The election is “entertainment”

Sarah Parr, Columnist

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I’m not going to try to pretend that I am the most informed person when it comes to politics; I am far from it. I learn new truths and lies everyday.

I remember a few months ago when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump clinched the presidential nominations for the Democratic and Republican parties. I was thinking (and still am thinking): How in the world did this happen? Why is this the first election I’m voting in? Why is a qualified woman who has been involved with politics practically her entire life competing with a “businessman” who has thought about running for president since the late 1980s, and has never made it this far in any political election before? Would Trump’s success in the polls have turned out differently if both candidates were men? Well, that last question is a debate for another day.

My argument today is about how the first election I am a part of is being treated like reality TV.

My parents hate this election—they’ve said they’ve never seen candidates so polarizing before. My grandma hates this election more than any she’s seen over her 90 years of living, and Grandma Dorothy doesn’t hate anything.

What a first election to vote in.

I absolutely hate how the debates, merchandise, rallies and everything this election is about entertainment. The fate of America is in one of these candidates’ hands, and commercials make it sound like a wrestling match or dramatic movie.

Presidential elections have been made into a disgrace, and may be considered to be jokes forevermore. I can’t tell if politics are becoming less of a factor in today’s election or more so.

In my SAGES class, we had an unsettling but convincing argument about writing in Harambe for president as opposed to voting for one of the two-party candidates or a third-party candidate or not voting at all. If protesters seriously band together and thousands of people vote for Harambe, it would certainly show the history books and the current candidates that there is a severe dissatisfaction among most Americans—multiple voters would rather have a dead gorilla as president instead of the first female president or the first businessman non-politician president. Comments in class ranged from intelligent to snarky to intelligently snarky.

“I am voting for Hillary because I actually believe that she can do things. Or at least because I want her to be the face of the country. If I’m being honest, I’m not completely happy that she’s the best option. But I also don’t think she’s nearly as ‘incompetent’ as so many people seem to think. In fact, I believe that she is both incredibly competent and qualified for the position,” said Andy Ogrinc, a first-year student.

“I believe that there is a portion of each camp that is much more anti-the other candidate than pro-their candidate,” said Philip Woolley, a first-year student and Hillary supporter. “But people must be convinced that all the candidates are bad options and that a large outpouring of support for a dead gorilla will send a unique message to the political establishment that its days are numbered…. While I would never cast a protest vote, I can understand why some might and support their right to do so. I think even if you feel like you’re choosing between the lesser of two evils, you don’t want the greater evil to win.”

“Trump and Harambe would get the same number of things through congress,” Nick Charles, another first-year student, said.

This election has creeped into my theater class, too. Whether it’s someone improvising in a scene as a CEO and name-dropping “Ivanka,” or someone just flat-out asking why we aren’t “talking about the qualified woman” and only making jokes about the pseudo-politician, it’s virtually impossible to escape this election and the drama that surrounds it.

My only guess is that laughing is the only way to deal with something as horrifying as this election, because afterwards there may not be much left of America as we know it.