A Hostile Political Climate Disappoints Lutes


This piece was originally published on mastmedia.plu.edu here

This year’s presidential election has been a rollercoaster of emotions and for many Lutes, this tumultuous presidential election will be the first they vote in.

“I expected it to be a more traditional presidential election, rather than the [mess] that is,” sophomore Ellie Campbell said. This is the first election she is old enough to vote in. “It seems like the candidates of this year are becoming larger and larger inflations of the far left and the far right.”

Other Lutes said this election has differed from past elections and has been an embarrassment to the country.

“I’m so disappointed. I’m so disappointed, and I’m embarrassed,” senior Theo Hofrenning said. “It’s been engaging, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s like you’re passing a car crash on the road and you can’t look away.”

“I expected it to be a little less messy,” first-year Jasper Cantrell said. “It’s really heated. There’s a lot more attacks on each other than I’ve seen in previous elections. With Obama and Romney, it was a lot more about who they were and what they represented. But Hillary and Trump are more like ‘They’re worse! They’re bad for this reason!’”

First-year Nicholas Peranti called this year’s election “dumb and comedic.”

“It doesn’t seem formal at all,” he said. “It’s just like, slinging words and talking bad at each other.”

“This election is a lot more hostile than it’s been in the past,” said Ron Berg, a junior and military veteran who has been voting since 1984. “There’s always been some mud-slinging that’s gone on, but this particular election seems to have taken it to a whole new realm.”

The Mast asked Lutes to share their thoughts on this presidential election and found Pacific Lutheran University is home to folks from all over the political spectrum.

Some students, like first-year Tim Gothier, spoke passionately about their opposition to Hillary Clinton.

“Hillary literally screws over our country. She has before, she will keep doing it,” Gothier said. He also commented on his distaste for both candidates but desire to vote for an outsider. “Both of our candidates are idiots. I mean, all people are idiots, especially people from the Hill. At least Donald’s not from the Hill.”

Junior Megan Galacga and sophomore Ellie Campbell disagreed. They told The Mast they were voting for Clinton.

Galacga said, “She just seemed like the better option than Trump. I agree with her plans, I think she planned for more environmental and green energy, and also getting rid of private prisons.”

Other Lutes decided to branch out and vote third-party this year.  

First-year Braden Schmunk said, “As of right now, I’m not really confident in either candidate running,” he said. “So, I’ll be voting third party Gary Johnson.”

Many Lutes said this election isn’t what they expected their first presidential election to look like. Schmunk said it’s “not even close.”

“I have conservative views, so I was expecting to go with the Republican candidate,” he said. “But just morally I couldn’t feel myself voting for Trump. Professionally and personally, he rubs me the wrong way, in terms of his views and the way the country should be run. I still believe in a lot of his values, but I believe more along the lines of Gary Johnson.”

Berg said the best thing Lutes can do to voice their political opinions is vote.

“Do it. It’s extremely important who gets voted in. Really, this is the only way we have to voice our opinion,” Berg said. “You can have your protest and things like that, but when it gets down to it, you casting that ballot is your only real say.”