This nasty PResidential election

NOTE TO MY READERS: We’ve had some issues with the new design of PR Nation so it looks a different, but we’re now well on our way to a final design. Thanks for your patience.

This is my 11th presidential election and I and every other American have never seen anything like it. There’s not a single example in our presidential election history where the campaigning was nastier than this. So please forgive me for being quite partial in this post.

Illustration by Joe Heller

Illustration by Joe Heller

In public relations, words matter. Yet from the day he announced his GOP candidacy, Donald Trump has, by The New York Times’ count, insulted 282 “people, places and things” on Twitter, referring to people as pigs, dopes, dumb, slobs, zeroes, and morons, to name a few. More recently he’s called his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton “crooked,” “pathetic,” “weak,” and worse. From accusing Mexican immigrants of rape to bragging about sexually assaulting women, Trump has gotten away with using words that would have certainly doomed any other candidate. His supporters, surrogates and sometimes even reporters have looked the other way regarding his charges of racial discrimination, lawsuits aimed at the failed Trump University, multiple business bankruptcies, his personal use of charitable donations, and the admission that he’s avoided paying federal taxes for two decades. None of this seems to matter to his supporters, according to polls.

Hillary Clinton has her own problems as a presidential candidate. Clearly, the use of a private server for classified emails was at best poor judgement and at worst a national security risk. The FBI cleared her of criminal wrongdoing but controversy remains around the Clinton Foundation. Most people don’t trust her and many just don’t like her, say the pollsters.

However, to claim it’s tough to choose because “they’re both awful” assumes a false equivalency, as Bill Maher calls it. I don’t agree that poor judgement is equal to sexism, racism, misogyny, and narcissism. While Clinton’s problematic, Trump shows little intellectual curiosity and a minimal understanding of policy–or the Constitution.

I’m open-minded, but this election I’ve struggled unsuccessfully to be neutral in this blog. I believe this election is about a flawed but experienced, exceptional leader versus a horribly flawed, insensitive, nasty showman. On Tuesday, vote for the kind of leader YOU want. Your thoughts?

41 thoughts on “This nasty PResidential election

  1. Michael James

    Please, let’s not delude ourselves in thinking that if Hillary had won our country, our world, would be much better off. Under Obama People of Color were daily murdered with impunity by the police, the U.S. war machine bombed black and brown folks the world over, our environment was further toxified, our forests were clearcut, business interests were given priority at the expense of everyone, our “personal freedoms” continued to dissolve under an expanding surveillance state, our oceans continued to be filled by plastic and nuclear waste, destructive extraction industries continued their expansion, and fear still formed the foundation of the political machine. With Hillary the state of things would be no different. On the surface she may appear “better” than Trump, but with her in the driver’s seat the capitalist, industrialist, patriarchal machine would have kept going unencumbered in its goal of destroying everything that doesn’t fit into its conventions. Perhaps it sounds ruthless, but this is a time of necessary awakenings for Americans. We are not the only ones who reside on this great sphere we call Planet Earth.

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  2. A. Murphy

    I definitely agree with you; it has been difficult to remain open minded throughout this entire election process. It has also been difficult to maintain some level of patience when it comes to this incredibly long and drawn out campaign.

    The United States has definitely made a splash in the global pool and I’m not sure we came out smelling so wonderful.

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  3. Vanessa

    We have been discussing the same thing for the past couple of months. This is like no other campaign we’ve ever seen. The tactics and behavior of the candidates are ridiculous. My hope was for the Hilary, but we all know what who we are stuck with now.

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  4. SShak

    This election process was one of the toughest to watch. Though it was only my second election being eligible to vote, I still have never heard a more unpolitical campaign. It’s important, even if you do not particularly like either candidate that you know the true facts and not take everything at face value.

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  5. Daniela Gagliano

    Such open honesty is a breath of fresh air. It seems that everyone is walking on eggshells about the election and our future presidency of Donald Trump now. On the other hand though, there is an entire community of people fighting back and voicing their opinions to everyone and anyone. People who are willing to remove others on all social media platforms, based on the sincerity in their emotions.

    While I am not one of those people removing individuals who don’t share my beliefs, I find it very interesting for the ones that do. It’s crazy to see how far people will go because they have such dedicated beliefs. In this generation, I feel that any attention to a problem bigger than ourselves is progress.

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  6. ari okonofua

    Unfortunately, I’m not shocked by the results of the election. However, the after affect is what shocks and amazes me. It amazes me that people are speaking out and taking a stand. People recognize that Trump is a bully and not fit for the job so the fact that they are speaking out is great.

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  7. Carolina Calderon

    It is a very sad fact that Americans did not realize all this things Professor Morosoff pointed on his blog. Sexism, racism and narcissism are just few of Donald Trump’s characteristics and absolutely those are not a president’s qualities. It is hard to believe that more than half of the country couldn’t see all the terrible things Trump has said or done. This presidential election was a hard decision to make, but I think they key was to pick the best out of the worst —it didn’t happen.
 The only thing left is to stay positive and wait for this to be better than we expect.

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  8. Zhen Zhong

    I’m not at all shocked at the results of the election. People are miserable or at least, the majority of the people are miserable. They relate to trump because of all the frustrations built up in them. They’re sick of the scripted words of the “official” politicians and the promises that go undelivered or for delivering things they didn’t ask for. I don’t support either Trump or Clinton but this is my analysis of the outcome of the campaign. What kind of leader do I want? someone that’d help ME and MY demographic of course.

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  9. Ashley Pina

    I am beside myself with the results of yesterdays election. I have traveled to many places around the world, including Mexico, and this is the first time in my life that I feel truly unsafe. It’s not Trump who scares me the most,because I hope our system of checks and balances will keep him in check, it’s the racists, predators and hatemongers he has called out from the shadows. I am sad for this country.

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  10. Josh Solomon

    To be honest I don’t support either candidate. Both of them are extremely flawed and I don’t have any interest in contributing to this horror show of an election. People say vote vote how about abstain. I would encourage people to exercise their right to choose to not vote.

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  11. Nikita Hakels

    Words do matter in PR . Choosing the write words to express is very important. Even though i am not a US citizen i still feel that it is inappropriate for politicians to behave like that. All i say is whatever the result may be today, is for the good and betterment of America!

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  12. Anonymous

    I agree. This has been one of the most unbelievable campaigns ever. I will be just happy to have this finally over with. I will be voting for Hillary but it feels like I’m choosing form the lesser evils. I will definitely be on eggshells today awaiting the results.

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  13. Owen Lewis

    I’m looking forward to the beginning of Hillary Clinton’s first term, and the start of our national healing. This election was painful, but necessary in order for us to address the short-comings of our political past and what it will take for us to move forward. It’s going to be a tumultuous first few months, maybe fews years, but now that we have hit rock bottom, we can proceed forth to a more peaceful, ideally utopian society (however long it takes for us to get there).

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  14. Stephanie Adomavicius

    Although I’m very curious to see how everything plays out tomorrow, I’m relieved it’s over so we don’t have to keep hearing about this. I remember being in college eight years ago with the excitement surrounding the election because it was for the first African American president. You felt part of history and proud to be an American. This election, on the other hand, is completely the opposite and it really makes you question people’s intelligence and morals.

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  15. Michael Esposito

    I think this election is so different from anything before. It blows my mind how unpresidential this whole race has been. The prestige of being president of the United States is being tarnished every second this race goes on.

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  16. Jenny Rauch

    This year is the first year I can vote for a presidential candidate. I can honestly say, I am not excited at all to vote. The two choices that america has left us with, is just terrible. Even though I have made up my mind on who I am going to vote for, I am still not sure that my choice is the right one. Both candidates are extremely flawed on so many levels; its scary to think that one of them is going to be our president. I am bracing myself for this emotional rollercoaster, because this is not going to be an easy four years for america.

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  17. Stacyann Nathan

    I am so excited and nervous for Tuesday. It’s exciting and nerve racking because this election will go down in the books as one of the craziest elections ever. And despite what the polls say I believe both candidates have a 50/50 chance of winning. But I also can’t wait for this election to be over! While these two candidates are the best out of the bunch, it is clear the democratic only thought Hilary Clinton would be the best match. Trump won fair and square in his primaries and it is obvious people, whether quietly or loudly agree strongly with his ideals. During this election I took a neutral stance, observing both candidates without picking a side. I believe both candidates are deeply flawed. The difference is one is more upfront and the other is reserved. While Trump has said some awful things , so has Clinton and her camp. In emails she referred to Bernie Supporters a bunch a Starbucks barista’s and lets not forget she cheated. So I think it is tough but I say look pass what these two have said and check the record. You might not like them but are their polices going to help. Don’t go by emotions or whether you like him or her personally but more of their policies and their track record. Do you want new or something you already know?

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  18. Bernie Dennler

    I think Democrats made the mistake for years of crying wolf at Republican presidential candidates, treating each one as if they would be the end-all of Western civilization and that they were defined by the nationalist fringes of their political party. Now, Democrats are finally faced with a candidate as dangerous as they have always claimed by their screams and the screams of many Republican intellectuals are going unheard. Republicans are not without blame in this either. For years, they ignored the warnings of Democrats by continuing to indulge extremists within their party. Republican leaders looked at the Tea Party and saw an opportunity to co-opt a grassroots movement, ignoring racially charged rhetoric from many of that movements most prominent faces. They treated their new President like an outsider, playing into the fears and demands of those who truly believed he was not born in America. Now, the rats are steering the ship and Republicans have (in part by by circumstantial accident) a man who believes our first black president was born in Africa, that Muslim Americans danced on rooftops on 9/11, that illegal immigration represents an existential threat to the US even as net immigration is negative, and that the first female nominated to the presidency by a major party belongs in a prisoner.
    Some may support him out of ignorance. Some may support him out of fear. But I will not. I will not betray my black friends by voting for a man who delegitimizes the election of Barack Obama. I will not betray my Muslim friends by voting for a man who believes that their families overseas should not be allowed to join them and us in this great country. I will not betray the women in my life who for too long have endured the aggressions and abuses of men like Donald Trump. I will not betray the fundamental character of this country by denying the rights of immigrants. I will not betray our allies around the world and our soldiers abroad by supporting a candidate who praises dictators and calls our military “a mess.” And finally, I will not betray myself by voting for a man who believes he can seize power by declaring “I alone can fix this.” Donald Trump is wrong. No one alone can fix this, and the most dangerous thing this country could possibly do is turn over power to someone who claims they can. Donald Trump belongs in the dustbin of history from which his candidacy has sprung.

    I hope it’s a landslide.

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  19. Daniella Opabajo

    This election has exhausted me mentally. Both Hillary and Trump have their faults, but it seems like this election has been more about pointing out each other downfalls rather than explain why they would be a good president. I never seemed to understand clearly what both conducted stances were on issues because it seemed as though they were too busy attacking each other than explaining their views. Both candidates seem very defensive but when it comes to who I believe has the potential to be a good president, I would have to say, Hillary. For a long time, I was unsure about who I wanted to vote for. I didn’t want to jump onto the Hillary “band-wagon” just because everyone said to, so I tried many times to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. But I determined that Hillary has proven herself to be more mature and prepared to run this country. Overall, although this election was extremely usually but entertaining and I am definitely ready for it to be over.

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  20. Anthony Pugliese

    There is no doubt that this election is one of a kind. Being that it is my first time able to vote, I am very nervous. I am nervous because the two candidates have yet to persuade me and election day is tomorrow! I am leaning towards a candidate, but I am not fully positive that is why I cannot announce if I am going blue or red. The only thing I can hope for is whoever the president may be, America is in good hands. Aside from this unique and horrific campaign, I am staying optimistic that our country will be okay. Overall, I am excited to finally have a say and vote.

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  21. Jennifer OMalley

    For many, it seems that this election is less about voting for the candidate you support, and more about keeping the candidate you hate out of office. Trump speaks to those who feel like they aren’t getting their piece of the pie, and choose to place the blame for that on immigrants, refugees and politically correct liberals. Trump reinforces their feelings of being slighted and appears to be a change agent to them. Trump picked out a group of Americans that have just been waiting for permission to shout their uniformed, misplaced, angry opinions from the rooftops and told them everything they wanted to hear, while providing them with a platform to be intolerant. He is not a leader. He is a manipulator. It is incredibly embarrassing that this unqualified man could be in the White House after tomorrow. Personally, Clinton would not be my choice either. I voted for Bernie in the primary and still want no one else but him as my president. With that option out, I am left with three choices. Clinton, Stein or a Bernie write-in. But like I said before, for many, including me, the most important thing is not endangering ourselves by allowing Trump to win. This is only my third election, but I certainly feel that this is unprecedented and I hope that in my lifetime, I don’t see another election as absurd as this one.

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  22. Adam Engel

    I can not wait for November 8 to come so this chaos will end. When I think of the title, President of the United States, I think of someone who stands by all classes, races, genders and opinions. I know that neither candidate is perfect, but having division in our country is not a good at all. Especially when Trump was asked if he would congratulate the winner and he said “depending on the circumstances”. Well that makes me sad because we need to be united as one, not divided.

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  23. Adam Engel

    I can not wait for Tuesday to come and end this chaos. When I think of the title, President of the United States, I think of someone who stands by all classes, races, genders and opinions. I know that neither candidate is perfect, but we can’t have division in our county. It makes me sad to think that if Hilary Clinton wins Donald Trump is not going to congratulate her. Our country needs unity not division. after all of this is over both parties need to come together can face the country`s problems as one strong union.

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  24. Adam Palasciano

    This will be the first presidential election that I can vote in and I am disappointed with the two main candidates we have to pick between. I don’t love Clinton and quite honestly I don’t completely trust her either. Although, she most definitely has more experience and is more qualified to be President of the United States than Donald Trump. I don’t see how the choice can be hard when Trump has relentlessly degraded so many different groups of people in the past year and continues to act in a completely unpresidential way.

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  25. Marielle McCartin

    I am very excited for this election to be OVER!! Luckily, this is the second election I have been able to vote in, so I look at it all as unbelievable. Voting in the last election was a completely different playing field. I actually feel bad for my fellow peers who have this election as their first opportunity to vote. I have decided not to vote in this election. I know it is frowned upon but I honestly do not feel that either candidate is well fit at all to be President of the United States. I hope either candidate does a good job as President, for the citizens of the US , but I have very low expectations for either one.

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  26. Connor Giblin

    It is astounding to me how much we have let slide this presidential election. The fact that Donald Trump still just a few points behind Hillary Clinton in most major polls is even more surprising. I thought it was very interesting to see Bill Maher, in fact, do an about-face about the previous Republicans he denounced, realizing none of them were as bad as Trump. I think this cycle shows the desperation some Americans have and what kind of conditions they deal with that makes them think this way. Some believe that a Trump presidency will give America more of a backbone and stabilize the economy, which is debatable. Others want social change and a polished candidate with experience in Clinton. What I think is the most interesting part of this vote will be which candidate are voters willing to accept more of their flaws. It’s obvious the two dominant choices have their baggage, and supporters will denounce the rival candidate for their problems without addressing their own. I think that the type of president should be someone who is respected among their peers. I’m not sure either have that standard of respect, but it’s clear to me that one has a better political standing than the other.

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  27. Anna Baxter

    This is my first time ever being able to vote in an election. Due to this, pretty much every person of authority over me has tried to explain the importance of voting. I think that this election in particular is scaring a lot of people because either you strongly support Trump, you strongly support Clinton, or you are confused. Words do carry a lot of weight, especially in a Presidential Election, and to me I think that some words are unforgivable. I definitely do not want to live in a country where sexual assault and discrimination are widespread.

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  28. Justin McCue

    I really just cannot wait for this election to be over. However, one of the two will end up becoming president, which with either decision will cause even more controversy than the election generated. I’m not very politically smart, but I feel that in previous elections there probably wasn’t as many undecided voters as in this election. Both of these candidates have their long list of negatives, and I am one of the many that cannot seem to choose what side to be on. With that being said, all of the ridiculous coverage going on in the media over the candidates, it does not help whatsoever and just makes me turned off from the whole election process. I think this election period has been one wild ride, that needs to come to an end ASAP.

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  29. Tai Davis

    There definitely is a big difference between Clinton and Trump. I am surprised with how much Donald Trump is able to get away with. Paraphrasing from an episode of Last Week with John Oliver, if a principal of a grade school was caught saying or tweeting anything that Donald Trump has, that principal would be fired. What makes Donald Trump so different?.. his money. He is a very wealthy person, whether by is own endeavors or his families money. There is a different standard for rich people. It seems everyone on Trump’s team has to be some form of a public relations practitioner. They all have to be ready to “elaborate” on what Trump meant or in other words do damage control. It is sad. Even though Hilary may be telling American Democrats everything they want to hear, she at least is respectful and seasoned.

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  30. Maria Zaldivar

    As the holder of a student visa I am not able to vote, but as a future journalist,activist, feminist, and politics lover I have not only followed the election thoroughly, but I have “fan-girled “over it. I believe that it is important to be informed about the positions they both hold, and although I don’t agree with everything Hillary says or has done in the past I believe that she is one of the most prepared people, if not the most, to hold the position. Being born and raised in Mexico I can personally say that the comments that Donald Trump has said about my country are not only hurtful, but have sparked hurtful comments directed towards me. The president’s “bully pulpit” is one of the biggest responsibilities tied to the job and Trumps rhetoric towards basically everyone that is not him have inspired similar reactions from others.

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  31. Cam Keough

    All I know and think is that if Trump is elected, this country is very likely doomed. Trump is a child who has no care or understanding of government and has non filter. I could never imagine him managing any foreign policy with any honor or class. I am nervous and excited for Tuesday but i really hope that Trump concedes and Hillary moves forward in an honorable way to be our next president. Trump is a spoiled little kid that should pay his taxes and stop insulting people who probably are much smarter than he.

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  32. Justin Chupungco

    This election is truly like no other election in history. This election will always be remembered in history, as will the crazy events, media reports, and debates that surrounded it. The unprofessional behavior, uncanny reports and actions, and comments the candidates have made about one another are truly like no other. The election has been so hectic and I personally cannot wait until the election, including the aftermath is over. This is the first election I am able to vote in, and what an election for it to be. Hopefully, whoever comes out on top in this election, once in office, can lead the country properly, make beneficial changes, and guide us in a better direction, rather than be immature, and unprofessional, as seen in the race to the White House.

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  33. Katie Spoleti

    As my first time being able to vote in a presidential election, it makes me upset that there has been so much controversy, difficulty and cattiness between both candidates running. I remember when Donald Trump first announced that he was going to run for president I thought it was a joke and laughed it off as I assume most Americans did. Now, with just two more days to go until the announcement is made, the image of Trump leading our country has turned laughter into tears for many including myself. After watching debate after debate I still have no sense of what Donald Trumps’ policies are. How could we possibly elect someone to represent our country when he blatantly insults the American people, disrespects women and instills fear in those who represent different cultures and backgrounds other than his own? The reason why people come to America from other countries is because this nation has always been a beacon of hope and opportunity for everyone wanting a fresh start for themselves and their families. When I think of the title, President of the United States, I envision someone who stands by all classes, races, genders and opinions. I know that neither candidate is perfect, but to me it’s obvious that one of them has the needs of the American people in mind and the other only thinks about himself. Hillary Clinton, emails aside, is definitely qualified for the position in terms of having the knowledge and skill set to run our country. I know she has a hard time being relatable but if that’s the biggest issue then I think it’s something that she can, and already has been trying to work on. I think people have to stop letting the one mistake she made in her past define her and focus on all of the ways she will make up for it by bettering America’s future. I was on the bus the other day and I overheard a woman talking about the upcoming election. She said, “A woman can’t be president. It’s a man’s job.” I just hope she wasn’t attempting to refer to Donald Trump because his actions prove him to be a child, not a man. I would love to see a Hillary Clinton as the first woman president. I think it’s time for a change.

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  34. Arianna du Manoir

    No individual in their right mind would say that either candidate is perfect for that is just simply untrue, and this election will certainly go down in history as the least respectful and most notorious presidential election thus far. When you look at both candidates however, it still shocks me when I hear people say that they do not know who to vote for. One candidate made poor judgement but has since apologized numerous times and works endlessly to not only ask for forgiveness, but to prove that they will not let the country down. The other has mocked people of different races and disabilities, threatened to jail their opponent, considers women trophies, threatens to ban a religion and throw those who follow it out of the country, and the list goes on for quite a while. Out of all of those faults, not ONCE has this candidate apologized sincerely or take any of his ignorant words back. Instead, he just thinks his way is the only way which, as history has shown us, NEVER goes in a positive direction.

    At the end of the day, the individual chosen to become our next President becomes the face of the country, and honestly, is he really the type of person that we want representing us? Is that the way we want the world to see us?

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  35. Jessica Mohen

    There is a niche audience that identifies with Donald Trump’s misogynist comments or potential actions, discriminatory statements, and egotism. Others are ardent in their republican beliefs and cannot agree with Hillary Clinton’s policies whatsoever or do not like her as a person. Some Trump supporters can see past his wrongdoings and agree with his initiative to “Make America Great Again”. By the same token, others are sickened by his comments or accused actions and would vote for anyone other than him. Others agree with Hillary’s extremely left wing policies. Some are just undecided because they see glaring flaws in both candidates. A major issue with this election is that voters will more likely be driven to vote for a candidate because they strongly oppose the other, rather than voting for a candidate that they respect and support fully.

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  36. Brianna Beaumont

    I agree. I am not a big supporter of Clinton, but I dislike Trump so much that Clinton looks like an angel. Everyone says that they are both awful, and yes they both suck, but it is the only option that we have, so not voting is not the answer and you just have to vote for the best one [Hillary Clinton]. I do not understand how people can still support Trump, the only demographic that he should attract is rich white males, but yet he still has some support from minorities.

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  37. Khaleik Akerson

    For myself and many people in my age group, this is our first time being able to practice our vote in a Presidential election but quite frankly I am not that excited to vote. I more so feel like I am voting for freedom for myself and those around me. This election has been a disgrace to our country since Trump declared to run for President. He is constantly slandering others to keep himself on his gold pedestal. Despite being scared that there is a possibility we may have a racist, sexist, and insensitive human being running our country; What makes me more nervous is his supporters. To know that people actually follow him, admire his slander and future plans for America is mind boggling. This election could possibly be considered the most childish but at the same time the most historic any way you look at it. Honestly just wish its anyone else but him.

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  38. Jordyn Miller

    I believe many people would share the same thoughts and views, however I also think many people do not understand the gravity of the election at hand, and do not understand that this election is not a joke. The choices we make in the polls on Tuesday do not only affect us, but the entire population of the United States. If a mistake is made, it will take four years to have a chance to correct it, and we all must hope those four years do not completely change the nation for the worse. We cannot only have our own best interest in mind, but the interest of the whole nation so we can hopefully live more peacefully, and be much less of a divided nation.

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  39. Arthena Sherwood

    You’re right Hilary isn’t awful, but they both make a lot of people uncomfortable. Most people are misinformed and refuse to do their own research, their opinion is formed by what the media feeds them. Which is not terrible, but it can be terrible if you ONLY watch FOX or ONLY watch ABC.

    I’m with her, simply because I believe Donald Trump is a disgusting human being. I’ve sarcastically written my own thoughts about him on my own blog: https://primetimebliss.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/10-things-we-learned-about-donald-trump-from-the-third-presidential-debate/ .

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  40. Emily DiLaura

    It’s no doubt that this election season has been one we’ll all remember. Unfortunately it won’t be good memories because of the pure craziness of it all. Many people just cannot wait for it all to be over, including me. This election season, the media covering it, and the debates leading up to the big day have been nothing but a disappointment of catty unproessionalisn. It saddens me that this is what the country has come to and I just hope it’s not a sign for what is to come. Here’s to hoping for a change in attitude that isn’t just people yelling at each other over and over.

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