Unnecessary mudslinging takes over presidential debates


Graphic by Shelly Slocum

Ocean Lakes students voted on who should be the next president, and Hillary Clinton won with 101 votes, Donald Trump came in second with 93 votes, Gary Johnson came in third with 4 votes, and Stein and McMullin tied for last with 1 vote each.

Shelly Slocum, Contributor

Republicans, Democrats, third party candidates.

In this political season, there is seemingly little difference in the way that each of these parties carry their campaign with all of the mudslinging going on.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump attack each other over social media, during debates, and on other platforms. There seems to be no focus on their plan for America, as they are too busy pointing out each other’s flaws.

“We’ve seen a lot of mudslinging and negative advertising campaigning from both sides,” said government and U.S. History Teacher Jakob Saunders. “And it makes sense that they’d want to target all the negative publicity that the other side has; but sadly that’s become the focal points of the debates.”

According to Google, mudslinging is the use of insults and accusations, especially unjust ones, with the aim of damaging the reputation of an opponent.

The presidential candidates both spend so much time on social media, primarily Twitter, attacking quotes and actions of the other instead of stating what they can bring to the country, that the American people have started to see nothing but flaws this entire election season.

“There’s been lots of [mudslinging] before this campaign, but in this election there is the highest disapproval rating of candidates ever,” said Darcy Pohl, AP US history and government teacher. “There will be people who don’t feel the government represents them.”

If not properly represented, Americans lose the freedoms on which the country was founded, as they continually argue which is the lesser of two evils.

Some say Clinton, some say Trump.

But regardless of who is more or less awful than the other, the country needs someone who will discontinue the childish verbal attacks.

“I wish it was more focused on policy and less focused on personal attacks,” said Pohl. “I think it has weakened both sides.”

I wish it was more focused on policy and less focused on personal attacks. I think it has weakened both sides.

— Darcy Pohl

With every opportunity to build themselves up used on tearing the other down, this year’s presidential candidates lose more popularity among the citizens of the United States. While filling out a poll on who should be the next President, many Ocean Lakes students expressed their distaste for both candidates and cringingly voted for who they think is the slightly-less awful candidate.

Saunders states that, due to the primarily Democratic Congress, Clinton will have a much easier time doing what she wants to do with America, though her chances of success will still be lower than that of previous presidents.

“In the first hundred days, most presidents have a huge boost of popularity and get their agendas passed,” said Saunders. “But in this election, I think they will have a much harder time with their agendas.”