Teen rants about the hostility of the election

Every election is a special snowflake. In 1860, the Democratic party split its vote, and by luck Lincoln was nominated. In 1840, William Henry Harrison won by a landslide, only to die in office 31 days after catching pneumonia during his inauguration speech. In 2000, the vote came down to Florida, and the Supreme Court had to step in and announce Bush the winner after Gore sued.

Oh, but the 2016 election. This is one NO ONE will forget. This is the election that kids will be taught about in the future. This is the one where Internet wars will be in history books and conspiracy theories will form. This is the one where we fight like cats and dogs about people we don’t even know; the one where we can’t even have a friendly debate among friends without feeling disgusted, and the one where we have fire-spitting protests popping up. This is the election where hatred and division is at its height, and the hostility of politics affects everyday life — and there are two factors that have caused it.

The two nominees.

I present to you, the first: over-bronzed, unhinged jawed and cheaply toupeed Donald J. Trump. Never has a cartoon-like character such as Trump hopped onto the election train and rode it to the Republican nomination, but somehow this TV personality managed to charm, or fool, enough people to get what he wanted.

Personally, I despise Trump. He reminds me of the 0.01 percent bacteria that isn’t destroyed by a cleaning product, and I wish he would’ve given up a long time ago. He is a HYUUUGE reason why this election has become such a violent battleground, and he is the one inviting Americans to take up any measures to get what they want by hyping up sexism, racism and fear.

The thing that is so interesting about Trump is the way he has turned this election around. In theory, someone like Trump should be out of the running before it even gets started. He has too many scandals, a brash personality, no experience and a sketchy reputation as a business man. But instead of trying to polish himself like a normal politician would, he took his faults and used them to his advantage. He gets the crowd going by not being politically correct and refusing to apologize. He’s similar to “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” It’s probably not the most intelligent thing to pay attention to, but for some reason it’s addicting. The media can’t keep their hands off him, and he bathes in the spotlight. Instead of blaming a certain group for his nomination, I blame everyone (including myself). He got to us. We paid too much attention to his rhetoric, and we got fired up. We did what any opinionated person would do. We fought. We fought so much that all we could talk about was him, and soon enough all the other candidates faded out. So, to use one last corny simile (I apologize) — Trump is like quicksand. The more we resist, the harder it is to get out. We only realized his master plan after he gained so much popularity, which makes it all the more frustrating. Frustration leads to anger, anger leads to fighting, fighting leads to death threats … so the hostility continues.

Now, I present the second candidate: Hillary Rodham Clinton. I can already hear the shrill  screaming Republicans and the sighs from the bummed out Democrats, and I can understand why people don’t like her. Hillary will never be as bad as Trump in my opinion, but she has some major issues that really piss people off. First of all, she will do anything for a vote, even if it means exploiting the one thing we have to keep us sane, memes. It’s pathetic to see her dab, and watching her scour for millennial votes is painful. Secondly, the emails and the Benghazi situation are definitely not helping her. If you aren’t caught up with the situation, here is a short summary: four Americans were killed in Benghazi, Libya after threats were allegedly made. While this happened, Clinton was Secretary of State and her organization was blamed for not taking any action after hearing about the threats. The other issue Clinton has is the whole email scandal — basically, she sent top secret official communications through a private email server. By doing this, she put sensitive and classified information at risk of being stolen. Not only does it make her seem untrustworthy, but it makes the Clinton organization look sloppy and careless. Because of the extremities in her mistakes, Trump supporters have something to constantly hold against her, and as a result are belligerent towards Hillary sympathizers (and the same goes the other way because of Trump’s extreme views).

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an election with two major party candidates who could sit down together and have a classy debate over an issue? Wouldn’t it be splendid if people weren’t threatening to kill each other over an opinion? I mean — how hard is it to refrain from punching someone in the face over their choice of nominee? HARD.

According to a study done by Pew Research, America is more divided than it has ever been. They also conducted several other studies and found that most votes are biased on what candidate a citizen is against rather than for, and they found that voter satisfaction with the choice of candidates is at its lowest point in decades.

In the end, I try not to let politics rip apart my friendships or feel personally attacked when I overhear someone empathize with Trump’s policy towards Muslims at a dinner party. I am going to take the advice of my conservative father (something you will only hear once from me, a liberal hippie) — don’t dismiss an idea immediately, rather listen to what the person has to say. Be open-minded towards everything, including avoiding stereotyping political parties (as you will find I am also a hypocrite, as I did this in the previous sentence) and push more for love and acceptance. We really don’t need a second Civil War, and even if we did have one it wouldn’t be as cool as the Captain America version.

So even though it may be hard, I call upon my fellow Democrats, Republicans, moderates, environmentalists, Libertarians, conservatives and whatever else there is. Let’s add more kindness into our divided nation, let’s find things we have in common with one another and let’s take a break from arguing all the time.