VOTE! The power is in your hands.

With Election Day rapidly approaching, sparks have flown in one of the most bitter political rivalries ever seen.  Candidates have both dished out and been targets of crippling accusations, blame, and general feelings of antipathy.  

What many don’t realize is that, when stripped to the barest layer, many of the issues that they want to address are similar.  For example, their stances on taxation.  

Secretary Clinton wants to ensure that the rich pay their fair share of taxes and to provide tax cuts to working families.  Trump wants to reduce taxes for all, especially the working class.  He wants to ensure that the rich pay their share also, but that they do not pay so much that it destroys jobs.  Both want to reduce the impact of taxes on the middle class, to place more of the burden on the super-rich, to close tax loopholes, and to keep jobs here instead of sending them overseas.

So, why exactly is it that so many people have incredibly strong feelings towards one candidate or the other?  It boils down to their stances on a few key issues like immigration, and the way in which they present themselves to the public.

Regarding immigration, both hold radical stances in their own respect.  Secretary Clinton’s stance is one of the most progressive ever seen, while Mr. Trump’s is one of the most conservative.  Secretary Clinton wishes to enact immigration reform within her first 100 days in office that allows for an easier pathway to equal citizenship that brings hardworking people into the economy while still keeping our national security in mind.  Her plan claims to be “humane, targeted, and effective,” as it will only deport those who pose a threat to public safety while giving those who would benefit our country better access to the education they need to get through the immigration process and begin to advance their community and our country as a whole.  Trump wants to protect the well-being of lawful immigrants and the rest of the American population by drastically reducing the amount of immigrants allowed into our country, both legal and illegal.  His plan would only allow legal immigrants from countries that are in good standing with the United States, and that would “support America’s values, institutions, and people,” and would detain and deport any known illegal immigrants.  Most well known about his plan is that he wishes to build an impenetrable wall on the Mexican border as soon as he can in order to staunch the flood of illegal immigrants from Central and South America.

While it is an unspoken requirement that one must be a good speaker in order to hold such a powerful position, there are major flaws in the ways that both candidates present themselves.  Secretary Clinton is seen by many as over-practiced and robotic when asked debate questions that she has the potential to make more meaningful or moving.  Mr. Trump is considered unprofessional and immature by many as he frequently interrupts and talks over Secretary Clinton during structured debate by using go-to phrases such as “wrong!” and “why not?”.

At Crestwood High School and neighboring schools, there are a variety of opinions on the candidates.  “I think Trump has good ideas… we don’t need a criminal and a pathological liar running our country” says one student.  “Trump [is] dangerous, arrogant, and a sexual predator” says another.  “Trump is a disrespectful, ignorant fool who… lacks diplomacy, patience,… and overall tolerance,” says a third.

Regardless of your political opinions, it is your civic responsibility to vote.  Your vote decides your future, and the future of all those that will come after you.  If you are eighteen and you have registered to vote, go to your local polling place on Election Day and vote!  Even if you are not old enough to vote in this election, you can still do your part by volunteering for local election committees or donating money to the candidate of your choice.

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