It is the height of the 2016 election season. Emotions at the nation’s capital and its surrounding metro area run high. Stafford is no different, and the general elections have captured the attention of not only the voters but those who have no choice in the matter but to live the end result. Teens.
This is a politically educated generation, that has strong opinions on the candidates, and are forming their own opinions outside of which way their parents may vote. They are the ones that get stuck with these decisions without having had a say in the matter.
The Rock the Vote campaigns have done well getting the youth to engage in what is going on. They know more than they may let on. “I think that we should just not have a president,” 16- year-old Breyana Hopkins expresses when teens of a youth group from a local church, were asked a few questions on the matter
Their biggest concerns were global. “Either way, it’s not gonna be good for global issues, because Trump wins, he’s got his own opinion on NATO and is gonna try to change stuff. Since America is kinda in charge of NATO they can deal with it, or they can leave. Which I think a lot of the countries are gonna do. A lot of the big ones, and that upsets the balance of power,” 16-year-old Alex Regan says over his concern of a new world war. “Hillary wins, there’s just… civil war. People are mad, they don’t like Clinton, they don’t like Trump. No one else is gonna win and Trump is gonna destroy the world.”
The candidates’ temperament is a real concern for the teens. They feel that it is something that could cause a diplomatic collapse. “Trump, he can be angry sometimes, and he can be quieter sometimes,” 15-year-old Robert Lindeman says of his top concern. “But I feel like if he gets elected, then something small could trigger him to make another country angry, and that could trigger a chain reaction of people being angry for one reason or another. And if Hillary becomes president, the exact same thing could happen.”
They feel their choices are abysmal. “My choice is between someone who is being seen as a racist and a bigot, and someone who is a liar and quite possibly committed the act of treason,” 17-year-old Timothy Lindeman says with a shrug of the shoulders. “That’s what I see in my choices. […] with knowing that, the lesser of two evils would be voting Trump.”
“They are all snakes to me,” 15-year-old Jye Layson states. As one of the few minority voices in the group. Layson speaks of a feeling of deception. His biggest concern is for more economic collapse.
Their opinions on the candidates themselves seems to be a consensus. That Trump is a hot head and Clinton is a liar. “Trump is a good business man, but you need someone who is a diplomat for the most part. He is good at acquiring businesses that is the part he likes, but he doesn’t like running them,” Regan says of the Republican frontrunner.
“One of our choices for this vote has been in court just recently for a very big security risk. I don’t think I can trust Hillary while she is Under investigation for literally breaking the security of the country and causing the death of four people in… Benghazi was it?” Says the older Lindeman, “Only problem they are getting from him (Trump) is calling him a racist when they are only hearing clippettes of what his actual speeches are.”
Though they know that the adults have a hard choice ahead and that personal opinions change all the time, they only ask one thing. “Weigh the pros and cons. Just do your research,” Layson says. “Think.”
“Make your argument with your vote, not your social media,” Says T. Lindeman.
They ask the adults to think Globally. Americans need to vote because it’s not just about America, It’s not just our communities here, but it is about our Global Community.