What are the views of millennials on the presumptive candidates for president?
Let’s look first at Republican Donald Trump. Surveys show Trump is a hard man to like. A recent Monmouth College poll indicates only 17.5 percent of young adults view the billionaire real-estate mogul in a positive light. Surely his already low numbers will only plummet further as he continues to spread hate and distrust. Wherever he goes, Trump makes inflammatory statements which end up hurting people. His comments about banning all Muslims have turned off young people from voting for him. Other things such as insulting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for going to the bathroom or being rude to female interviewers have only alienated young women.
There are countless reasons why people don’t like Trump, but for many millennials it comes down to who he is. Trump has made his money by exploiting people, and he has no regrets. He is blatantly racist, sexist and transphobic. He seems to enjoy tearing the country apart and hurting anyone who is not the same as him.
Attending Politicon at the Pasadena Convention Center last weekend, 18-year-old Ryan Callahan, a Pasadena high school student, expressed his opinions about the Republican candidate.
“He’s a racist, fear-mongering businessman who completely goes against progressive values,” Callahan said. “I personally don’t like him because of his extremely illegal business practices in other countries, and because he has no filter for his mouth, which is not suited for a diplomat.”
Another question this election seems to focus on is why young people love Bernie Sanders.
The biggest thing that we millennials want is change. Now the type of change desired might differ depending on who you ask, but young people want America to be different. Millennials grew up in the worst economy since the Depression. Though it has gotten considerably better, the unemployment rate is still high, and getting a job feels impossible to many college graduates. This feeling of economic hopelessness makes change very attractive. Sanders preaches a message of hope and transformation that has resonated with many young voters. Some of his platform speaks to the issues they care about most: making college free (or at least debt free), creating more jobs, and guaranteeing equal rights in the workplace.
“I love Bernie because he understands young adults and we’re the people who will be running the country in the future,” said Sanders supporter Violet Fritsche. “The United States is the only First World country where colleges aren’t free and that’s ridiculous. Bernie wants to change that.”
Sanders is also an advocate for equal rights. Young people appreciate that he has fought for African-American rights his whole life, not just when it was politically convenient.
But with Sanders now essentially out of the running, will millennials vote for Clinton?
The current candidates for president are no one’s first choice. However, the policies that Clinton will be running on will have to include some of what Sanders has been promising. The youth voice won’t be forgotten as the Democratic platform is written next month. But there are many people who don’t trust Clinton. She has frequently lied about events and changed her long-standing opinions on issues. However, she voted with Sanders 93 percent of the time when they served together in the US Senate. As first lady, she started her advocacy for national health care, which raised awareness and paved the way for Obamacare. Overall, Clinton is only disliked because she is distrusted. Her opinions and platforms will satisfy the millennials if they agree to compromise just a little.
“Hillary’s been working hard to improve America for a long time. She hasn’t always done it well, but she’s trying. She’ll make a good president. And she’s only getting more progressive, so that’s good too,” said 19-year-old Angelica Horsman of Los Angeles. “When it comes down to it, Hillary Clinton will get the work done and fight for the issues young people care about. Millennials will vote for her in November over Trump in a heartbeat.”
As the election nears, who can you trust? A 2007 poll by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that millennials trust comedic shows like “The Daily Show” as much as they trust regular networks like CNN and FOX News. Millennials are getting tired of this constant coverage. No one wants to hear Trump make more rude speeches and alienate more of America. No one wants to hear Clinton make rude speeches about Trump. The whole election is just becoming a game of who can be offensive first.
“I just kind of want it to be over,” said a young voter. “The election’s been happening for like a year and it hasn’t even really started. The more I hear the less I want to vote for anyone. Could we have like a three-month pause?”
Tasha Gist will be a senior in the fall at Blair International Baccalaureate School in Pasadena.