Why I Will Not Back A Candidate On This Year’s Presidential Ballot

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I will not be voting for a candidate that is on the ballot in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump are unfit to serve as the 45th president of the United States. They have lead dirty campaigns that have, at this point in the election, digressed to name-calling and finger-pointing. Clinton’s failed foreign policy while serving as Secretary of the State, her email scandal, and relatively shady use of the Clinton Foundation’s funds make her an untrustworthy and unfit candidate. On the flip side, Trump has repeatedly made rude, arrogant, and false statements that have offended a tremendous number of people. Both have proved that they don’t have the poise to become the next president. At this point in the election, I find myself waiting for the next bit of dirt to come out about either Trump or Clinton. Therefore, how could I possibly support one of these candidates?


Photo credit: CNN News.

The Trump campaign has repeatedly been rocked with problem after problem, mainly stemming from the mouth of Trump himself. He is a man that is not accustomed to the political scene, and he has yet to realize that in order to run a successful campaign he must promote himself as an inclusive individual that doesn’t look down on any specific group of citizens. The largest issue that he has been faced is the Access Hollywood tape that was released. The video features Trump making disgusting comments about women; comments that are certainly not becoming of anyone, particularly a man running for a position of public office.

This is not the only offensive comment that Trump has made. Trump has also made some harsh and stunning generalizations about immigrants, especially Latinos. He has called illegal Mexican immigrants criminals, rapists, and killers. These words can’t be used in such a nonchalant way that stereotypes an entire group of people. The ironic thing is that Trump has used labor from illegal immigrants to grow his real estate empire to the size it is today. That being said, he clearly has an inability to filter himself, and he subsequently offends large groups of people.

Trump has also been heavily criticized for the use of the funds raised by his nonprofit the Trump Foundation. For years, Trump has boasted about his charitable contributions; however, in some recent articles published by David A. Fahrenthold of the Washington Post, questions are arising about how much of his own money Trump has given to his own foundation. The charity fraud accusations shine a poor light on Trump and are yet another setback for the Trump campaign.

The Clinton campaign has also been hit hard with an endless amount of criticism and problems of its own. Secretary Clinton has used private email servers to conduct State Department business, putting classified information at a much higher risk of being compromised. Considering all the top secret information that was being passed through the state department, Clinton should have had the sense to treat this information far more carefully. Her negligent handling of this information is a major red flag to a large number of voters, including myself.

Another concerning aspect of Clinton’s for office is the fact that her time in the State Department seemed to do little with regards to foreign policy issues. She boasts about the “Russian Reset;” however, Russia’s recent activity in Syria, Ukraine, and Crimea is concerning to millions of Americans. Russia is also a major nuclear threat that the U.S doesn’t have much control over, something that Clinton and her “Russian Reset” worked to contain and clearly failed at, given some of Russia’s recent military actions.

WikiLeaks has also hurt the Clinton campaign. They have released thousands of Clinton campaign emails that reveal harmful comments about DNC representatives and other groups. They also reveal that Clinton could have received up to $12 million from the King of Morocco. Foreign influence from Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and other countries makes Clinton seem like quite a hypocrite. She criticizes Trump for going easy on Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, because of his supposed business interests in Russia, which has yet to be proven. This is all just finger-pointing – something that is a major deterrent of my vote.

There are also third party options, such a Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Unfortunately, Johnson, the third party candidate with the most support, has proven himself incredibly unqualified. In one interview, Johnson was unable to name his favorite foreign leader, and in another he was completely unaware of what or where Aleppo, Syria is. Johnson and Stein also have political views that I fundamentally disagree with; therefore, I could not cast my vote for one of them.

I find it disappointing that there is not a candidate on the 2016 ballot that I can fully support. It is a shame that the two major political parties have nominated candidates that are so disliked, even on our campus. Both of these candidates have such high disapproval ratings. In a country like the United States, it is pathetic that we have to choose a candidate that is the “lesser of two evils.” I feel as though I am not obligated to vote for the lesser of two evils. Therefore, in this election, if I choose to vote on November 8th for a presidential candidate, it will most certainly be a write in.

COUNTERPOINT: For another perspective, read Jake Johnston’s opinion piece on the importance of voting in this election. 

About the author

Senior at Collegiate School