Your vote, your voice: use it accordingly

Cindy Cuadra/Staff Writer

This November, the most anticipated event of the year will take place.

The 2016 election is right around the corner and as we move closer to electing the new leader of the United States, Americans everywhere are as conflicted as ever over the nominees of the two major parties. Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump will go head to head to win the presidential seat.

Ed O’Brien, an assistant professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago and Nadav Klein, a post-doctoral student from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, wrote an article published by Fortune in June, which said that according to the polls, Clinton and Trump are the two most disliked presidential candidates in American history.

As a college student, hearing that statistic gives me an unsettling feeling. According to a Huffington Post article written in July 2016, Trump doesn’t even have a formal stance on education funding or policy. In fact, on Trump’s presidential campaign webpage, the candidate doesn’t list education under his positions.

On the other hand, Clinton’s webpage proposes to make college debt-free, available to everyone and also purports to take on existing student loan debt. After collaborating with Bernie Sanders on one of the most prominent positions of his campaign, Clinton decided to put more focus on tuition-free education reform.  

According to Clinton’s presidential campaign webpage, families with a household income of up to $125,000 will not have to pay for tuition for in-state four-year public colleges and universities by the year 2021.

While tuition-free education sounds like music to our ears, many people are skeptical of this type of reformation.

The New York Times published an article by Kevin Carey in July 2016 which highlighted one of the major problems with Clinton’s tuition-free education plan: tuition varies depending on the state. As a result, the government would have have to figure out how to make college not only affordable but also how to prevent the national debt from skyrocketing and prevent overtaxing.

It appears as though both the Democratic and Republican parties are on polar opposite sides of the spectrum when addressing education and many other important issues. To many Americans, there is not a middle-ground candidate to choose from. However, third-party candidates, such as Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, are still presidential candidates we can vote for.

According to Johnson’s presidential campaign webpage, the Department of Education should be eliminated. Johnson proposes that state and local governments have more control over educational policies and that decisions involving educational reform be made closer to home.

Meanwhile, similar to Clinton’s position, Stein’s presidential campaign webpage proposes tuition-free reform from preschool through university and also proposes the elimination of standardized testing in schools.

It is evident there are many other options than just a Republican or Democratic vote. Choosing the best candidate is not difficult when voters do the proper and thorough research. Yet, some Americans still have a difficult time voting.

American history shows that no third-party candidate has ever won a U.S. presidential election. Perhaps the emphasis on the two major parties has affected the way Americans vote and their perceived options.

Students like myself, who make education a priority, shouldn’t be afraid to vote for a third-party candidate if it’s your ideal candidate. Voting smart means voting for the candidate you truly believe will make a good president, regardless of the party they belong to.

Therefore, this November, students should vote for the best-fit president, and should be made aware that our votes really do count and can affect the future we live in.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Image retrieved from Flickr.

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