Voters choose the future

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much, if anything, about the presidential election. I can barely tell you who is running for election unless they’ve been bashed on social media, like Donald Trump.

I’m a senior graduating in May and I’m about to get into the “real world.” Knowing the candidates and what they stand for is going have a major impact in my life once someone is elected. Students need to be informed of the policies and how they will be affected.

The most important thing we can do as students and as Americans is get informed. Research the candidates. Watch the debates. Form your own opinion on who you think would make the best president. Don’t follow your friend’s views — make your own.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Republican candidates held their fourth debate. This debate focused more on their policies, unlike the previous three, which focused on each of their personalities. The three main topics discussed were foreign policy, raising minimum wage and increasing the child tax credit. Raising minimum wage would have a direct impact on working college students who get paid minimum wage. Donald Trump and Ben Carson, however, stated they are against raising the wage.

On Saturday, Nov. 14, the Democratic candidates held their second debate. Each candidate opened with his or her thoughts on the Paris attacks by ISIS the previous day. At this time of crisis, it’s important to choose a commander in chief that is going to be prepared and ready to work with other countries to defeat ISIS once and for all. Hillary Clinton agreed and said, “It cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is crucial.” President Obama seemed to have underestimated the growing power of ISIS when he said he believed ISIS was not growing stronger just 72 hours before the attacks in Paris.

Martin O’Malley said this is America’s fight, and we need to take out the new evil. “ISIS is an evil in this world. They have brought down a Russian airline and attacked the French,” said O’Malley. “We took out an evil, and we need to do the same with ISIS.”

Bernie Sanders is strongly against the war in Iraq and wants to help the American soldiers who come back from war and suffer from PTSD.

“These invasions and toppling of governments have unintended consequence,” said Sanders. “We have to understand that the Muslim nations are going to have to get their hands dirty and take on ISIS. We should get on board with these countries.”

It’s important to understand the world going on around us. The war on ISIS has an impact on Americans not only from a terrorist attack standpoint, but if our future president did declare war on ISIS, more soldiers will be deployed to fight for the safety of our people and the freedoms of the countries in the Middle East.

Stay informed. Understand the policies that could affect you. And most importantly, exercise your right to vote on who you think will best represent our country for the next four years.