Outsider Candidates, Global Issues, New Media, and the Next Decade: Why You Should Be Paying Attention To the 2016 Presidential Election

          This election cycle is one for the books, and you should be paying attention. There are candidates stretching as far left as socialism and as far right as fascism. Despite desperate attempts by party elites to change the tides the American people for one reason or another  have latched onto these ideologies. The issues at hand don’t just affect us, they affect the entire world. The effects of the decisions made in the next few months and the four following years will set the course for the next generation of American politics. Be careful where you get your information, and take everything with a grain of salt. Everyone has a dog in this race.

          There are players on both sides poised to make huge changes in American politics. As a nation we are at a fork in the road. On the right the only somewhat moderate candidate is barely polling double digits in most states. The RNC has tried everything to stop Trump and even after funneling millions into Bush and Rubio, their only hope at nominating someone else is Ted Cruz who is arguably worse than Trump in the first place. On the left Hillary Clinton is barely holding on to a narrow national lead that’s slipping away despite the DNC tilting everything in her favor.

          For the longest time candidates have been meticulously toeing the party line. With the exception of Gore, every nominee on either side has been pretty much straight of of the book for the past 25 years. Both Sanders and Trump are pulling the carpet out from underneath their parties. Even if neither gets elected (or nominated) their ideas have already entered the national discourse. The way we talk about issues in our country is going to change.

          The issues that were are being faced with now are not just about us. Daesh rising to power in the middle east, NK military escalation, russian conquests, climate change. There are things happening all over the globe and much of the world is looking to the US to see how we react. I’m sure you’ve heard the tried and true line that the president can’t do anything without congress and the senate and that one president can’t really have that much of an effect. And while that is true to a certain extent, a powerful figurehead can change the dialogue of a nation. A perspective shift can and will percolate up into all aspects of government. Like it or not America is a leader on the world stage and how we act will change the policy decisions of other countries. The rest of the world is paying closer attention to this election than most Americans.

          While young people are relying on new media more and more as their primary source of information, being a passive consumer of politics can lead to absorbing a lot of bias. When companies are donating millions of dollars to candidates you can be sure that the TV stations they own *cough Time Warner and CNN cough* are going to be heavily biased.  

          The next decade is going to crucial for policy making. What we do now will echo throughout the next century. How we deal with Syrian immigrants, fracking vs alternative energy, and free speech on the internet will set precedent for decades to come. Long story very short: there is a lot that could go wrong.

          There is no more time to be “not that into politics.” This isn’t some distant thing that has no effect on your life. This affects you directly. And not just you, but billions of others around the globe. The decision we make as a nation is a statement and we WILL be held accountable for it. Don’t just get involved, get your friends involved. Take this personally, this is a big one.


-Austin, Jonathan, & Kaela