2016 race may be joke, but the consequences are not


The Appalachian Online

Paige Anderholm

If you happened to catch the last presidential debate, then you may be at least aware of the current sideshow that can be called American politics. How many different drinking games were taking place for the event? Countless, and every game ran along the line of ridiculousness.

A Rolling Stone-sponsored drinking game poked fun at the overtly racist tones of some of the GOP candidates. “Drink the first time the crowd cheers for a racist/bigoted statement by a candidate.”

The possibilities were endless and the prospect for the following morning seemed grim.

However, the ludicrousy of the race needs to be addressed.

Last week in Boston, a homeless, Hispanic man was beaten with a metal bar by two brothers, Scott and Steve Leader. As the pair was arrested, Scott said, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.” He was referring to the reality TV star’s polarizing stance on immigration reform, to remove the nearly 11 million illegal immigrants living in America and take away citizenship by birthright.

“I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate,” Trump said when addressed with the issue at a press conference.

In another interview Trump was asked if he thought his supporters crossed a line and his comment was startling. “I had heard that had happened. But I have gained such respect for the people that like me and respect me and that like my views, it’s incredible.”

How can a man who believes that supporters who attack homeless people are justified lead in the polls by nearly 15 percent?

The race, with more than a year left until the end,  has turned into a mockery worthy of a South Park episode. A teenage boy from Iowa even entered under the name, “Deez Nuts” and has news outlets like The New York Times writing about him. But the public’s attitude needs to change; we will be the butt of the joke in 2016 if it doesn’t.

Here at App, we all know that we will soon see people with clipboards in hand asking, “Are you registered to vote?” It’s your answer that can change the path of this country next year. How ever you decide to vote, just make sure that you do go vote and do so after watching, listening, and reading about potential candidates and their platforms.

The decision you make will affect your student loans, the taxes you pay, or the minimum wage you might be earning after your major became a little too fanciful. It’s time to care about something other than entertainment value.

Anderholm, a sophomore IDS major from Greensboro, is an opinion writer.

All opinions expressed on this page are that of the writer and not of The Appalachian as a whole.