Presidential candidates’ actions underwhelm many

Mark Monroe
Opinion Staff Writer
mmonroe1@unca.edu

This election cycle brings with it a roller coaster of opinions and statements from each candidate, some from a place of hatred and some trying to bridge a generational gap. The rhetoric used by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump leave many voters either confused, angry or both.

Donald Trump’s bombastic rants give him the loudest voice. By churning out volatile comments he amasses more attention than his quieter counterparts, who dropped out earlier this year. This spotlight constantly shining was a major part of his rise to the Republican presidential nomination. None of the other Republican candidates could outdo his impenetrable self-esteem.

By fighting with his ego, Trump manages to influence more voters because people believe he speaks the truth. His sheer ability to deliver homophobic, sexist and racist statements with no hesitation impresses people because they believe he speaks his mind. This lack of a mental filter somehow adds to his charm.

Many Trump supporters turn a blind eye to all of his fallacies and backpedaling because of this influential nature. His disgustingly remarkable ability to captivate audiences and manipulate the truth while still retaining some sort of unabashed charm displays an impressive yet horrifying amount of forethought on his part. It’s almost as if he says something increasingly offensive each chance he gets to challenge his supporters to see how far they will go to defend him. This tactic only garners him more attention.

His awareness of what people want to hear only helps him figure out what he needs to say next to rally more support and he plays it up, despite not understanding the vulgarity and offensiveness of it.

Despite his flaws reflecting someone unfit to become president does not mean Hillary Clinton will make a prime candidate either. Her past actions and attempts at reaching out to younger voters only brings more confusion and leaves her open to increased speculation because she is not as sensational as Trump.

Clinton’s attempts to obtain the millennial vote brings with it an overwhelming sense of secondhand embarassment. Viewers get turned off by her trying to use Snapchat or attempting to dance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Her messages are overshadowed by her attempts to bridge the generational gap. Instead of delivering a message, she creates comedic fodder.

While every presidential candidate must make themselves open to the public and embrace the evolving generation of new voters, Clinton’s attempts seem as ridiculous as Trump’s proposed wall.

It feels as though she is trying to look interested in what she thinks millennials like, rather than addressing issues pertinent to them such as education costs or an increasing cost of living. Her attempts at tapping into the mindset of millennials to decipher what they seek in a candidate only displays how detached from them she really is. Instead of being conscious to the needs of her target audience she wants to seem like a part of them, which only ostracizes her.

The other problem lies in the feeling of Democrats urging people to vote for her because they ran out of options and it seemed like her turn. It feels as though the Democrats selected her by default because no one else stepped forward beside Bernie Sanders, who slowly became irrelevant because many were afraid of his socialist policies and talks of a political revolution. He managed to connect with the millennials, but not the older voters.

Neither presidential candidate stands out for a positive reason. Just because Clinton would be the first female president does not mean she deserves the presidency. Just because Trump’s ego and impeccable hardheadedness makes him numb to criticism and allows him to speak unfiltered does not mean he should represent the voice of America. The flaws in each candidate outweigh any decent reason to vote for them which will leave many dumbfounded at the polls this November.

 

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