CP Editorial — 2016 Election: The year of the anti-politician

Looking ahead to election time, there are many presidential candidates who are gathering a lot of attention for both good and bad reasons. We have already seen debates, interviews and rallies, and now we are at a pivotal point in the election, with the caucuses coming up, a few wins in key states can put this election in the books. The 2016 election may very well be the year of the anti-politician with unlikely candidates coming from both sides.

For the Republican Party, businessman Donald Trump is currently leading the polls by almost 10 percent, according to the Huffington Post Pollster, although his numbers are also dropping. None of the other candidates have taken a jump in the polls to actually beat him. Many of his actions and statements would have caused most candidates to drop the bottom of the polls, yet he has the resilience to keep plowing through the negative press like a freight train. He appears to have a bizarre hatred of women; he’s also becoming known for his insults toward people who disagree with him. I believe his views on immigration are not the views of a person who should be elected to represent our country. And many, including other Republican candidates, doubt the logistics of most of his plans, including his plan to build a great wall on the boarder of Mexico that he thinks he can make the Mexican government pay for.

In many ways, he does not seem like a good fit in the Republican Party. He’s stated several times that America should adopt the Canadian single-payer health care system. Trump’s new tax plan, which he advertised as a plan Reagan would approve, seems to be just the opposite of trickle down economics. Republican voters would do well to pick a serious candidate who can actually win this year and not a real estate mogul who had nothing better to do with his money than run for president.

The Republican Party is not the only party this year with unconventional candidates. The number two spot in the polls for the Democratic Party’s polls belongs to a long-time socialist, independent senator, Bernie Sanders. Sanders has gained traction lately, particularly with younger voters. He draws larger crowds at his events than do any other politicians in the race this year. Sanders has even started to edge out Hillary in some states, most notably New Hampshire, where it’s projected half of the Democratic voters in the primary will vote for Sanders. He also had a strong showing in the first Democratic debate, which should have been Clinton’s show. Some say he had what might have been the strongest showing in any of the debates in this election season.

When just a year ago it was an insult to call Obama a socialist, I find it amazing that an actual socialist candidate has even a slim chance of winning the nomination. Where Clinton is sometimes accused of not sticking to her views, Bernie Sanders is known for just the opposite. For the past 20 years, he has supported an increase in minimum wage, same-sex marriage and an end to racial injustice. The 2016 election could be the year where an unconventional candidate comes in to the White House and forces change. Of this year’s unconventional candidates, I believe the most qualified is Sanders.

Overall this election is already shaping up to be one of the weirdest, most interesting and maybe craziest in recent history. When the dust settles and the people vote, it is likely that we will end up with a President who will be unlike any other president we have ever had before. This year’s election will be historic, it will be an election talked about for years to come, and it could set a precedent for candidates who are even more “outside the box.”

Thomas Hatfield

About the Author Thomas Hatfield

My name is Thomas Hatfield, I am a freshman currently pursuing a degree in science and agricultural journalism. I’m originally from Jefferson City, Missouri, where I was an editor/designer of the school newspaper “Red and Black.” Despite not having much of a background in agriculture, other than occasionally spending time on my grandparents’ farm, I decided that a science and agricultural journalism major would be best for me after hearing about my mother’s positive experience having gone through the program when she was at Mizzou. In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball with friends, working on designs in Photoshop, and InDesign to keep up my design skills, and watching and reading about sports.