BY COLIN WRIGHT AND JACKIE TOTH
“Build that wall,” a voice rang through the Wadsworth Performing Arts Center during a cultural performance. The call came from a student, and was directed toward Costa Rican dancers who were hosted by WHS for several weeks in September.
The speaker may have been joking, but this reveals something about the upcoming election. Young people are taking the hostile rhetoric of our politicians and using it against others.
“The debates consist of name calling… [the candidates] go back and forth putting each other down,” said Maddie Wilson, 10.
Young people who are just getting involved in the political process for the first time are struggling with th
e decision between two seemingly intolerable candidates.
“I think young people are more interested in politics than ever… Young people are much more informed than they used to be. I’ve noticed that through teaching this age group,” said Mr. Knapp.
As the level of interest grows, however, so does the uneasiness about voting.
“I’m not old enough to vote, and if I was old enough, I’m not actually sure that I’d want to vote. At least not during this election,” said Joseph Dietrich, 10.
To young people who once looked forward to their chance to vote, this election is particularly discouraging. Republicans and Democrats both struggle to connect with younger voters.
“It’s sad that the American people are forced to choose between the ‘lesser of two evils’ in this election, because those who don’t agree with Clinton or Trump are forced to support candidates who have no chance of winning… the American people deserve a better, more positive voice that they are not getting,” said Sophie Boulter, 11.
The behavior of both candidates leaves Americans bitter and disappointed. All voters expect professional behavior at a national debate. Many Americans feel that the candidates do not address enough issues, and instead, attempt to make the other look bad.
Americans are still encouraged to vote by many public figures, including President Barack Obama. Voter registration drives occurred nationwide throughout September and early October.
“I believe this election should spark voting more than ever, but some just don’t take advantage of the privileges we as a nation have been given,” said Hannah Hines, 10.
Teenagers fear the unknown consequences of a Trump or Clinton presidency. Many feel that with Trump, a nuclear war is inevitable. Others believe that under a Clinton administration, the government will become corrupt and cater to financial institutions. For some, the stakes are extremely high.
The future of the Supreme Court also hangs in the balance. The candidate that wins the election will be responsible for choosing justices that shape the nation.
The impact of this election may not immediately effect Wadsworth, but will immediately effect the entire nation as a whole.