[Editorial Note: Everyone’s talking about who will win the millennial vote in this upcoming presidential election. With up to 50 percent of millennials identifying as independents, this election might get interesting. We asked our VoiceWaves youth about their own opinions on each of the top four candidates. Here’s what they had to say.]
Ted Cruz – Republican candidate
Ted Cruz may be Latino, but he doesn’t advocate for Latino issues. Obamacare has narrowed the gap between uninsured Latinos and the insured general population. Cruz wants to rid Obamacare and he’s not fond of LGBT civil rights for marriage. He’s more concerned with appeasing the highly religious population than serving the U.S. in its entirety. I don’t believe he respects separation of church and state.
-Michael Lozano, 27
I’m not voting for Ted Cruz because he’s too divisive in Congress. Most of his conservative views clash with mine and he is adamant on getting rid of “Obamacare.” His conservative views push the government too far into personal things like marriage and they are too influenced by a religion I don’t subscribe to. He also doesn’t stand out from his Republican rivals, which makes me think he’s just pandering to social conservatives and has nothing unique to offer to the people.
-Kallayan Thuch, 27
Ted Cruz or nah? I say nah. Although he has the ability to state a speech from memory, I believe he is not worthy of my vote. His intense conservatism, and the way he sticks to the constitution like it’s his bible is far too backwards-thinking and old-fashioned for our nation. He always tends to compare himself to other presidents. They did their job, but he shouldn’t aspire to be the next Ronald Reagan– he should aspire to be the next best president using his own style of presidency. Reagan’s style of presidency may have been effective 30 years ago, but not today. He throws Obama under the bus by saying he will “fill a leadership void” left by him. I agree with Obama’s Iran-nuclear deal, but Cruz said “the Obama administration would become the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic tension.”
-Mariah Smith, 19
Donald Trump- Republican Candidate
I do not plan on voting for this upcoming presidential election because I prefer not to go through the whole process of registering. If I were to vote, I probably wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump. He seems to be very malicious towards undocumented immigrants by wanting to pressure 11 million of them to “self-deport.” It is wrong to force someone out of their current home and back to where they are from. Although I do agree with some of his points.
-Zzzahkia Burnley, 18
I will not be voting for Donald Trump, a narcissistic orangutan, who without the enormous inheritance his parents left him, would have as much chance of winning the presidency as your local garbage collector. The fact that he was once a pro-choice Democrat shows how much of a charlatan he is. He says to wait until he’s president to reveal his plans (re: the War on Isis). That’s because he has no plan for the War on Isis. His comments calling Mexicans criminals and rapists are racist and disgusting and set this country backwards. His disparaging remarks on women, including the of Fox News debate moderator Megan Kelly, should be cause for concern. This is a man who has spent his life attacking people, not someone who can bring people together, which is what we need in a president.
-Ben Novotny, 27
I’m not voting at all because I do not have much faith in the presidential system, but if I were to vote, I would not vote for Donald Trump because he does not have the marginalized and the oppressed in mind. He only seeks to expand his own ideals by simplifying issues that are more complex than he makes them out to be. We need a president who will promise to continue on a path that has been paved for the underrepresented and underserved. But I’m not going to vote so it doesn’t matter.
-Sam Caparoso, 20
Bernie Sanders- Democratic candidate
At this point, I feel I would vote for Bernie Sanders. Out of all the candidates he is the one who has addressed the issues of racial injustice and the criminalization of minority youth. His platform addresses the need for economic mobility for people of color by raising the minimum wage and guaranteeing job security. Recently he has announced the election of a black woman as his press secretary and we need more women of color in government.
-Angelica Ocampo, 24
I am generally not very political, but I think this year, with the GOP candidates and their terrifying ideals, it’s more important than ever to vote. If someone like Donald Trump wins, I truly believe the country will go downhill more than it already has. I will be voting for Bernie Sanders because he’s the best candidate. Before he was going to run, Hillary Clinton was the only option, but she does nothing but say one thing while doing another. I think Sanders is more true to what he says and is not likely to easily compromise on the hard points because the GOP decides to act like little children. He stands for the rights of mistreated people of color and women’s rights, which is reason enough alone to choose him when compared to what the GOP is offering, in my opinion. He’s not perfect, but no presidential candidate ever will be.
-Chelcee Bunkley, 24
I would vote for Bernie Sanders because he has pledged to dedicate more outreach to the black community and join his platform of fighting economic inequality with racial equality. His platform also includes an increase in minimum wage, guaranteeing public sector employment. This would decrease inequality. He also fights for minorities and others who are treated unfairly.
-Michelle Siebert, 22
Hillary Clinton- Democratic Candidate
Having just turned 18, I understand that in order to have my opinions heard, I must vote. Even though many may claim that a single vote doesn’t count, I plan to use my vote, but not on Hillary Clinton. As of now, she still has an extremely general plan and has yet to go into detail of what her economic policy will consist of. She spent most of the time allotted in her New School speech to diminish her Republican counterparts’ economic platform instead of informing her supporters of her intentions to help strengthen the economy. Her appeal to female audiences may not be enough, and she has to start narrowing down her platform in order to be considered competition, in my opinion.
-Karen Marin, 17
I am not ready for Hillary. Yes, it would be exciting to have a woman for president, but that means nothing if this country is led to war. What kind of “feminist” president would support the oppression of women around the world as the U.S. implements new trade agreements that erodes workers’ rights? I can’t vote because I am not a citizen. And to be real, no matter who wins, it’s really up to us, the people to keep these leaders accountable and to bring our issues to the forefront.
-Hiyasmin Saturay, 24