Students in my summer course were given the opportunity to complete a candidate statement for extra credit where they were asked to write a 300-400 word statement about which candidate they supported and why. They were required to focus on two to three policy issues on which they agreed with the candidate on.
Out of the students in the class, 49% supported Hillary Clinton, 20% supported Donald Trump, 17% supported Gary Johnson, and 14% supported other candidates. Every few days, I will post some of their statements to this website in order to a) highlight their work and b) to provide some context on how today’s college students feel about the 2016 presidential candidates.
Here’s the schedule for the postings (in alphabetical order by candidate):
Today, we will hear from two students who personally support Hillary Clinton.
Response 1, Martin M.*
I support Hillary Rodham Clinton because she supports equality and the rights of LGBT Americans. As Secretary of State, she declared on the global stage that gay rights are human rights, and she made it easier for transgender Americans to change the gender listed on their passports. On the campaign trail, she has vowed, to work with Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would ensure full federal equality for LGBT Americans. I support Hillary Clinton’s position on this issue because as a young gay adult, I have witnessed discrimination against myself and other fellow LGBT Americans. I think that the movement for LGBT rights has come a long way but there are still things to be done like passing anti-discrimination laws on both the state and federal level in order to stop LGBT Americans from losing their jobs, losing their homes, and facing harassment just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
I also support Hillary Clinton because she supports increasing gun control. She has been a longtime advocate for multiple gun safety regulations that aim at addressing the various problems of gun violence in the United States. Specifically, she wants to strengthen and expand background checks to more gun sales, which would close the gun show and internet sales loopholes. She also wants to take on the gun lobby by holding them accountable for irresponsible actions. In addition, she supports laws that would make it a crime to buy a gun for a person already prohibited from owning one. Finally, she supports legislation that keeps military-style weapons off the streets. I support Hillary Clinton’s position on this issue because the only way to reduce the critically high number of mass shootings and instances of gun violence is to have greater control over who obtains guns and what types of guns they can get.
Finally, I support Hillary Clinton because she supports criminal justice reform. As President, she wants to strengthen bonds of trust between communities and police, end mass incarceration, and promote successful re-entry to society by individuals who were incarcerated. I support Hillary Clinton’s position on this issue because I think that the fact that the United States has 25% of the world’s incarcerated population showcases that our criminal justice system needs to be reformed in order to ensure that the United States is truly the land of the free.
Response 2, Illya S.*
For the 2016 presidential election, I am supporting Hillary Clinton. Not only does she have vast leadership experience from having been in roles such as Secretary of State as well as a New York Senator but several of her policy positions also affirm with my ideology. Two of these policy positions in particular have to do with the issues of foreign policy and access to higher education.
In terms of foreign policy, Clinton plans on mitigating the threat caused by ISIS with three separate courses of action (Hillary Clinton 2016). First of all, she would destroy the terrorists groups’ strongholds in Iraq and Syria, which would require supporting local Arab and Kurdish troops, utilizing diplomacy, and strengthening the air campaign. In addition, Clinton hopes to work closely with our allies in order to disrupt and break up terrorist networks. This would include cooperating with intelligence agencies from Europe and monitoring online activity for security reasons. And lastly, Clinton wants to tighten defense in America through community building, restrictions on gun ownership, and training law enforcement in how to better deal with terror threats and situations (Hillary Clinton 2016). I support this because the measures she wants to take seem like they have the capability of being effective in fighting the threat that ISIS poses while keeping in mind the importance of privacy and respecting different communities in this country.
Clinton believes that through making college debt-free it will be more accessible to everyone (Hillary Clinton 2016). Her proposed plan would allow students whose families earn less than 125,000 a year to not pay tuition at public institutions by the year 2021, and, starting immediately, students from families earning less than 85,000 will not need to pay tuition. Additionally, all community colleges will be made tuition free, and historically minority colleges will be funded to promote the further education of minority populations. State governments will also need to do their part in controlling tuition. Lastly, Clinton plans on supporting students who are already parents themselves. I consider these plans to be very inclusive and fair to a large segment of the population that is struggling to keep up with the costs of post-secondary education (Hillary Clinton 2016). In making education more affordable, it is more accessible for all.
Read Take 1 here.
What about you? Why (or why not) do you support Hillary Clinton?
*Responses shared with written permission from the authors. Replication in any form, without permission from the author, is prohibited.
References for Response 1
- Hillary Clinton on LGBT rights and equality. (n.d.). Retrieved August 02, 2016, from https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/lgbt-equality/
- Hillary Clinton on gun violence prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved August 02, 2016, from https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/gun-violence-prevention/
- Criminal justice reform. (n.d.). Retrieved August 02, 2016, from https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/criminal-justice-reform/
References for Response 2