Liars and racists: Formulating knowledgeable political opinions

Hannah Layden, Contributing Writer

Hillary Clinton: liar. Donald Trump: racist. When it comes to this year’s presidential election, everyone has a few choice words for the candidate whom they oppose. After the first presidential debate, support and opposition have grown even more polarized. The problem is that these words often come from social media, word of mouth, or from friends. Unless you have informed yourself on the political issues themselves, it is not your place to say whether you support or oppose a candidate just because your parents or friends may. Education about important political and social topics in today’s world is becoming increasingly uncommon, and this criticism extends to the candidates themselves.

Every U.S. presidential candidate is obligated to inform themselves on what is happening in the country and take a stand. It is embarrassing to watch a debate and find that while Clinton has informed herself and created policy plans for her potential presidency, Trump is content to simply bash his opponent without providing his own formulated ideas.

I am not the biggest fan of either candidate; I do not agree with many of Clinton’s policy plans and I think some may be detrimental to the economy. I do, however, respect the fact that she has made significant efforts to become well-educated on contemporary issues and well-spoken in debate. Trump, on the other hand, has not. His tactic was to take whatever Clinton said and refute it while trying to appeal to the public’s emotions, a strategy that he has been employing the entire campaign. This far into a presidential election, any candidate should at least be able to defend his or her own policies–if not explain what those policies are.

My point is not to sway anyone’s vote, but rather to remind others that becoming educated about current events is important in the face of these politically tumultuous debates. Becoming knowledgeable of the issues at hand and forming your own opinions is critical in order to have intellectually stimulating conversations this election season. Do not buy into what you may see in the media or hear around campus. Learn for yourself what is going on in this country and vote for a candidate based on what you personally believe in. Every U.S. citizen has the obligation just the same as the presidential candidates to educate themselves, because what unfolds during these next four years depends on what we decide in these upcoming weeks. And that is not something to take lightly.

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