Election of 2016–Opinions of HHS

In Mr Simoes’ room in HHS, it is hard to see the walls. That’s because they are covered in campaign signs spanning years of time and across both parties. And of course, Simoes is always happy to talk about the election. Especially this one.

There is perhaps no better time to be the teacher of AP Government than this fall, when Clinton and Trump have been and will continue to battle for the White House come November. Simoes’ students have the opportunity to learn about the election process, speak their minds, and watch good old Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon spoof on Trump and Hillary on Saturday Night Live.

But whether they are seniors in AP Government registering to vote or underclassmen not yet old enough to cast a ballot, HHS students in all grades definitely have their opinions. As the most statistically conservative district in one of the nation’s most liberal states, the population of Hopkinton is more divided regarding the upcoming election than one might think. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump supporters are present in the school community, and each candidate is praised for a variety of characteristics and elements related to their platform. Here is what the HHS community feels to be the good, the bad, and the ugly about our two possible next presidents.

For Donald Trump, it’s clear that few are wowed by his disposition and conduct. But parts of his platform are appealing to some. Economic conservatives may gravitate towards his plan to lower taxes for working and middle class Americans, as well as his status in the business world and past success.

“Trump is a businessman unlike Clinton, so I believe he will make good choices and create jobs because that’s what he’s done his whole life: make money and create jobs,” junior Jack Dionne said.

That being said, whether they agree with his vision for the economy or not, a lot of people are condemning Trump for his conduct during the campaign, even conservatives. AP Government teacher Mr. Simoes, although he tends to be conservative, made it clear he is not impressed with Trump’s demeanor.

“I think we certainly need to worry about being a sovereign nation. I think we need to worry about border security. But I also think we can do that without being demeaning in our language and being divisive,” Mr. Simoes said.
However, perhaps no element of Trump’s campaign is raising a more negative response than his lewd comments and treatment of women. The recent scandal involving the release of tapes of him making disrespectful comments about women has caused Trump to lose many of his supporters and have left many women furious.

“Donald Trump’s opinions about women are absolutely horrible because women are half the population, and we have so much to offer intelligence-wise,” sophomore Elise Miller said. “He says a lot of things that only have to do with how women look and how they’re portrayed in the media which is mostly negative. I don’t think he should be able to spread those opinions in such an aggressive way. He’s just so bad!”

For Hillary Clinton, aside from the endless discussions about her emails and The Clinton Foundation, students are finding positives in her candidacy.

“I love that she has probably some of the most experience that any presidential candidate in our American history has ever had, especially in the field of foreign policy” said senior John Thornton.

Besides her experience, Clinton seems to be appealing to social moderates and liberals who support the rights of minority groups, among them Muslims, African Americans, and the LGBTQ community.

“As a member of the LGBTQ community, I find issues that pertain to the LGBTQ community to be of the utmost importance and I don’t want to support a candidate who is actively going to try to take away my own rights. Someone who has been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign is huge for me and someone that’s been a supporter of the LGBTQ community for years and years is definitely going to be a huge point for me” Thornton said.

Yet for a few others, Clinton’s dishonest reputation and the many scandals that have accompanied her campaign deems her unworthy to claim the presidency.

“Hillary is corrupt because she has proved through the email scandal that she cannot properly manage confidential information,” sophomore Abbi Fischer said.

With less than a month left to go until election day, who knows what crazy shenanigans will occur between now and then. But one thing is clear: come November 8, either Hillary or Trump will be elected the next president of the United States.

As Mr. Simoes put it, “We have two of the most statistically speaking unlikeable candidates in history. And that’s not a personal opinion. The polls are telling us that. I think people are going to be voting more against someone rather than for someone.”