CATE O’BRIEN | OPINION COLUMNIST
This election has been disappointing and frightening for everyone. In contrast to the strong bipartisan opinions of the past, the 2016 election season seems to be characterized by a strong, universal feeling of distaste for both candidates. Many people have decided that voting for the candidate they want is no longer an option: it’s time to vote against the candidate they don’t want. In a last-shot attempt to sway any undecided voters out there, I’m going to unleash a slew of reasons why Trump is definitely the candidate you don’t want.
Trump’s plans, even if you agree with them, will be almost impossible to carry out. Take his idea to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and deport 11 million illegal immigrants, for instance. This is huge for his platform: it is what he has basically built his campaign on. If you are against illegal immigration, his plan seems to give you what you want. There is one major flaw in it, however: experts have claimed that it will not work. The cost alone would be enormous (Gitis, Preston), and it wouldn’t even achieve its purpose. According to the Pew Research Center, around 45% of illegal immigrants enter the country legally by airplanes but illegally overstay their visas. So, even if you think that illegal immigration needs to be addressed, Trump’s plan has been repeatedly criticized as definitely not the way to do it. All that his plan would achieve is more national debt. His tax policy also wouldn’t achieve its purpose, with research estimating that it will increase the national debt (Nunns). Trump disregards this, continuing to maintain that he would decrease the national debt. You could try to view this positively: making the now infamous “Well, he’s not a politician” claim, but you shouldn’t. The future president of our country should be able to at least address criticism of the main plank in his platform, because he is the one who is going to be attempting to carry it out over the course of the next four years.
But, as some torn Republicans have claimed, at least there will be a conservative figure in office. At least Trump can be counted on to appoint conservative Supreme Justices. I will not deny that this is an important election for the Supreme Court, no matter your party affiliation. As many as four Supreme Justices could be replaced in the next four years: Scalia (Republican, deceased), Kennedy (Republican), Ginsburg (Democrat), and Breyer (Democrat). That means whoever is President will most likely attempt to fill all four positions with a single party. However, there are two things Republicans can take solace in. First, the only guaranteed open Supreme Justice seat is Scalia’s. It is suspected that Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Breyer will retire because of their advanced ages, but there is no definitive proof of that. There is always the possibility of the Justices waiting another four years to retire, especially if they believe their replacement will be unideal. Additionally, Supreme Justices are not solely the result of the President waving his or her magic wand. The Senate has to vote twice, and the final vote needs to be a majority for the justice to be appointed. If you lean more conservatively, voting for Trump is not your only option to prevent a Democratic Supreme Court. You can educate yourself about the Senate seats up this election season and vote in Republican senators. If your main concern is an extremely left Supreme Court, Clinton becoming president does not inherently mean this will happen. Trump becoming president, however, will inherently mean our country will be run by someone who actually has no idea even how to verbally support his platform, much less actually realize it.
But, as those same torn Republicans have claimed, Trump might be the lesser of two evils. At least he doesn’t lie and contradict himself like politicians in the past have. Yes, he is not a politician, but that does not mean that he doesn’t act like one. Lying, self-contradicting, repeating buzzwords just to gain a crowd’s approval? These things sound pretty political to me.
If you are still leaning towards Trump, I suppose there’s not a lot I can say. But before you go and vote, ask yourself this: if Trump is the lesser of two evils, why is it that his own party is against him, but the Democratic Party supports Clinton? If Trump is the lesser of two evils, why are countries around the world cringing not at Clinton’s actions, but at Trump’s? We are voting for a president: not a best friend, not a grandparent, not even necessarily a role model. We are voting for someone who will have the responsibility to run our country for the next four years. In this unique situation, we need to ask ourselves who will be the better leader of our country. While Clinton may not be your role model, she has a defined, well thought-out plan for our country. She may not be the best candidate we could have, but she is the best candidate we have right now. Go vote, St. Norbert. Vote responsibly.