Facing the Facts

October 31, 2016
Andres Lee  Northwood High School 11th Grade

Andres Lee
Northwood High School 11th Grade

Election Day is finally less than a month away, and the air is supercharged with equal parts anticipation and dread. This particular election race has been arguably one of the most entertaining in U.S. history; according to CNN, 77% of registered voters described the campaign as “interesting” and 80% reporting having given a lot of thought to the election, a significant increase from 39% and 67% during the last campaign.

Yet despite all the interest in the campaign, an all-time low of only 43% of Democrats and 40% of Republicans are satisfied with their respective presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This is even more troubling when considering that only 28% of Americans are satisfied with their country. Amusing as it may be, the election race is not some bizarrely entertaining reality-TV show; in these times of political crises, the winner will make some of the world’s most critical decisions in the four years to come.

With that in mind, the second presidential debate highlighted what is perhaps one of the most exasperating traits of both presidential nominees: unreliability. The debate was intended for them to dispute their political differences, but unfortunately, the candidates seemed less concerned with articulating their own administrative plans than they were personally attacking their opponent. Hardly three minutes could pass without a thinly veiled accusation of incompetency, misogyny, or outright criminality, and yet upon close inspection, a frustrating number of these claims fall apart. For example, Trump vehemently denied that he had ever sexually assaulted women or encouraged people to “check out a sex tape” – despite overwhelming evidence suggesting otherwise. Moreover, he made false claims that “many people saw the bombs all over the apartment” of the San Bernardino shooters, and that he had never supported the war on Iraq. On the other hand, Hillary wrongly distorted the details of her opponent’s tax plans, and also tried to downplay her email scandal despite the legitimate threat it presented to national security.

Whether these mistakes were accidental or malicious, the frequency of these misstatements is outrageous and perhaps even suggests that the candidates are willing to sacrifice factual integrity in order to uphold public opinion. These are the people by whom America shall come to be represented: the fact that they treat the facts with such triviality is an insult to the intelligence of the American people, and should be recognized as such.

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One Comment

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