This article was one of the submissions for The Signal’s Fall 2016 opinion writing contest.
By Ane Rudorfer
As a young woman in college, I constantly think about what the future will hold. My peers and I are hopeful about our lives, but also anxious. We strive to achieve our academic goals, having been told by society this is the way to prosper economically.
At the same time, we are saddled with student loans, which we have taken out because of the astronomic costs of higher education. We know that politics can help determine our futures. Who we vote for now can set policies that will last our lifetimes. Taking this all into account, I strongly support the Democratic Party and my goal is to help it win the 2016 presidential election.
Democrats have a clear platform to support middle-class Americans in this era of economic anxiety. The party supports policies such as raising the minimum wage, paid parental leave and expanding healthcare. In addition, the Democrats support proposals to make college more affordable and alleviate student debt. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton supports debt-free college and has a plan that would allow students to restructure and refinance their debts.
In contrast, the Republicans have no concrete plans to help the middle class. Typically, the GOP supports cutting taxes for the rich and slashing government spending that benefits social welfare. The republican nominee, Donald Trump, spends his time making incendiary remarks and rarely offers coherent policy positions. It is unmistakable that the Democrats have the right policies to steer the United States to a successful future.
In addition, I am lucky to have had the experience of traveling to many places and being born in a multicultural household. My mother is Spanish and my father is Austrian. I have lived in Spain and Germany and am fluent in Spanish. These experiences have solidified my position as a Democrat.
From a young age, I have been exposed to a variety of cultural practices. This has led me to be more open minded about different ethnicities and cultures, and I think that this mentality reflects the beliefs of the Democratic Party. The Democrats welcome people of all ethnicities. The party supports legalizing the status of undocumented immigrants and puts forth efforts to help people of color.
In contrast, Republicans spew xenophobic rhetoric about how a wall should be built across the U.S.-Mexico border and Muslims should be banned from entering the country. Trump also said he thinks most Mexicans are rapists and criminals. This language is an affront to America’s core values. The vast majority of Americans are either immigrants or are descendents of them. This country has welcomed immigrants before and recognized the potential of every human. We must continue this tradition and not let ourselves be overtaken by fear and prejudice.
The 2016 presidential election is the most important in generations. The future of the United States is at stake. We can decide whether to revert to a bygone, so-called “great” era or we can vote to usher the country into modernity.
If we want to support the middle class and continue our stance as a welcoming country, it is clear for whom we must vote and I will not rest until the correct choice is made.