Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Op-ed: Why I did NOT watch the debate

Sarah Everett believes our country deserves better

Op-ed: Why I did NOT watch the debate

We all know the 2016 presidential election has taken the world by storm. Every day, the internet, television, and press are rightfully in a tizzy, producing articles like “Here Are 13 Examples of Donald Trump Being Racist” and “Hillary Clinton Responds to Her Meme… With A Meme.” From its start with a flooded pool of candidates for the Republican nomination, this election has been anything but normal and no audience needs me to tell them that.

But beyond bizarre, this election has been a pile of racism, sexism and overall bigotry that unfortunately reflects greater messages in our country. Donald Trump’s popularity soars in spite of being endorsed by leaders of the KKK, making comments about how immigrants are rapists, attacking the mother of a fallen soldier based on her Muslim faith, and so many other bigoted statements.

This forces America to look inward and identify all too commonly held beliefs and practices that subjugate minorities-- people who make up the majority of the population. Donald Trump is a “yuge” problem, but he’s a symptom of a nation that continuously reinforces his ideas, both explicitly and implicitly. It says something enormous that even with all of these things he has proclaimed about minorities, his major dip in support has come after his “grab them by the pussy” comment, largely taken to be directed at white women.

Hillary Clinton isn’t free from criticism either, and anyone that knows me knows I squint heavily at the notion that her record hasn’t contributed, heavily, to homophobic and racist systems in this nation. She’s also an often unapologetic supporter of war as a construct and as an actuality, supporting violent intervention more often than I would like. She has actual experience promoting these ideas too - decades of it.

I didn’t watch the debate because I knew how it was going to go. Donald was going to say nothing about policy, he was going to get flustered and make at least three mistakes that we used to call political gaffes. Hillary was going to have well thought out responses about her detailed policy platform and play some smart politics (definitely convincing skeptics that she’s better than the phony next to her).

I knew I was going to be embarrassed watching and I know that this country deserves better. Besides, if I wanted to watch reality TV, I’d turn on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Unfortunately, I know which of the evils my ballot is going to and I knew this debate wouldn’t change that for me. This wouldn’t change my mind, it would simply reinforce what I already know about both candidates, so I made a radical choice for a young Political Science major at one of the most politically active colleges in the nation. I caught up on the next episode of “American Horror Story” instead of watching the ever-evolving, too realistically terrifying, American horror story being taped live at the University of Nevada at the same time.

Sarah Everett is a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs.

edpage@theeagleonline.com


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