One thing that many college students dislike, aside from 8 a.m. classes and busy work, is politics. This is understandable considering political apathy seems to be on the rise with our generation. Whether this is due to the increasing polarization of America’s political parties, the gridlock Congress has been in for the last three years, or other reasons is subject to debate, but what is not up for debate is the fact that the American people will decide who President Obama’s successor will be in November of 2016.
Unlike the previously mentioned college students, I am a self-proclaimed political junky. From the ages of fifteen to eighteen I was fairly active in party politics, specifically the DFL Party, and even participated as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Before the last election, however, I began to lose my fervor for the Democratic Party due to many qualms that I had with their platform and policies such as gun control and the Affordable Care Act. In 2012, I remember that many people on campus talked about voting for Barack Obama because he was the lesser of two evils, but this argument failed to convince me. Although some may say I threw away my vote, I ended up voting for the Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and I do not regret my decision. Similarly, the political contenders for the upcoming election have not restored any of the optimism I once had in American politics, and I fear that the disappointment could drag me farther into apathy.
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months, it’s probably pretty apparent to you that the front runner for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination is none other than Hillary Clinton. It is true that Vice President Joe Biden, former governor Martin O’Malley, and former senator Jim Webb have been rumored to be weighing the chances to run against the Republican opposition in 2016, but Hillary has shown that she has a huge stronghold with Democratic voters—or at least she did in February and March. The email scandal that Mrs. Clinton has found herself in the middle of may drop her approval ratings with Democrats enough to give another candidate a possible chance at putting up a fight, but personally, I doubt it.
I see Clinton as the next Democratic nominee for president, but I’m almost positive that I could not vote for her for multiple reasons. First and foremost, Hillary is basically owned by Wall Street. In 2008, her top campaign contributor was Citigroup followed closely by Goldman Sachs. JP Morgan & Chase Co., Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch were also included in her top twenty campaign contributors. For those of you who don’t remember or just didn’t pay attention, these companies were basically the reason why the housing bubble and market crash occurred. On March 10, 2005, Hillary was the only Senator to register a “Not Voting” on the “bankruptcy reform” bill that her husband five years earlier had condemned as a bill favoring the wealthiest Americans allowing them to safeguard their mansions and assets when filing for bankruptcy. It doesn’t take a political scientist to infer that Hillary refused to vote out of the interest of her “Wallstreet Puppet Masters”.
Another way she helped secure the private interests of American companies is through her utter lack of action when her state department failed to condemn the coup d’etat that overthrew the democratically elected president of Honduras in June 2009 and set up a fascist regime in his place. It seems that Hillary was looking out for her puppeteers who enjoyed paying their Honduran contractors extremely low wages to workers in order to reap the profits with the Honduran aristocrats instead of the people who suffered under this regime.
Why don’t we take a quick look at the Republican contenders? Senator Ted Cruz, the first to announce his candidacy, is an ultra-conservative pro-lifer who opposes same sex marriage and is possibly a bigger puppet for Wallstreet than Hillary is. He is basically running on a platform of cutting taxes, especially for the wealthiest of Americans, and repealing Obamacare in order to set up deregulated market-based health insurance.
Senator Marco Rubio is also a pro-lifer who openly speaks out against homosexuality and claims that there is still “reasonable debate” on climate-change. “Reasonable debate”!?! 97.1% of scientists have supported the consensus that humans are affecting climate change. Also, his absentee rate for voting in the Senate is 8.2%, while the average for a senator is 2.1%. How can we even consider voting for a person who fails to show up to work more than the rest of his colleagues?
Last but not least, Senator Rand Paul is also vying for the spot as the Republican nominee for president. Honestly, Rand Paul would be the most likely Republican contender to gain my vote because of his views on government surveillance and the military, but his claim that same sex marriage offends him and his radical views on deregulating the economy scare the hell out of me.
Jeb Bush has not announced that he’s running yet, but I can tell you that the Bush family will not be getting my support on the ballot. With this list of underwhelming candidates, it looks like I’ll probably be voting Green Party again. Please look farther into these candidates than just reading my opinion. The American public must be informed to actually have democracy. Vale!