Presidential Election in Tech

by Justin Bolusi

The year of 2016 has come and as the race for the 44th president looms closer, it seems this election has proven to be one for the history books. So few times has the nation seen such a polarized election, with many people diving head first into it, taking sides, forming opinions, and not being afraid to defend their views. This unique nationwide debate has also found itself within our school, in one of our U.S. government classes, with its curriculum revolving around this year’s election.

The class is taking a unique approach to the election as it consist of respectful, yet heated, debates with certain groups representing certain facets of the election.  One group is representing Donald Trump, another is representing Hillary Clinton, and a third is representing a relatively popular third party candidate, Gary Johnson. The rest of the groups make up figures such as social media, television, and other media groups.

When asking each group what it thought about the candidate it represented, the answers were surprising.  Many of them weren’t too enthused with their choice, but the general consensus was that they felt defending their candidate was the choice of choosing the lesser of two evils, and they just did not want the other candidate to take office.  These groups, however, were well-educated regarding their candidates, defending them with facts, pointing out their candidate’s and other candidates’ flaws, and, more recently, discussing the presidential debate.  When the debate was brought up, there were some key points of discussion: fact checking, stop and frisk, and the debate moderator’s bias.  Many people from all groups found both candidates to be using false claims, and an overall agreement was made that both could have done much better in preparing facts.  The legality of stop and frisk was also a hot topic, especially when discussing its legality in New York, and the moderator’s possible bias against Trump was, as well.  Many felt the moderator was not only favoring Clinton, but that he was also too involved and needed to do a better job of controlling the crowd and letting the candidates speak their opinions.

These showcase just some of the many possibilities to come for the class.  There will be, to the excitement of many students and teachers here at Tech, a mock election, with each group defending each candidate (having one person from the group represent their candidate in a mock debate). This has had an immense amount of preparation and attention dedicated to it, with posters, flyers, and many other means of getting the word out about the mock election, and with good reason! This upcoming mock debate seems to have each team of students highly invested in researching, discussing, and finding out more about its candidate. No matter your thoughts on the election, the fact of the matter is that the class is sure to deliver a well-researched, well-developed debate to help the Tech community not just decide on a candidate, but also to educate them on the candidates and election as a whole.

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