With President-elect Trump’s inauguration just a day away, America is once again preparing itself for a fight as anti-Trump sentiments rise to all-time high. Already, protests are reportedly being planned in many major cities and high-profile celebrities refuse to perform for his inauguration. However, just as passionately, Trump supporters are continuing to show devotion to their outspoken and blunt candidate.
With both sides preparing themselves, Libertarians have once again found themselves left alone and forgotten in the corner. After all, with America divided between Liberal and Conservative, there’s hardly room for a third party in mainstream news coverage. However, not everyone is willing to sit silently while America’s new president is sworn in.
University of Washington freshman Ella Hill has plenty to say regarding her concerns for America’s future — none of it good. Yet, Ella also explains that she doesn’t see how this situation could have been avoided.
"This country is so divided, it’s little wonder no one even tried to run a candidate that appealed to everyone. Instead, the establishment parties went running to the extremes and we were ultimately left with Trump."
Going forward, Ella explains that her concerns haven’t changed much since the initial election. Her main concern still lies in Trump’s lack of experience and the people he has decided to surround himself with, specifically his inexperienced cabinet. “He certainly hasn’t comforted me,” she says.
Ella fears this lack of real political experience will also leak into his handling of international incidents, specifically ISIS.
"I’m a libertarian. I live and breathe non-interventionism but Trump doesn’t even know what that means."
Cody Davis, a junior at the University of Iowa, also laments the decision he had to make between Trump and Clinton.
"I don’t think third parties are going to forget this election anytime soon. Personally, I would’ve loved to vote for a more viable candidate than Johnson, but how could I? This election is their own fault."
As Cody explains, both Trump and Clinton had their redeemable qualities and their unforgivable qualities. With Trump’s upcoming presidency, Cody explains that he looks forward to seeing if Trump will actually carry out his anti-establishment claims. Additionally, Cody also hopes Trump will fulfill his promises of lower taxes, lessening regulations and repealing healthcare. In short, Cody summarizes that he is more confident in Trump’s economic policies than he was with Clinton’s. Nevertheless, Cody also lacks faith in Trump’s foreign policy.
"His solutions are nothing more than a continuation of Obama’s failed policies and will only continue to have us entangled in the Middle East."
Next, Fresh U interviewed Rachel Biggs, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina. Rachel explains that her most pressing concern centers around the national debt.
"There’s no real discussion about our debt when it should be near the top of the list. They all act as though the debt is some abstract number — it’s real and needs to be dealt with."
According to Rachel, the US simply cannot continue to borrow more and more money. Currently, the national debt exceeds the nation’s GDP at 105 percent — in other words, the US owes more than all the goods and services produced in an entire year. In addition to devaluing the dollar, Rachel explains that this hinders and stalls economic growth.
"We’re in one of the slowest economic recoveries in history. And I’m going to the one paying for it, assuming I ever find a job."
Likewise, University of Tennessee senior Elliot Spencer also believes that the national debt is becoming increasingly important. Specifically, Elliott cites the Committee of a Responsible Budget’s report which estimated that Trump’s policies will add another 5.3 trillion on a staggering 20 trillion dollar debt. All in all, Elliott explains that Trump simply isn’t prepared to handle this crisis — something he feels will ultimately harm the country.
However, in addition to this issue, Elliott also fears Trump’s proposed trade war with China. As Elliott explains, free trade and globalization are the driving forces behind any healthy economy. Ultimately, these are the forces that lift people out of poverty and raises the standard of living. Yet, with both Republicans and Democrats demonstrating a disturbing lack of faith and understanding in the free market, Elliott fears at the nation’s future.
"Already, Trump’s administration is promising to interfere into the affairs of private companies and is threatening a trade war with China. . .Imagine where we’ll be in four years."
Lastly, North Carolina State freshman Tiffany Miller shares that she has two key concerns looking at the future with Trump’s administration. The first, Tiffany explains, centers around the war on drugs.
With the majority of Americans supporting the legalization of marijuana, Trump initially promised to leave the question of legalization up to the states. Since Libertarians are known for supporting individual state’s rights, Tiffany explains that she was thrilled with this decision. However, in the aftermath of this promise, Trump has taken to appointing key positions in his cabinet to anti-marijuana lawmakers and Tiffany says she’s calling “BS."
"Just look at Jeff Sessions. He’s the king of anti-marijuana legislation and repeatedly criticized Obama for not enforcing federal marijuana laws."
Secondly, Tiffany dreads the ramifications Trump’s presidency will have on the first amendment and the continuation of the surveillance state.
"There’s been a lot of talk in the news about fake news and how it should be stopped. . .However, the only way to prevent it is to implement censorship on social media. That’s not where we need government interference."
Additionally, Tiffany believes that the NSA and other investigative organizations will merely gain more freedom in Trump’s administration. In fact, Tiffany states that it’s already started as a new rule allows federal agents to hack millions of computers or phones with a single search warrant.
"It’s a disgusting infringement upon our rights but no one’s stopping them. I just hope we open our eyes before they’re too firmly entrenched."
All in all, with the political spectrum often cast into the black and white categories of Liberal or Conservative, it’s easy to let lesser known ideologies such as Libertarians get lost in the fray. So, when the inevitable political discussions start springing up in class, just remember that not everyone subscribes to the main two parties. Don’t simply make assumptions about one another, because you never know what’s truly important to another person.
Stay tuned for the rest of this series to learn what matters to Democrats and Republicans.
Lead Image Credit: Mark Taylor via Flickr Creative Commons