Editor’s Note: Final edit for this article was completed after the election.
By Carmen Rios-Nuñez
Students interviewed for this article for their opinions about one of the most bizarre and controversial presidential election in American history said they would be voting for the lesser of two evils.
“This year’s election is a circus,” said Caroline Aguirre, 22, a senior, majoring in English literature and minoring in media studies, during the interview that took place in a North Building classroom. “The second debate made it clear to me that both candidates are not concerned with connecting with the public.”
Aguirre, a registered Democrat, said, Donald Trump, the Republican Party Presidential candidate, wasted the public’s time arguing with the moderators at the first debate and diverged from the questions he was asked in the second debate. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party Presidential candidate, constantly told the public to “fact check.” Aguirre, who was wearing crystal studded earrings, a black cardigan over a white T-shirt, dark jeans, and pink and gray sneakers, said that she was still hesitant to give Clinton her vote, but liked the Democratic candidate’s composed manner.
During the second presidential debate, Trump admitted he didn’t pay federal income taxes and dismissed his sexist comments about women as “locker room talk.” The Republican candidate also made false claims and factual errors, according to “7 takeaways from the second presidential debate,” a CNN article by Eric Bradner. According to the article, 90 minutes before the debate, Trump convened an event with three women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.
Also present was Kathy Shelton, a “woman who was 12″ when Hillary Clinton was the court-appointed attorney for the male defendant who raped Shelton. The defendant served less than a year in prison after Clinton got him off on a legal technicality, Shelton said at the pre-debate event.
In early October, a 2005 recording obtained by The Washington Post was released, and Trump was heard talking about women in vulgar terms. In the recording, Trump can be heard telling Billy Bush, then the host of “Access Hollywood,” that he is automatically attracted to beautiful women and just starts kissing them, and that famous male celebrities could get away with anything, including “grab ‘em by the p****.”
“It shows his true character when he is not in the public eye,” said Marjorie Fajardo, 20, a film and media studies major, who was wearing a button-down denim shirt, black leggings, and brown boots, during the interview that took place in a North Building media classroom. “But I think certain people are taking it as a joke, laughing about it rather than being concerned.”
Fajardo, who is not registered to vote because she is an undocumented resident, said that if she were eligible to vote, she would belong to the Democratic Party and vote for Clinton because she does not want Trump to win the election.
“I am extremely concerned about Donald Trump because he is a loose cannon who doesn’t have the temperament to be president,” said Thomas Ranocchia, 25, a media studies major, who was wearing a Coca-Cola T-shirt, jeans, a hoodie, and sneakers, during the interview that took place in a classroom. “At the same time, Hillary Clinton turns me off due to her dishonest nature, the scandals surrounding her, and my belief that her first term as president would be akin to a third term of Barack Obama, who I have considered to be a weak leader.”
Students cited Clinton’s email controversy – published batches of the candidate’s emails that contained confidential information on matters of national security – as examples of her dishonesty. Clinton also is also burdened with the controversy surrounding The Clinton Foundation. There are concerns about transparency with its financial activities and that some donors may have been trying to buy influence. Ranocchia, who is registered to vote as an independent, said he did not intend to vote in the upcoming election, though he might change his mind to support a third party or write-in candidate.
“Take your right to vote seriously,” said Aguirre. “Voter apathy doesn’t do anything. Yes, this campaign is ridiculous, but still vote.”
Carmen Rios-Nuñez can be reached at Carmen.Rios66@myhunter.cuny.edu