Student voters find common ground

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Younger generations got involved in this election.

By Zachary-Taylor Wright

zwright9@student.alamo.edu

This presidential election has proved to be divisive, but student voters seem to share a few common opinions: They weren’t entirely thrilled with either candidate, they are unsure what President-elect Donald Trump will do and they believe the younger generation was heavily involved with the election.

People protest outside of an event where Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke, Saturday, June 4, 2016, in Santa Barbara, Calif.  AccuNet/AP

People protest outside of an event where Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke, Saturday, June 4, 2016, in Santa Barbara, Calif. AccuNet/AP

Pre-biology nursing freshman Naomi Green said the country’s reaction to the election results represents the lack of quality candidates.

“They weren’t the best candidates we could have,” Green said. “If Hillary would have won, people would’ve been mad about it. If Trump won, well, you can already see that people are rioting the streets.”

Green said she voted for Trump because she questioned Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s political history.

Green echoed an antiestablishment sentiment, and said she wants to see a new president without a professional political background

“I think we needed a new perspective,” Green said. “Yeah, Hillary had a political background and Trump doesn’t; a lot of presidents with political background say they’re going to get stuff done, and I don’t feel like they get stuff done.”

Business administration sophomore Cecilia Adriana Valadez said she does not support Trump’s statements about minorities, and she fears what he will do with his presidency.

“I feel bad because I don’t want Trump to win because I am Mexican and he doesn’t like the Mexican people,” Valadez said. “He says that Mexican people are not good workers. Tell me: Where are the white people working outside? When it’s raining, in the sun, when it’s snowing, who will be working outside? Mexican people.”

Valadez appreciates Trump’s economic plans, but she said he should be inclusive of minorities when growing economic success.

“Everybody comes here for their dream and making a better future with their families,” Valadez said.

However, Valadez hopes Trump will prevent families from taking advantage of the welfare system and government-funded programs.

Music education freshman Daniela Cabriales said she is optimistic about the future presidency, as there is no way to judge Trump’s competency as a president until he enters office — she is holding her opinion until he has a chance to exercise his political power.

Cabriales appreciated Clinton’s attempt to improve her public image.

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2016 file photo, students from several high schools rally on the steps of City Hall after walking out of classes to protest the election of Donald Trump as president in downtown Los Angeles. Thousands of high school students have taken to the streets in cities across the country since Trump's election to protest his proposed crackdown on illegal immigration and his vulgar comments about women. It's an unusual show of political involvement on the part of young people who can't even vote yet. And experts say it can lead to increased activism when they are adults.  AccuNet/AP

FILE – In this Nov. 14, 2016 file photo, students from several high schools rally on the steps of City Hall after walking out of classes to protest the election of Donald Trump as president in downtown Los Angeles. Thousands of high school students have taken to the streets in cities across the country since Trump’s election to protest his proposed crackdown on illegal immigration and his vulgar comments about women. It’s an unusual show of political involvement on the part of young people who can’t even vote yet. And experts say it can lead to increased activism when they are adults. AccuNet/AP

“She wasn’t so disrespectful towards people,” Cabriales said. “She seemed more willing to help rather than neglect many things.”

Cabriales said Trump wasn’t efficient at describing the good things he would do as president.

“It was really surprising that Trump won because of the really negative things he was saying and up to,” Cabriales said. “A lot of people aren’t happy.”

Music education freshman Marc Lopez said neither candidate was ideal, and voters had to choose the lesser of two evils; however, he said both candidates brought up important issues he believed in.

Lopez said he supported Clinton’s views on equality.

“I’m definitely for people being happy and being equal and everyone having a chance to live the life they want in America,” Lopez said.

Lopez believes Trump was inaccurately portrayed and taken out of context in the media, but he supports Trump’s immigration reform suggestions.

“Of course social media portrays him as a racist and stuff, but listening to his speeches, I would agree with the immigration (polices). … I believe we really need to be strict with immigration.”

Lopez said he supports strict immigration reform, because he believes there are terrorists looking to enter the country and attack American ideals.

Even though Lopez found opinions to stand behind on both sides of the presidential debate, he said he is not immune to the fear others are experiencing but suggests giving Trump a chance.

“Needless to say, I’m a little bit scared, because I don’t know what’s going to happen. I trust him (Trump), I guess. Well, you’re going to have to trust him.”

Students said younger generations were extremely involved with the political climate, and voter turnout reflected their participation.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton shake hands during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2016.  AccuNet/AP

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton shake hands during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. AccuNet/AP

Green said her friends on campus were eager to debate politics, and several participated in early voting at Eco Centro.

Lopez found his friends and other youth made sure their voices were heard on social media and through peaceful protest.

“I call this the free speech generation,” Lopez said. “Everyone is speaking their mind — some ignorant, others not.”

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