The first time I voted was for Gov. Scott Walker in the 2014 gubernatorial election in Wisconsin. As someone who loves politics and history, it was a truly magical moment. I was engaging in the democratic process along with millions of others to decide the future of my state.
How Scott Walker won his third governor’s race in four yearsIt was a neck-and-neck race for several polls, but Tuesday’s midterm elections left Wisconsin Democrats devastated, once again unable to Read…
Like any typical election, there were moments of negativity. In one case, an ad from Democratic challenger Mary Burke’s campaign attempted to link Walker to Nazism, for example. But the 2016 presidential election makes the 2014 midterms look like an elegant fairytale. This election continues to sink to new lows.
The latest drama in the election is Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s “locker room” language. Caught on a hot mic in a 2005 conversation with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, the real estate mogul bragged about how he could sexually abuse without repercussion because of his fame.
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I think Trump’s defense and apology wins the award for worst attempt at damage control in American history. I don’t know who told him that “locker room” language somehow makes it better, because women are probably going to be the majority of the American electorate based on historical trends.
Then again, I don’t know if there was a better response when you’re dealing with a man like Trump. It has now been reported that the controversial billionaire prevented his campaign managers from researching his background. This left the current manager, Kellyanne Conway, unprepared for the avalanche of scandals now occurring.
Unsurprisingly, this spurred a great race of Republican lawmakers to shun Trump.
It’s clear many Republicans aren’t comfortable with their nominee, who deeply divided his party during the primaries and caucuses. In fact, more Republicans voted against him than for him during the primaries because of his lack of a conservative ideology and vulgar personality.
The latest news doesn’t help Trump with many of these Republicans. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, disinvited Trump from the annual Fall Fest event at the Walworth County fairgrounds in Elkhorn. Several other Republicans, some facing elections while others aren’t, have criticized Trump and revoked their endorsements. Most of them happen to be women.
To be clear, Ryan hasn’t ended his endorsement, he simply disagrees with Trump on some language he used. Yet Trump’s allies in the media raged against the speaker, who as of now is still clearly voting for the Republican presidential candidate.
This is another problem with the election. You think Trump’s campaign would focus on attacking Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Instead, he spent most of Oct. 11 attacking Ryan and other Republicans on Twitter rather than his actual opponent.
Paul Ryan avoids mentioning Trump at UW College Republicans eventJust a few weeks shy of the Nov. 8 presidential election, House Speaker Paul Ryan made a stop in Madison Read…
Trump loyalist Laura Ingraham seemed to imply that Republican voters in the first district should dump Ryan, but for who? His Democratic opponent? They fail to understand that they need the Republican Party to win this election. Ryan is currently one of the most powerful men in Congress. It’s stupid to start a war with him because he doesn’t approve of Trump’s language.
All of this chaos doesn’t make Clinton an angel. Her flirtation with corruption is obvious. The activist group WikiLeaks has released some of her supposedly gone emails and excerpts from her speeches to Wall Street and Washington D.C. firms. In one to the National Multifamily Housing Council, she proclaimed that “you need both a public position and a private position.”
If that doesn’t sound cynical, I don’t know what is.
I can immediately think of one issue where I believe she holds two positions. When she was Secretary of State, Clinton helped create the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal with countries that have ports in the Pacific.
During her clashes with Bernie Sanders, she said that she now opposed the proposal, but something very interesting happened during the Democratic convention. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close friend of the Democratic nominee, said she would change her position as president back to supporting the trade deal.
Another batch of emails found by WikiLeaks shows how she used the State Department to enrich cronies of her and her husband. One horrible example is the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
The State Department was involved in rebuilding the impoverished country’s infrastructure and economy. The Clintons have claimed they never favored donors to their foundation during the rebuilding efforts, but the emails indicate otherwise. The abbreviation FOB (Friend of Bill) and others were used to describe individuals and firms who wanted to take part in the Haitian relief effort. There was clear coordination between the State Department and friends of the Clintons.
There is a reason why both candidates are highly unpopular.
That reason is character. One presidential candidate loves to brag about his sexual appetite and routinely bashes people in his own party who don’t support his despicable language.
The other candidate could quite possibly be the most corrupt person to run for public office. If she becomes president, expect patronage to become commonplace in the White House.
I have many elections ahead of me, and I hope I never see an election as dreadful as this one.
John M. Graber ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in history and political science.