How do Westmont students feel about the 2020 presidential election coming up?

Maria Barend, Staff Writer

It’s been three years since the 2016 presidential election; however, the tension from that highly emotional election is still very present to this day.

That being said, The Horizon has set out to identify how Westmont students feel about the upcoming elections. We’ve asked eight Westmont students for their feedback regarding politics and the 2020 presidential elections. These student’s answers (which have been trimmed for length) reflect both the diversity and commonality of political thought within our community.

How much have you been keeping up with news from the election?

Student 1: “I haven’t really been keeping up much. It is difficult to keep up when there has been so much negative tension surrounding everything. It makes it seem like the world is heading into a really bad place. It’s just hard to believe in what these candidates are saying — they just keep promising things and you just don’t know what to believe anymore.”

Student 2: “I have been paying extremely close attention to this election for months now. After Biden declared his candidacy along with Kamala, I became extremely interested to see if their messages would resonate with the general population.”

Student 3: “Not as much as I would like to be. I would say I probably am following the presidential candidates’ race a bit more than the average person who hasn’t committed to pursuing a degree in political science.”

Student 6: “I’ve been following it briefly, but I’ll honestly get more active in following once things progress a bit more and there’s less candidates running for the ticket.”

So far, what do you think about the race? Do you think the Democratic Party has a chance of winning this time around?

#1: “I am hoping, for the sake of this country, that Trump does not get elected for a second term. And as far as the Democratic candidates go, I know that I do not like Bernie Sanders … He is a self-described socialist and I am afraid that if he wins, he will run our country to the ground with his socialist ideas. You cannot just make everything free. Nothing in this world is free. You have to work hard and be dedicated in order to achieve your goals.”

#2: “Man, I could go on forever with this question. This election season is exciting. Having an active impeachment during this process cannot be left unacknowledged … I think it’s interesting to watch Senator Sanders and Warren both associate themselves with a much larger government style than say, Joe Biden … I also think a character like Mayor Pete is fascinating, given his background and even his own ideological beliefs … I think Democrats have a slim chance of winning this election, it will take a lot for them to win.”

#3: “I believe that the Democratic Party has a fair shot of winning if they can cut down the number of Democratic candidates running and get behind a single candidate. That isn’t an easy task, but as it stands, democratic voters are too divided to create a strong opposition against the current administration.”

#6: “I really think that a lot of people who may have originally voted for Trump in 2016 may be upset with the lack of follow-through in his policy and would be open-minded to a more moderate president. However, because Trump and his constituents are so far right, I think the Democrats will end up putting up a very far left as their primary nominee which will end up taking away the votes from those who identify as more independent.”

#7: “So far we have a wide variety of candidates … Yet this diversity in the candidates could splinter the party. I think the Democrats do have a good chance of winning if there is one candidate who after winning the primary can rally the support of the other candidates’ supporters.”

Who do you think you are going to put your vote behind? Why?

#1: I’m neither a Democrat or a Republican, but being a minority makes me very cautious about wanting to vote for someone who rejects my people or calls them rapists and accuses us of basically being trash people. When in reality, it has been the immigrants who have laid the foundation for this country. In the end, I want a president who supports, honors, and is proud of immigrants and all of the hardships they have to go through. Because of this, I think I’m going to vote for Beto O’Rourke.”

#2: “I am yet to decide who I will put my vote behind. I have been intrigued by some of the candidates, but I also feel that the ideological shift in the Democratic Party is challenging to wrap my head around. I have paid close attention to Booker, Harris, and Yang; however, it’s a long race, and with the DNC rapidly eliminating candidates through qualifications, we will see what happens!”

#3: “I actually haven’t figured that out yet. Luckily, I still have time.”

#4: “You know that bumper sticker that says, “any functioning adult 2020,” that’s how I feel at this point.”

#6: “As of now, I’m not super set on anyone, but I appreciate Elizabeth Warren’s policy the most. She’s progressive and has great goals for what she would want to accomplish during her time as president. Also, I’m all for a female president. It’s about damn time.”

#8: “I am going to vote for Trump. I do have some problems with who he is as a person, but I watched the two Democratic debates and did not see any hope. I listened in vain for one word, from any candidate, about our $22 trillion federal debt, much less the projected $1 trillion deficit. But all that I heard was identity politics, open borders, and free Medicare and higher education for all — all of which would bankrupt our already fragile economy.”

Why is it important to stay politically minded in times like this?

#2: I think it is essential to always be politically engaged … Currently, in the U.S. alone, we have a significant shift happening ideologically, a split house, a change in the Courts, a 2020 election, and an impeachment inquiry! These all affect the policy and choices the United States will make. I also think it’s worth noting that politics extends past the borders of the United States, and by being politically active, one is acknowledging those outside their neighborhood … As a Christian institution, we need to be politically active by actively acknowledging and recognizing our neighbors’ views. So I see being politically active as a calling to understand my neighbor and to recognize that person’s personal beliefs!

#3: Politics isn’t usually considered appropriate conversation material for first dates, holiday meals, or anything in-between. But I would like to argue that isn’t politics fault. People suck at talking about politics. Within a democratic republic, we have a really unique opportunity to be a part of the shaping of our country … Because of this, it is essential that we understand how politics work, why they matter, and learn to engage in responsible political discourse.

#7: “It is important to stay politically minded because our future is at stake … Furthermore, many of us have and should be taking action to make our government both local and national listen to us … And the biggest way we can do this is through the presidential election. I think voting is a fundamental political right and privilege we have and if we are not engaged in the candidates running to lead our country we cannot be taken seriously when we complain about the person in office.”

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