Students weigh in on 2016 election

Safi Hasani, Staff Writer

A presidential election occurs at least once through every student’s high school career, when many students immerse themselves into political issues whether they are old enough to vote or not. The home of several political clubs such as the Political Awareness Club (PAC) and Junior Statesmen of America (JSA), Northgate is a breeding ground of passionate political views. Prior to publication of this issue on election day, the Sentinel staff asked the views of some students who may not be old enough to vote, but who are surely old enough to care.

When this presidential debate started, did you support anyone initially? If it has changed, what did you initially do to support them?

Estelle Yim (senior): At the start of the election year, like most of the people my age, I supported Bernie Sanders’ campaign. When Hillary Clinton was voted as the democratic nominee, I slowly but surely turned my support to her.

Divij Sharma (senior): In the beginning I supported Hillary Clinton but as the course of the presidential election continued I started to get weary of my vote, but I still support Hillary as of now.

Michael Mandich (junior): I initially thought Trump was a great candidate, but he seems more leaning to the die-hard conservative side. I didn’t necessarily support him but he was the alternative to having Hillary be president.

Marco Hidayat (junior): No. I didn’t like both candidates.

Over the course of the race, have you learned more about politics? 

Yim: Although I did originally have a strong base knowledge of politics this election made me more aware of foreign affairs, money corruption, wealth inequality, and the voting process

Sharma: No, not really. There’s nothing that I’ve really new that I didn’t know about before

Mandich: Yeah, I learned quite a bit about both candidates and their policies. I feel like the candidates are both intertwined with the views of their party. For example, Democrats usually lead to higher government control while Republicans believe in less.

Hidayat: No. I tuned out of politics as soon as I learned the Republican candidate was going to be Donald Trump.

If you could vote, who would you vote for?

Yim: Hillary Clinton.

Sharma: I would vote for Hillary Clinton, although I respect anyone who supports Trump as he is very successful businessman, and I think he can do a great job improving the economy, but some of the stuff he’s said discriminating other races is something that is hard for me to tolerate personally.

Mandich: Trump or a third party.

Hidayat: Neither honestly. I would abstain.

What have you done to support your candidate?

Yim: During the primaries, I donated money to Bernie Sanders but I have not actively done any campaigning for Clinton.

Sharma: Nothing.

Mandich: I don’t support any candidates directly but I generally defend conservative points of view with some exceptions.

Hidayat: Nothing.

What is the most important political topics for you personally?

Yim: Some key topics for me are health inequality, funding for education and healthcare, gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, democratization, and civil rights.

Sharma: The most important political topic for me would definitely be the economy.

Mandich: Most important thing to me is that America remains more passive and plays on the defense for the coming years and avoids more pointless, large scale wars.

Hidayat: The economy.

Many have said that this has been one of the most memorable presidential race in recent years. What’s surprised you most about this race?

Yim: I was surprised that there are millions of people insisting that a reality television star is more qualified candidate than the one with thirty years of experience in government and politics.

Sharma: How much each of the candidates dislike one another.

Mandich: The amount of animosity that both candidates have towards each other. Generally it’s pretty friendly but the degrading of the candidates hurts our country more than anything.

Hidayat: That Republicans were dumb enough to throw 2016 down the drain by voting for Donald Trump and that Hillary is still getting away with being incredibly shady.

What are some of your frustrations about this presidential race?

Yim: I’m frustrated that there are millions of people supporting an openly misogynistic, racist, homophobic demagogue with no real ideals or feasible goals for our country and that there are millions of Americans who are choosing to disregard their inherent right as citizens by not voting.

Sharma: I worry that neither candidate is fit to be president of the United States.

Mandich: My biggest frustration is people’s resistance to change in their political points of view. Like, how liberal people for some reason support Hillary regardless of if she committed some horrible crime, and vice versa for Trump. Elections would be better if people were more open to change their vote in accordance with events, rather than blindly going with a party.

Hidayat: Everything. Both candidates are bad. Trump is an idiot and Hillary is a liar, is shady, and will only be a one term president.