It seems now, more than ever, our elections matter. It’s not just because the issues are becoming more serious and important, but because we as a people face a decision about our values. Candidates are making this election a big deal, celebrities are making this election a big deal, and ordinary people are more invested in this election than ever before. Even young voters, people in high school and college, are participating in the election in levels we haven’t really seen before. Regardless of who you support, we as teenagers are involved or passionate about something related to the campaign. So why are we not voting Republican? Why do we (as a group) want to vote for everyone but Trump?
But before we go any further, here is a full disclosure: Now it’s no surprise that I am not a fan of the Donald (at all), and he is not exactly liked by a majority of people. The reason however lies in his statements that are unusual for a presidential candidate to make. He has made extremely distasteful remarks towards immigrants by claiming a Federal Judge with an impeccable record was biased because he was Mexican and has a bad business record when it comes to people of color and his company was sued twice by the Justice Department for not renting to people of color. He does not believe in marriage equality and has stated multiple times that he would remove a federal guidance policy that states that people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community should be treated with respect and dignity, and he believes that only men should be president and stated that he never wants to hear the words “Madam President” ever said out loud. It is not even that he wants to build a wall (hint: not really possible) or that his policies are outrageous. I don’t support him because he doesn’t see the America I do. When I think of this country, I don’t think of what divides us. I don’t see color or religion as being something negative or degrading. We, as Americans, are stronger when we are together. When people of any skin color, sexual orientation, and/or religion work together, we are stronger because it is our differences that give us the strength and values that are uniquely American.
The issues I see with Donald seem to be the same things many other teenagers see, and this seems to be a common problem for Donald and the Republican Party in this year’s election. Young people are not voting for them, and while some of you might say that I am just a democrat who is biased, my answer is let us look at the facts. According to the USA Today/ Rock the vote poll of millennial voters:
- 20% of young voters say they are Republican or lean Republican.
- Trump loses to Hillary 52%-20% in the young voter category. (This is a lower youth vote in favor of Trump than Richard Nixon received in the heart of the Vietnam War)
- However, we need to look at what Donald has said and done that would make our generation become so disillusioned with his and the Republican Party’s message.
- Well for starters he said:
- He would temporarily ban on Muslims entering this country.
- He would build a wall on our southern border and make Mexico pay for it (has he heard of tunnels?).
- He would bring back waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding”.
While candidates have often said outrageous things for attention and news coverage, there is something about these statements that has directly impacted our generation. There is a reason why Donald Trump is losing so badly, and it comes down to our core values as a generation. According to the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University, our generation overwhelmingly support same- sex marriage (at around 59%), support the right of people to practice their own religion, and agree that America is great because we are open to change and embrace immigrants (at 62%). Put simply, most young people do not agree with the statements that Donald Trump is known for. This exodus away from trump is led by the fact that our generation is more socially active when compared to any other generation, but we still do not pay as much attention to the election compared to other generations. Thus, our primary source of information is our peers, who often share our values and like us, hold our values close and make decisions based off of them. A lot of young people do not support the statements Donald Trump has made and that is the primary turn off for young voters. While many of us are not super excited about Hillary, there is one thing almost every millennial shares and that is that we are almost unified against the candidate whose rhetoric represented the opposite of our values, we are almost unified against Donald Trump.