Watching Donald Trump’s 1 hour and 15 minute speech was one of the more frustrating experiences of my life. I can fully understand why President Obama would choose to forgo watching the speech and the entire RNC to, as his press secretary reported, probably watch sports instead. It was a speech full of fear, hate, and divisive rhetoric. It was a speech that sounded more like a dictator’s than a president’s. It was horrific and baffling and terrifying. It was also not very surprising. In contrast, Hillary’s speech was of a different kind. It was hopeful and strong and sure. It was a summation of her beliefs and values and her commitment to shaping a better world. Still, she did not give the best speech that week though it will still go down in history. That accolade clearly goes to either of the Obama’s whose soaring rhetoric was incredibly moving. Hillary’s speech was, much like Donald’s, not surprising. By now we all know who the nominees are. They have played their best cards, shown us their grandchildren, their spouses, and listed their past accomplishments. That part of the race is over. All of the dirt has been dug up in the primary season and now we are faced with the truth of who they are and what they stand for. We have two candidates and one will be our president. The primaries are over and it is time to get serious. No more fun times at the Iowa state fair or shaking hands in New Hampshire. Of the more than 300 million Americans in our country are options are down to these two alone.
Now is the time for the American people, with full knowledge of their options, to choose what kind of country we want to be. It is time to canvas, to knock doors, to register voters and to talk with your neighbors. The campaigns will push out ads, hold rallies and apparently, tweet at us. November 8th is rapidly approaching and it is time to decide. We as students have a clear part in this. We are determined to turn out our university and our community to vote, no matter their political affiliation. It is not enough to share a Facebook post or Instagram a picture of yourself with a cutout of Hillary Clinton. We have to go to the polls and we have to make sure others go too. It is time to Wake the Vote. Don’t look back on November 9th and wish you had remembered to register on time or maybe knocked a few more doors. The stakes are too high this time. This is not the choice between small and big government this is a choice between moving forward or going backward. You have the power to be part of this decision. As the Reverend William Barber proclaimed Thursday night: “Some issues are not left vs right or liberal vs conservative, they are RIGHT vs WRONG!” This election is one of those times where we have to choose between right and wrong.