Presidential elections viewed apathetically

Patrick Froysland, Reporter

The time is coming once again to choose a new leader for our country. Presidential Elections are going to be held in early November of 2016, a time when practically all the senior students at Taylorsville High will be fully fledged adults, and will be determining who becomes the new president, as high school graduates will probably determine who a major portion of the popular votes goes to. Yet some of these future voters have no idea who is even running.

Stephanie Floch

One student, Miranda Pierce, is reported as not knowing any of the candidates running or any of their policies. But what she agrees with is the fact that students don’t really care about the elections. This apathy is becoming more and more prominent, as Steven Clark, Junior student, states that “If less and less people are involved, this will start looking like the arts crisis.”

However, despite the media covering all candidates to some degree, the only ones who ever seem to get attention are the two named by this student: Trump and Clinton, with recent news of Clinton’s unintentional visit of Marco Rubio’s Private territory in Puerto Rico, where she lost support for spanish speaking voters by having her plan to reorganize the nation’s debt by calling in debts from former territories, with Rubio being quoted as reading “So far, Hillary Clinton’s liberal hosts in San Juan have failed to propose any serious measures to fix Puerto Rico’s economic challenges.” However, the New York Times is not known for being accurate with stories concerning Hillary Clinton.

There is also the matter of Trump stumbling during a foreign policy interview, where he was revealed to be ignorant of world affairs, mistaking the Iranian terrorism force “The Quds” for the middle eastern Kurds, and said “You’re asking me names that – I think are somewhat ridiculous. They are a very mistreated people.” The reporter informed Trump of his mistake, and the following interview was comprised of Trump desperately trying to recover from his mistake. But Trump made yet another mistake later on, when he was asked for his opinion on the leaders of the Quds, and he replied “I’ll tell you honestly, I think by the time we get to office, they’ll all be changed. They’ll all be gone.”

They seem to be the only ones getting attention. Other students are becoming fed up with the infrequency of reporting variety, as Sophomore Garret Howard states, “Nobody thinks they will win. Trump is a joke and Clinton is an underdog.”

However, this apathy of the election has even reached teachers working at the school. Coach Wells, teacher of Weightlifting and Football, is quoted as saying that he has no declaration of party, and “Whichever runs the country best” suits him. He also stated that “I believe in the American way and people, and whatever happens, we will make the best of it.”

Some students just don’t seem to care, despite their choices being the ones that determine partially who will lead us for the next four years. Yet there are a select few students in the school who say otherwise.

Pedro Martinez-Lopez, who only knows of the two main candidates covered by the media, says that he is interested in finding out who else is running and says “Whoever gets elected could affect our college and job experiences.” This interest in who is who in the election is sparking action all across the country, such as the “Stop Donald Trump” campaign. This campaign erupted after the GOP debates, which had fellow Republican candidates and supporters turning on trump and organizing events to promote other candidates, like Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush, and has even considered the creation of the “Super Pac” to “…convince conservatives that Donald Trump is not one of them…”

Ewan Tuinei, Sophomore, agrees that people need to be more knowledgeable. Despite only being a 10th grader, he could name more candidates than the other senior students interviewed combined. He feels that student awareness is ignored, but is also quoted as saying “It’s not a bad or good thing to ignore, but most don’t really care. I think we are all still young, and nobody is really interested in politics.”

Even teachers agree with these students, as Mrs. Elkins, teacher of history and world cultures, comments “I don’t think the students know anything. Clinton has the last name advantage, and trump is manipulating the media to his advantage.”

Mr. Curtis, teacher of U.S government and Politics, agrees with this. “The students don’t really want to think about that yet, or they believe that the election has no impact,” said Curtis.

Unfortunately, though, people just don’t care. A recent report from US news revealed that the average American today is becoming more and more ignorant. Most can’t even name the three branches of government, the definition of the bill of rights, and, worst of all, most Americans are uninformed SECOND CONTINUATION  about the policies of other countries, and even more don’t even know the policies of the United States. And that ignorance of policy has led to a boom in campaign fundraising money and advertising, as that is all people look at to get their information on the candidates. For example, while Ewan knows four candidates running, two from each side, a recent count of candidates revealed that there were more than a dozen candidates running for the republican party, and only five for the the democratic party . Even this reporter was shocked by how many were running.

The best way to become more knowledgeable is to talk about this with students more often, as this is one of the most effective ways to keep the memories of what is happening fresh in their memories. Mrs. Elkins suggested that “talking will help”, as it would help students develop their own opinions. Another problem in this election is the task of keeping the talks neutral, as biased opinions would cause biased students, leading to a lack of individual opinions. Mrs. Kendall stated “Political education needs to be more neutral.” She knew that all the students only knew the two candidates because “Trump is manipulating the media through his wild claims, and clinton has attention because she is the only well known democrat.”

Yet many media executives are republicans, focusing on reporting the candidates of their parties, and ignoring most others. Meanwhile, the other democratic candidates don’t have the same type of staying power as Clinton, with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders, whose campaign has been gaining steam throughout the summer, even surpassing the popularity of Clinton in some states.

Students can fight against apathy, though. By November 8th of next year, students can be educated enough to make a decision that affects the course of the country for the next 4 years. There are plenty of opportunities for education as well, all in time for the Utah Caucus on March 22, 2016.  In conclusion, the elections doesn’t have to be something people go into blindly, as there are plenty of education opportunities available to anybody, so long as they just take the time to make their own conclusions.