US Presidential Election 2016: Who is the Lesser of Two Evils?


Around eight years ago, I was told in a school assembly that the world would change forever. At the time I was relatively unaware of anything political, or how influential the president of the United States was, yet I still could sense this ray of hope across the world which Obama, having recently been elected, brought to the people. So, eight years down the line, how has the most powerful and prosperous country ended up being the complete polar opposite with the two least popular presidential candidates of all time?

At first it seemed Donald was, and I do use this term with caution, ‘a breath of fresh air’ in a country almost accustomed to dynastical politics. The American people often feel the political elite are disconnected from them; the fact Trump had no previous political experience therefore proved to be his strongest asset. He was outspoken, often said things the American public wanted to hear and feeding the immigration fears and anger of the American people.

By this point, some businesses and organisations began to turn their backs on him – however the celebrity, of sorts, had enough money to fund his own state to state campaigning. Above all this, he was not expected to win candidacy by not only the Republican party, but also the Democratic party who almost welcomed him as easy-to-beat.

Despite facing 16 other nominees, Trump successfully managed to win over primary voters, thus making him presidential candidate for the Republicans. Clinton, similarly, managed to become candidate for the Democrats as she wasn’t exactly competing against a popular choice. Bernie Sanders may have initially seemed a formidable opponent, but ultimately his politics were seen to be very left wing, a great fear for many.

However, with accusations against them varying from sexual assault to the use of a private email server to deal with classified information (the government couldn’t access what was being handled), neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton spark considerable enthusiasm from the American people.

It isn’t hard to understand why Trump is so unpopular. He claimed he wants to deny all Muslims access to the United States (he once said the system for this would be questioning them upon arrival in the country if they are Muslim. If they answer yes, they can’t come in). He accused Mexicans of being criminal rapists who bring drugs to the USA, and demanded the Mexican government pay for a wall he wishes to build on the border. Most recently, video footage was released of his horrific behaviour towards women, which could pose a major obstacle to his hopes of becoming president.

With Clinton it is not so outrageously obvious. I was surprised to learn that Trump has, in some instances, been seen as the lesser of two evils. The general upshot is that the American public just can’t trust Clinton. Trump has never held a position in politics, whereas Clinton has, which inevitably has created instances in which her opponents can use against her. The list is fairly inexhaustible. One such example was the Whitewater Scandal, during which the Clintons’ business partners in a failed real estate investment were accused of fraud, although no actual charges were pressed against the Clintons. This led to not only public distrust, but accusations that the Clintons were witnesses of the scam.

[graphiq id=”bnjLUDugCDr” title=”RCP Swing State Poll Margin – Clinton vs. Trump” width=”600″ height=”564″ url=”” link=”” link_text=”Visualization by Graphiq” ]

In the late 1990s, Hillary was implicated in yet another scandal, this time over improper use of security documents. In what was to become known as ‘Filegate’, the First Lady was implicated in the request and reading on private reports and security documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, allegedly for political purposes.

During the Benghazi Terror Attack of 2012, the then Secretary of State Clinton inaccurately told the American public and the families of victims that the attack was a spontaneous act of violence in response to a video. However, she privately informed her family that in reality, it was a terrorist attack. However the most controversial of all these scandals, and perhaps the main culprit for her recent drop in the polls, is the FBI’s renewed interest in the 110 classified documents stored on her personal email server, 8 of which were labelled top secret.

So, the United States has a choice between an outspoken, delusional ‘showman’, and a corrupt, scandal-ridden ‘crook’ who happens to be the most FBI-investigated presidential candidate of all time. So whatever happens on November 8th, it’s certainly not the best choice the country could have ended up with.

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