By Victor Ochieng
When it comes to election time, it’s the vote that counts. You may not like a candidate, but if the majority likes that person and eventually vote for him or her, they carry the day; and yes, that’s democracy.
In the 2016 presidential elections, no one candidate draws deeper emotions than GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. Those who like him do so deeply, and those who don’t like him do so with a passion. Regardless, if a majority of Americans elect him to office, America will have to live with that, at least for some time.
As for children, they can only express what they think about a given candidate. Since they don’t cast their votes, their only hope is that adults make the right decision for the future.
Fact is, when Trump came to the political scene, not so many took him seriously. He appeared more like some comic relief that would soon wither out and leave the stage for the main showdown. But as things stand now, he’s a force to be reckon with. He has defined a niche not seen in American politics in recent times. He’s saying things as he deems fit, regardless of what’s perceived to be right to say.
Indubitably, Trump also appears to be the most controversial of the presidential candidates. His stand on entry of Muslims into the United States has drawn sharp reactions from the media, politicians, and religious leaders. The same Trump has talked about erecting a border wall between U.S. and Mexico to curb illegal immigration. And of course it’s the same candidate who has been accused of having used undocumented immigrants as workforce while building his Trump Towers.
Considering these things, and his perceived ideology on racism, some kids are requesting adults not to elect the billionaire.
“I don’t want to have to live down a reputation of America as racist and hostile throughout my late teens and early twenties, and no young adult should have to either,” said Matthew Wieseltier, 13, in an essay that went viral and has since been turned into a video entitled “Why I Do Not Want To Grow Up In Donald Trump’s America.”
Wieseltier’s essay inspired an essay competition published through #TeensAgainstTrump hashtag as a way to provide a platform for teens to air their views in spite of the fact that they don’t participate in the voting process.
The question presented to the contestants was “What does Trump misunderstand about America?” Within a short time, the email, TeensAgainstTrump@huffingtonpost.com, had received so many essays. Seeing how responsive the teens were, the organizers of the contest also welcomed essays from kids who support Trump, asking them to underline why they support him.
In the contest, the winner of the competition was Zia T. of Washington D.C.-based Howard University.
Her essay, published here, partly read: “As I’m watching the presidential campaign unfold, it completely baffles me how far Republican front-runner Donald Trump has gotten in the race for the White House…My future is pretty bleak in Donald Trump’s America. I don’t see how I, and many others with the same financial situation, can afford or can continue to afford to go to college. Affordable and accessible healthcare for women? Forget about it! Will Black lives matter? Probably not. And World War III would most likely become a reality.”
To see other contestants and what they’d to say about Trump, click here.