This coming November will undoubtedly be groundbreaking for the United States, and for me, too. After years of following politics from the sideline, I will finally be able to take part more actively this November, as I cast my vote for the 2016 presidential election.
Of course, with that comes the nagging question, "who are you voting for" from literally everyone: family, friends, coworkers and randos passing by on a casual Sunday morning coffee run. But, to be honest, I still have no idea. I am literally stumped. But, here's what I know so far:
To the right, is heavy-weight, nickname-aficionado, Donald Trump
Some of my friends think he has some good ideas, and I see where they're coming from. Here are the aspects of Trump's campaign positions they were referring to: fewer undocumented immigrants, more gun security, more jobs for Americans and reformed healthcare. Those ideas sound great, and even a little bit promising.
But, for me, the hold up isn't his campaign positions necessarily. My problem with Trump is the man himself that Americans have come to know. To me, he appears selfish. I mean, he's a man who accepted congratulations following the tragic Orlando shooting for being "right on radical Islamic terrorism."
He has also said that a pregnant woman is an "inconvenience" in the workplace. The man who called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the US. The man whose blatant racism is rampant. Who remembers the infamous Cinco de Mayo taco bowl tweet? I shuddered - I gagged - when I saw that one. It couldn't have been for real. But, it was.
I feel as though I could go on and on. People tell me things like, "Well alright, what if he didn't say those things? Would you vote for him then?" The fact of the matter is that he DID say those things, and that he WILL continue to say those things. People who think that presidency will "change" Trump are sadly mistaken, in my humble opinion.
So, naturally, I look to the left, where Hillary, Sander's new BFF sits.
Hillary Clinton is definitely not similar to Trump, which actually seems to be a valid argument for some people. The highly ambivalent #GirlIGuessImWithHer trend on Twitter took off, as celebrities continued to stand with her. But, is that necessarily a good thing? Let's look at some aspects of her platform.
When it comes to foreign policy, Clinton opposes sending US troops to Syria and Iraq to combat ISIS, which, to me, is a pro. I, however, can't ignore that she voted in favor of the Iraq War while senator, which many would argue fueled the rise of ISIS.
She wants to keep Obamacare in place, which seems practical, until you look at the 33 million who still don't have health insurance. She's got a cool idea about allowing college kids to attend school without having to take out loans. Hell yeah, but it's wildly unpopular with the GOP and will therefore probably not pass.
Oh, and you may or may not have heard about the FBI investigation of Hillary's email server, which she has been cleared of. Interesting.
So, now what? On the one hand, I have a sexist, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic racist who maybe has some good ideas until you look at the fact that, OH YEAH, he's a sexist, xenophobic, misogyn... I don't need to repeat myself. You get the idea.
But on the other hand, I have a Democrat whose ideas seem well and good, for the most part, until you realize she has this nasty tendency to lie, as well as engage in shady behavior worthy of a full-scale FBI investigation.
What am I supposed to do? From my perspective, there are positives to both candidates, but those positives don't cancel out the negatives. Do I ignore the grotesque comments and find the positives in Trump's policies? Or do I ignore the FBI investigation and go for Hillary, her platform, and the fact that she's very simply not Trump?
Do I vote for the racist or for the criminal? I hate to boil it down to such simple terms, because there is certainly more to both candidates than what these labels suggest. I'll say it again, as I'm sure I'll say it several more times: I don't know what I'm going to do in November. And I'd better figure it out soon.