How Should You Vote?

“I’m not going to tell who to vote for, but I do think there are things that everyone should keep in mind on Election Day.”

Last week, there was a talk at my school that dealt with this upcoming election and voting and all that fun stuff. The professors that spoke made it clear that they weren’t going to tell us who to vote for, but they wanted everyone present to know what to look for when looking at the candidates. See, a lot of people who go to vote on election day, especially younger people and first time voters, are not completely aware of what to look for in the candidates. A lot of the time people just vote based on party politics or because they’re family votes a certain way, but this year it seems that a majority of people are going to vote for the candidate they hate the least. There are some things that you should be aware of when making a decision that decides the next leader of our country.

The first thing you should find out about these candidates is whether or not they meet the Constitutional requirements. The Constitution is the document that makes our country what it is and it sets out some parameters of the presidency. Now, obviously if these candidates are going to be on the ballot and they’re in contention then they obviously meet them, but we should still acknowledge and make sure. These requirements are that the candidate be thirty-five years of age or older, must be a natural born citizen, and has been a U.S. citizen for at least fourteen years. All of the candidates this year meet all of these requirements so there are no issues. It’s rare to have a candidate come this far into their campaign and be questioned about meeting one of these requirements.

The next kind of questions that you should ask, deal with the morals and ethics of the candidates. If we believe that a candidate is immoral and is just a flat out bad person then we are not that likely to vote them in office. This year though, is a weird year, since it seems like both of the two big candidates are very questionable in terms of how ethical they are. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have done a lot of shady things and they don’t necessarily promote a lot of good in their lives. Then if you look at the third party candidates, they seem to have some kind of morals. We don’t really see the third party candidates in the news for acting inappropriately, thus we can assume that they have morals and ethics. Please note that I’m not saying the candidates have to be Christians or whatever religion of your choice, the candidates should have morals and shouldn’t promote inappropriate behavior through their actions and words.

Another thing that should be kept in mind, is the practicality of the candidates. We, as voters, should be able to look at all of the options and ask ourselves, “Is this candidate going to be able to run this country?” We should be looking at the experience of the candidates. Not just their everyday, life experiences, but their experience that would be beneficial to them running the country. The experiences that are the most helpful to a candidate are, having been a Senator, possibly a Representative, having been a Vice President, been a high ranking official in the military, or having been a governor of a large state. If a candidate has experience in running an administration then they will be more prepared to run the country, since the presidency is one big administration. Another kind of experience that is beneficial to a candidate, is governmental experience, which is the case of being a member of Congress or Vice President or something high up in the government. If you’re a member of Congress then you’ve had experience with the legislative branch and you’ve had some experience at running a successful campaign. If you’ve been a Vice President then you’ll be used to how the executive branch runs and you’ve probably learned some things from the president you served under. Like I said earlier, this is a weird year, since one of the two main candidates has zero political experience. On the other side, Hillary has a pretty nice resume of political positions she’s held. As for the third party candidates, some of them have slight experience, while other have very limited experience.

The last thing that we should focus on, which a lot of voters tend to look at first when they shouldn’t, is the policy of the candidates. This one is based entirely on how we feel about issues, and whether or not a candidate agrees with our beliefs. A lot of people tend to look at policy only and don’t even think of the other things. I understand that we want a president who agrees with us, but at what cost? Candidates are going to say a lot of things and make a lot of promises, that they aren’t going to be able to do. The president doesn’t just get to come into the position and have complete power. There are restrictions and limits that a president has, that limit them from doing what they say they’ll do.

In conclusion, please take a deeper look at all of the candidates. Try to understand as much as possible of each candidate so that you can make a confident decision on Election Day. Like one of our professors said, you’ve gotta be able to look at yourself in the mirror the next day. Whether your candidate wins or loses, you can be confident that you voted for who you felt was the best fit as president. So remember to look at the candidates and find out if they meet the Constitutional requirements, your moral requirements, practical requirements, and lastly, our policy requirements. I hope you find a candidate that you can be confident in on Election Day.