The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

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The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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First Lady urges students to vote

Michelle Obama talks to students at La Salle University in Philadelphia about the importance of voting in 2016 Election.

On Sept. 28, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at La Salle University in Philadelphia at a rally for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, endorsing her and advising students that each vote truly matters.

Mrs. Obama first spoke about all of the social progress made under President Barack Obama’s two consecutive terms, citing his passing of nationwide healthcare reform, the creation of millions of jobs, and the legalization of gay marriage.

She went on to speak about the high level of competence and experience needed for an individual to successfully take on the title of President of the United States, and emphasized the need for a president to have the capability to make complex decisions each day.

“For me, it’s very clear that there is only one person in this race who we can trust with those responsibilities, only one person with the qualifications and temperament for this job, and that person is our friend, Hillary Clinton,” said Mrs. Obama.

Mrs. Obama then addressed those who who may be unsatisfied with both of the presented candidates, and are undecided on whether to vote at all.

“Each of you can swing this entire precinct, and swing this election for Hillary just by getting yourselves, your family, your classmates out to vote, that’s all you have to do — but, you could also help swing an entire precinct for Hillary’s opponent with a protest vote, or by staying home out of frustration,” she continued. “Remember, it’s not about voting for the perfect candidate, there is no such person.”

Many young people’s responses to this presidential election paints a picture of a frustrated youth, not wholly satisfied with either presidential candidate presented to them.

Popular social media hashtags such as #IGuessI’mWithHer represent the sentiments of those who will vote for Clinton solely to keep Trump out of office.

According to a USA Today poll from August, millennials prefer Clinton 56% while 20% prefer Trump, making Trump’s approval ratings among people under 35 a historical low.

Others are outright refusing to vote, citing some of Clinton’s past political decisions which are largely seen in a negative light.

Among these are accusations of Clinton using coded racist language as she lobbied for the passage of the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act — which was passed, and led to increased incarceration rates and harsher sentencings — and voting in favor of the war in Iraq in 2002 during her time as senator of New York.

“I think people who believe in third party candidates are a little delusional… They’re kidding themselves that they have a chance,” said Senior Kathleen Coleman.

“I understand that they’re voting with their conscience, but then I think it comes to a certain point where they have to be realistic and I think it’s…a little selfish, self-interested, to vote for a third party or write someone’s name in, or not vote at all.”

“A lot of people don’t like the fact that [Clinton is] a career politician, but I think that’s a strength because it means she knows what the job entails, and she knows how to work with people within the government and foreign leaders,” Coleman continued. “I would say that Hillary is by far the better candidate because I just think Trump is so dangerous. If Hillary is elected, it’s not the end of the world. There are other ways to bring about the change you want to see in the country… You have more of a say and your vote does count more in local elections.”

“Everyone has the right to choose whatever candidate they want, regardless of whether the candidate they choose belongs to one of the main two parties or not,” said Junior Fredrick Ochoa.

“It is more important that people go out and vote and express their opinion politically. I also think that people don’t have a right to complain about who wins the presidency if they didn’t go and vote and make their voice be heard.”

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About the Contributor
Ariana Ortiz, Features Editor
Ariana Ortiz is a senior majoring in journalism. She began her journey with the Torch last year, starting as a staff writer and then the Assistant News Editor. She aims to make the most of her time as features editor by not only making the Torch a primary news source for students, but also for the immediate community surrounding St. John’s. Have any questions? Email Ariana at [email protected]
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