This Election Sucks, but You Should Still Vote
Real Talk |  Source: @castlemandesign

This Election Sucks, but You Should Still Vote

We must have our voices heard.

This election has caused some of the most intense political division of our lifetime. The mainstream media is dissecting this election with fervor and reaping the rewards in network ratings.

They are milking this election for all it's worth and the candidates have done their share to assist them in doing so, by creating headlines seemingly out of thin air, as a simple tweet or statement can become a week-long news story.

But while this political climate has been incredibly intense and widely covered, it has also driven many voters to a place of political apathy. There isn't much optimism being promoted in this campaign by either candidate.

Many voters have become dissatisfied with their party, their party's policy proposals, or the candidate their party nominated. People seem unsure of who to vote for, or are flat out uninterested in voting. Even worse, some people are voting from the standpoint of "picking the lesser of two evils".

This campaign apathy appears to be most present on college campuses around the country. A recent millennial poll revealed that 34 percent of prospective voters are not voting for either Trump or Hillary.

Campaign activists are persistently confronted with this problem, and it has become exponentially worse as this year's candidates simply don't inspire millennials to make the trek to the voting booth.

However, despite college students disinterest, their votes are key to this campaign. A gigantic shift of college students to the Republican party could help Trump secure a victory, especially in decisive states such as Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina.

If Clinton can drive voters to the polls while not suffering some out-of-nowhere shift in preference from this group, she could dramatically help her chances like Obama did in 2012 when he made a concerted effort to turn out young voters. .

And although the circumstances are less than ideal, I plead to my fellow millennials to impact this election by simply turning in a vote. Voting is one of our civic duties and people will continue to not take our generational voting block seriously if we decide to not make a difference.

For the politically apathetic: go out and protest vote. Vote for Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, or hell, write in your own name (It is America you know). If you're a fan of Hillary or Donald or are voting for the lesser of two evils, do it without worrying about what your peers in your social circles may think.

But remember this: no one is entitled to your vote. Candidates have to earn your approval.

So, when you don't show up at the booth because neither candidate earned your vote, you let the candidates win. While your protest vote may not impact the election, it will help in sending a message to the political establishments of this nation that our country deserves better candidates than the ones that have been offered up.

Regardless of how angry, frustrated or disappointed you may be at this presidential election, make sure that the candidates, the parties, and the media know how you feel. Do this by simply by going in and casting a vote. Have an impact, whether that be left, right, centrist, up, down, finger pointed at yourself, whatever. Your vote counts.

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Bernie Supporters React to Hillary Endorsement

What does this mean for Bernie fans?

Despite previously stating he would campaign through to the Democratic convention, Bernie Sanders finally threw in the towel yesterday and publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee.

In his thirty minute speech, Sanders pledged, "I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States."

As to be expected, given this raucous campaign year, Sanders' decision to back Clinton has been met with widespread, mixed responses.

For many, Bernie's eventual support for Hillary was to be expected. She was leading in delegates and has numerous credentials and experience to her name as former Secretary of State.

One sophomore I interviewed said she began supporting Hillary over Bernie after he lost the state of Ohio in the primaries. "It became clear to me that his chances of winning a general election weren't high enough, especially with an opponent as scary as Trump."


The push to defeat Trump was clearly at the forefront of Sanders' decision to join forces with Clinton. He repeatedly mentioned the need to join together as a party and celebrate the diversity of our country, values he feels Clinton would uphold.

"In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. While Donald Trump is busy insulting Mexicans, Muslims, women, African Americans and veterans, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths."

However, this choice to form a coalition has left numerous Sanders' supporters feeling betrayed as they took to the Senator's Facebook Campaign Page to voice their concerns and distrust with the Hillary as the nominee.

The decision could potentially backfire on the Democratic party, as many have stated they would prefer to write in Sanders as their nominee rather than vote Trump or Hillary.

"I'm Bernie or Bust... I think people need to vote for something rather than against something," said Marie Clark, a New Hampshire Sanders' supporter.


The amount of time and dedication - both physical and emotional - that individuals had put into backing Sanders was clearly evident. As lamented by Jessica Watrous Boyer of Rhode Island, "You chose her over us.... Truly shocked and saddened by this."

The refusal to vote for Hillary among Democrats isn't universal. As stated by a senior at Oberlin, "I knew this was coming, but I'm still disappointed. I'll definitely vote for Hillary this fall, but I wish that I both trusted and connected with her as I did Sanders. I think doing more research will help."

Current events also play into the decision to research. As stated by another sophomore, "after some of the incidents this year related to gun violence, it became really important to me that my president took a stance for gun control."

As the saying goes, when one door closes another one opens. Now that it's been narrowed down to Trump and Clinton, it's the perfect time to learn more about their agendas and hold them accountable to the current pressing issues that matter most to us going into this election.


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Trump and Clinton Remind Us Why We're Over This Election

Karl Becker 4 Prez.

After the release of the explicit and disturbing #Trumptapes and an additional 2,000 emails linked to Hillary Clinton's scandalous "mistake", we all knew that this debate had the potential to be a dirty slugfest. That tone was immediately made very clear as both candidates avoided shaking hands before the start of the debate. Not a good look.

Moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz used questions written by the undecided voters in the town hall audience and at home to guide "the people's debate". One would hope that given the close proximity and interaction with the voters these candidates are trying to pull, there would've been more civility. NOPE, no such luck.

Instead of giving a full run down of the debate, I decided to do something a little less painful: focus on these two incidents specifically and how they were discussed last night by the candidates. The opening question asked by Patrice Brock in the audience dove right into the mess.

"The last debate could have been rated as MA, mature audiences, per TV parental guidelines. Knowing that educators assign viewing the presidential debates as students' homework, do you feel you're modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today's youth?"

She's right. Think about all the extremely vulgar language and the lack of model behavior these candidates have shown. As college students we may be used to hearing and seeing this in our unfiltered daily life, but it doesn't make it right or anything we should be aspiring for in our leadership.

Despite being a great question, both candidates' answers were pretty lackluster and clearly avoided any mentions of Brock's references, focusing instead on their campaign slogans of "stronger together" and "make America great again."

I know avoidance is the go-to tactic of politicians, but when the media blasts concerning new stories about the candidates every single day, you just can't ignore the elephant in the room.

Anderson Cooper had no qualms in trying to make Trump answer specifically about the tapes, stating: "The question from Patrice was about are you both modeling positive and appropriate behavior for today's youth.... You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?"

Trump's excuse for his lewd commentary?

"Just locker room talk" and that "it's just words folks," which to him means harmless. He then discussed Bill Clinton's scandals as "far worse" so as to avoid responsibility, minimize his statements, and take a dig at Hillary. In reality, Trump is a prime example of the rape culture we have created and accepted in society.

On the Democratic side, when asked specifically how she can reason that her email "mistake" was not "extremely careless," Hillary restated her apology and that she takes responsibility for her actions, but quickly shifted to discussing the lack of any evidence proving the "misleading accusations from critics".

It's important that she does continually apologize and take responsibility, but when she defers to telling people to "check the facts", it's hard to know what to believe and even what to check when there are thousands of emails missing.

Trump made this loud and clear and emphasized that if he takes office, he will have a special prosecutor on her case.

Are you thoroughly exhausted from this election? Because I sure am. The only bright spot came at the very end when audience member Karl Becker single-handedly won last night's debate by asking both candidates to name one positive thing about the other. Honestly our hero.

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Eight Issues Hillary Must Be Held Accountable For

We have questions. Does she have answers?

The media has made Donald Trump answer for most of his wrongdoings throughout this election cycle. Trump's rhetoric has been lambasted, and his actions--as well as the actions of his followers--have been chastised harshly.

Scandal after scandal has unravelled relating to Hillary Clinton, but due to her virtual lack of presence in the media, Clinton has been able to trek on without much of an acknowledgement of these scandals.

Whether all of the things I mention below have truth to them or not, Hillary needs to answer for them. Here is the full list of scandals Hillary Clinton needs to answer for:

1. Her Wall Street speeches.
We all knew there would be a bombshell in these speeches the moment she denied to release them at the request of Bernie Sanders' campaign. This isn't so much a partisan issue as it is an issue within the Democrat party's voter base per concerns over her authenticity to progressive causes.

In one of the recent WikiLeaks dumps of Podesta's emails, three of the transcripts of Hillary's Wall Street speeches were released to the public. In them, Hillary looked like the type of "warhawk" Democrats have continually characterized Republicans as.

2. Dodd-Frank.
Dodd-Frank is legislation Hillary Clinton supported in public. This legislation is something Americans heard Republicans like Marco Rubio speak out against during the primaries.

In a leaked Clinton speech, she says Dodd-Frank was passed for "political purposes". What did she mean by this, and how will she stake a claim against repealing a purely political piece of legislation?

3. Her comments about Vladimir Putin.
It seems the media has taken the position that if everything you say about Vladimir Putin isn't a damning remark on his character and his leadership, you shouldn't speak at all. Hillary seems to admire some things about Putin, and she called him "very engaging".

4. The actions of Bill Clinton and accusations that Hillary covered them up.
I'm not someone who thinks Trump's lewd history should be explained away by invoking Bill Clinton. Only one is running for office. However, the accusations Clinton accusers are charging Hillary with--with respect to silencing them--is of note. Maybe these allegations are completely false, but it's not fair to judge the two candidates unequally on sexual assault claims with equal levels of substantiation.

5. Voter fraud.
People who push for stronger voter ID laws have been labelled hateful and bigoted. While Trump parades about that there's a grand conspiracy against him, a video released by Project Veritas shows Democratic leaders speaking candidly to undercover reporters about how they could pull off voter fraud. Trump is in the wrong for his suggestions, but Clinton should answer for these videos, as ramifications have already struck for some involved.

6. DNC Corruption / Media Corruption.
Donna Brazile has been exposed as a media mole for Hillary Clinton. She fed the campaign information during her time with CNN. After Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was fired from her role as DNC chair after exercising bias against Bernie Sanders in the primary, the DNC replaced her with... you guessed it... Donna Brazile.

7. Paid Organizers / Fake Rally Actions.
In the Project Veritas video series, Democrat officials had spoke specifically about involvement in organizing voters to elicit responses from the Trump supporters and ensure media coverage of these responses.

They claim they were involved in the notorious Trump rally in Chicago that was cancelled due to hazardous conditions. She attacked Trump for his supporters' actions, so she should be held accountable for her supporters' actions as well.

8. North Carolina GOP Office Firebombed.
This is a pretty obvious example of a media double standard. Any time any GOP rhetoric "inspires" something negative, they are blamed. For months now, Democrats have decried the morality of NC GOP leaders who passed the infamous Transgender bathroom bill. In an act of "political terrorism", an NC GOP office was firebombed. Will the media ask how Democrats' attacks contributed to this?

At the conclusion of putting this list together, I feel a lurking disgust for this year's elections. Think hard about your vote, but do so with all of the facts in hand. I hope this post has helped you on that front.

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Is Gary Johnson a Legit Option?

Don't waste your vote this election.

For many of us, the summer Olympics served as both a thrilling source of entertaining competition and a nice reprieve from the political campaign madness that has ensued throughout this summer. But somehow Donald Trump still messed up and made the headlines for making a lightweight Second Amendment threat against Hillary Clinton if she wins the election, but at this point I can't say I'm shocked.

I've heard far too many people say they won't vote because they're unhappy with both candidates. I get that people are frustrated (join the club), but with a voter turnout rate that's already abysmal, I shudder to think what could happen this November if too many citizens give up on our political system.

I'll be blunt: Not voting by choice is lazy and irresponsible. Not only are there other items to vote for on the ballot, but you don't have to vote for either Trump or Clinton. Legitimate third party candidates do exist!

Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson has recently emerged as one of the viable options, running as the Libertarian nominee. This self-proclaimed "fiscally conservative and socially liberal" candidate was unsuccessful running for the Republican Party in 2012, but has made a comeback polling at 10 percent against Hillary and Trump this campaign trail in only a few months' time.

If you haven't heard of Johnson, you can most likely blame our two-party system that has historically made third party candidates a lost cause. Most citizens are allowed to run for election in the U.S., but the convoluted "all or nothing" electoral college system has prevented third party candidates from having a real shot at success. This is why some people consider voting for third parties to be a wasted vote or "spoiler" that costs the election in close races, like Green Party's Ralph Nader in the 2000 election.

This is a valid argument, but ultimately it's important to ask yourself what's considered "a wasted vote." If you decide to stay home on Nov. 8, obviously that's a waste. But if you vote for someone who has minimal chance of winning, is that an equivalent?

For your peers dead set on Hillary or Trump's platform, yes. A vote for Johnson is a miserable choice. But as a citizen, you have a right to vote for someone who you feel aligns with your beliefs and would best lead the country rather than "the lesser of two evils," as is being described of this election. A spot in the White House for Johnson is slim, but if he continues to poll successfully, your vote for this third party candidate would serve to shape the interests and agendas of the two major parties.

But before jumping to Johnson, take a good look at his stances. Some key aspects of his platform that would interest students include: legalization of marijuana, removing the federal government from education, an undecided opinion on student loans, and expanding the free market.

The prospect of having to do more research on the candidates might seem agonizing, but if you have time to keep up with your Netflix, then you have time to keep up with the election. Plus, with two and a half months until the election there's ample time to do so.

No matter who you choose, don't sit at home and waste your vote.

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Get Out and Vote Playlist

Be American, go vote.

It's crazy to think in a week we will have a new president. If you've been following the news and keeping up with the Republican and Democratic campaigns, congrats! You're one of the dutiful citizens among many youth voters.

With an average turnout rate at less than 50 percent, it's pretty pathetic how consistent we are at not voting and not caring. This playlist was designed to get you hyped to vote this November! Or at least a step above completely apathetic...
Some songs are pretty self explanatory (Donald Trump, F.D.T.), or make references to the two leading Presidential hopefuls. Otherwise, the songs include titles or lyrics that refer to current hot election topics and the sentiments many Americans may be feeling right now.
Whatever your decision this Election Day, here's to hoping this playlist can get you hyped and not feeling Bored To Death until November hits.