BY CHRIS TAKAHASHI | STAFF WRITER
KCC Liberal Arts student Courtney Tyler is from the decidedly Republican state of Texas. She also comes from a very strong Republican household. She is exactly the type of millennial that you might expect to be a Donald Trump supporter.
When asked about who she will support in the Nov. 8 election, Tyler said, “Probably Hillary Clinton. I don’t really like either of them very much, but I feel that Donald Trump is kind of ignorant. I don’t think he knows much about politics.”
In many ways, this has not been an ordinary election.
After making his way through a very crowded Republican primary, business mogul Trump has electrified the airwaves in his path to becoming the GOP’s presidential nominee. He at once will lampoon what he calls the “liberal media” all the while benefiting greatly from countless hours of air-time on the major networks.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton contrasts sharply in her approach. She went more than nine months without a single press conference in 2016.
Controversy is the one thing Clinton and Trump seem to have in common, however.
In July, the FBI deemed Clinton “extremely careless” for using a private email server to handle classified information, knowingly or not, in her former role as secretary of state. This incident has prompted crowds at Trump campaign rallies to chant “lock her up.” Trump even suggested in the debate on Oct. 9 that she (Clinton) would be in jail if he became president.
Trump appeared to be refocusing attention on Clinton after his own campaign experienced a major setback in early October. A recording from 2005 resurfaced, and in it, Trump makes lewd comments about making sexual advances on non-consenting women. In the aftermath, many leading Republican officials and politicians announced they could not condone such behavior, including Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, and Trump’s own running mate, Mike Pence.
Putting controversy aside, this campaign will prove historic in presidential firsts. If Clinton wins, she will be the first woman president in the history of the United States. If Trump wins, he will be the first person elected president without previously holding a position in either the government or the military.
According to KCC student J.R. Sele, a second-year Nursing candidate, the lack of political experience from Trump raises questions, especially with regards to what he says about foreign policy. Sele said he will be supporting Clinton in this election.
For some students, the presidential debates offer a chance to make a pragmatic assessment of the two candidates, irrespective of the political coverage gracing the covers of tabloids or one’s Facebook newsfeed.
KCC student Matthew Furusho is unregistered to vote – he’s only 17 – but he did watch both debates. If he were to vote, he’d choose Clinton because based on what he saw, “she seems like she’s the better candidate.”
Korey Pang, a KCC student seeking a Hospitality and Tourism degree, is registered to vote and watched the debates.
“I predetermined that I wasn’t going to pay too much attention [to the debates] because, you know, you really can’t take these two seriously,” he said.
Pang said he would consider casting a vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Many students interviewed on campus said they either did not care about Trump or Clinton, or did not plan to vote. Hawai‘i historically has low voter turnout. Less than half of those eligible to vote did so in 2008.
The Nov. 8 election is a recognized holiday at KCC. To find your nearest polling place, visit https://olvr.hawaii.gov.
To read all of Chris’ stories, click here. Chris can be reached at email@example.com.