When I turned 18, I remember my dad asking me if I was excited to vote, and I effortlessly responded with a slightly obnoxious, “Yes!” When my dad asked me this Christmas if I was still excited to vote, it was with some hesitation that I said, “Not really, I feel like I’m voting for someone to win a reality show.”
This still holds true.
Headline after headline, we see that Hillary Clinton eats somewhere and orders a lot, while Donald Trump and Jeb Bush call each other names yet again.
Why have I seen more about the drama surrounding this campaign than I have about the actual politics a presidential campaign should encompass?
Two days before the New Hampshire primary, things are truly starting to heat up as new information about the candidates’ efforts surfaces.
Clinton and Trump both made stops at restaurants in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Sunday, according to a Yahoo News article titled “The Latest: George W. Bush appears in TV ad for brother.”
Clinton ordered a bucket of chicken tenders and four milkshakes, and she spent some time posing for photographs with customers and sharing ideas on what the best flavor of ice cream is. Trump, on the other hand, spent less than five minutes chatting with other customers, according to the Yahoo article.
While I see the importance of visiting with the locals, it would have been nice to get a little update on conversations they were having about, oh I don’t know, the campaign maybe.
Another important element during the election year is for politicians to explain to the voters why their ideas and beliefs are better suited for the U.S. than their opposing candidates’ views. This element, however, is also being skewed by two of the candidates’ incessant name calling.
“Jeb Bush is trashing Donald Trump as ‘not a serious conservative’ and bashing rival Republicans for not taking the fight to the bombastic billionaire businessman,” the Yahoo article said.
Bush earlier called Trump a loser, to which Trump responded with a tweet that criticized Bush’s campaign as a “total disaster,” according to the Yahoo article.
The name calling continues.
“Jeb Bush … he’s a total stiff,” Trump said in the Politico video “Donald Trump: Jeb Bush is a spoiled child,” which recaps his remarks in New Hampshire on Monday. “He’s like a spoiled child. He spent $110 million on a campaign and he is nowhere.”
I have a difficult time following the politics around the 2016 presidential election because it is stories like these that make the headlines instead of the actual plans the candidates have for the future. I’m constantly reading about the mutual hatred between Bush and Trump. Why am I not reading about the mutual hatred they have for ISIS? Or their disagreement or agreement on immigration reform?
While Bush and Trump are calling each other names, at least Clinton is making moves to explain why an opposing candidate is wrong.
In The Washington Post article “Hillary Clinton’s latest attack on Bernie Sanders shows she’s a rotten candidate,” author Jennifer Rubin discussed Clinton’s attempts to explain why Sanders’ view on health care is completely unethical. Well, Clinton at least tried to explain why Sanders is wrong.
“Clinton is dinging Sanders for a universal health care plan that she says would require a big tax hike,” despite Sanders’ known support for “single-payer health care,” Rubin said.
This is “a typical Clinton campaign move.” After a bad week at the polls, Clinton overreacted with a “terrible, transparent attack that anyone with an IQ north of negative can see through,” Rubin said.
Although this seems slightly harsh, it holds some truth. My mom used to tell me that when people feel bad about themselves, they find ways to bring others down, and this is the perfect example. But what’s the problem with a little white lie now and again?
Well, in politics, and especially in the race for the presidency, it is vital to get your facts straight before you criticize your opponent’s beliefs. If you do not, you will end up accomplishing the opposite of what you set out to do, which is to help voters understand why someone else’s plan will not work.
The presidential election is supposed to prepare the voters and nonvoters for what we should expect in the years following the election, but I feel that the only thing I have been prepared for is how each candidate handles drama, not politics.