be good,” Moshe said. “He wants you to have a good life; he wants you to be successful, […] and that’s really good because thinking big, there’s nothing wrong with that. Dreaming big. Thinking big. That’s what [we] need in this country.”

Throughout the months leading up to the election, policy debates between the two candidates have revealed their differences on a number of issues. According to Shapiro, Clinton’s plan to address climate change resolutions is a major positive of her candidacy and a major negative of Trump’s.

“Clinton is somebody who would promote [Obama’s] policies and even advocate for further legislation in order to mitigate climate change and reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” Shapiro said. “Four years is a long time and if Trump were elected, I don’t think we would see any kind of progress in terms of climate change. I don’t think he cares about it.”

Moshe, passionate about economic issues, cites Trump’s background as President and Chairman of The Trump Organization as well as his reality TV show, The Apprentice, as evidence of Trump’s financial success.

“He’s given so many people opportunities on his show, and he’s employed over 30,000 people, which is what this country needs because we don’t want our country to go into a high unemployment rate,” Moshe said. “This is the land of opportunity for a reason, and we want everyone to have that opportunity.”

According to Revello, Clinton’s historic nomination as the first woman to run for President nominated by a major political party was a special moment. Revello predicts that if Clinton was to win the election, her position would continue to help other women gain confidence.

“It really is super important to me that she is a woman,” Revello said. “[She is] just transcending everything, breaking that glass ceiling, just being the woman [that other] women need to look up to and just everything that we need in this time with Donald Trump.”

In contrast, senior Julius Khamoo feels Donald Trump would be the best President for the country because of his firm stance on immigration and U.S. intake of refugees from countries in the Middle East.

“The hometown that […] all of my family members are from was destroyed because of these radical Islamists,” Khamoo said. “If we’re having refugees come to this country, we should at least do some [more in-depth] background checks before letting them in just to make sure that it’s safe to allow them in. And with people coming illegally to [this] country, they’re taking jobs that could be set for other Americans.”

Unlike Khamoo, senior Yoana Sidzhimova takes offense to Trump’s hard-line immigration platform as well as his comments against women and other minority groups. However, she has chosen to not support Hillary Clinton either because of lingering questions and distrust regarding her use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State for President Barack Obama. According to Sidzhimova, each candidate has flaws that stop her from supporting them.

“When you look at one candidate who is very sexist, very racist and clearly not open, and then you look at another candidate [who] isn’t as trustworthy as some think and has a lot of controversies under [her] belt, none of those things should be something that a president has,” Sidzhimova said.

Sidzhimova claims that her inability to support either candidate comes from the fact that neither party’s platforms address her concerns as a younger voter. According to Sidzhimova, both the Republican and the Democratic party have moved farther away from bipartisan reform and compromise. Sidzhimova believes that both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party should try harder to  work together within the government.

“The problem with both of the parties is that […] what we should be doing is coming towards common ground and finding more moderate policies in both of the parties to [support] more citizens,” Sidzhimova said. “That’s the exact opposite of what’s going on. Both parties are radically changing, and […] I don’t think either candidate [represents] the parties’ [original platforms].”

Unlike Sidzhimova, Shapiro believes that while both Trump and Clinton may have their weaknesses, in the end there will be one clear winner of the presidency. Shapiro feels that choosing a candidate should be based on their respective abilities to serve the general population and the issues that matter most to American citizens.

“Politicians are not supposed to be set on [the same ideals] throughout the entirety of their careers,” Shapiro said. “I think the point of democracy is to reflect the public’s opinions. It’s not to reflect the leader’s opinions; it’s to reflect what the people want.”