“Puppet Politics” take center stage this election cycle

by Caitlin Smith / Beacon Correspondent • September 8, 2016

William Shakespeare observed a political climate much like that of the United States today—with religious strife, classism, and a hunger for reigning power. In reference to his troubled society, the playwright remarked, “All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances.” Today, his words still ring true. Welcome to the presidential elections in America.

In the United States, our democracy is founded on the rule of numbers. One voice can start a movement and hundreds can cause change. However, not all citizens have the legal education to draw up legislation. Our local politicians are called “representatives” for a reason. We pull the strings behind their actions. Politicians are the puppets and we, the people, are the puppeteers. 

To maintain our power, we need a president that we can string along. By the end of 2016, Americans will usher out the Obama administration and enter a period of new leadership. It is our duty to elect a representative that we can control. We need Hillary Clinton. 

Born and raised in a conservative household in Chicago, Clinton was destined for a career in politics. While studying at Wellesley College, Clinton joined the Democratic Party and wrote a critical examination of the Republican Party for her senior thesis, an action that she would later regret during her time as First Lady. This began her long relationship with explaining her past decisions to the public. 

Most recently, during her time as the 67th Secretary of State, Clinton set up a private email server for her correspondence and was faced with the strong possibility of being indicted. Since then, all emails have been released and the prospect of charges has vanished.

Clinton’s political career has been littered with numerous accomplishments and scandals. Her evolving views are evidence of the persuasion of the people. If she’s not following our directions, we will look for a new political puppet to play with, a fact of which Clinton is painfully aware.

On the right side of the stage, we have the Republican nominee Donald Trump. Due to his inexperience as a politician, he has never been swayed or bent to fit the needs of the public—he is no puppet. Trump’s political career consists of party changes and public endorsements, none of which are symptoms of persuasion by his constituents. A businessman listens to his wallet, not to people’s demands for social change or pleas for jobs. During the election cycle, Trump has refused to listen to his campaign manager’s instructions, the Republican Party, opposing stances, or even fact. He is a puppet with no strings, whose actions can not be foreseen, influenced, or controlled.

No one can predict what the next four years will hold or what we will need from our leader. But shouldn’t we have the ability to express these needs as they arise? More importantly, shouldn’t poliiticians be compelled to listen? 

In November, we all have an important choice to make. Clinton only has a modest lead against Trump in national polling, and voter satisfaction with the candidates is at its lowest point in two decades. Many Republicans are too torn to vote for Trump, yet are too loyal to the Republican party to vote for Clinton. Similarly, many Democrats still prefer Bernie Sanders and find themselves unable to vote for a candidate they view as a criminal, leaving Trump’s loyal supporters to ransack the polls on election day.

Clinton has made many mistakes—that is undeniable. I don’t necessarily agree with many of her policies and I don’t believe that she has the foresight for what we will want and need. But when November comes, I will cast my ballot for Hillary Clinton. By abstaining from voting or writing in a third party name, I would be releasing my power as puppeteer to the unknown. I urge everyone to remember their power as a puppeteer and pull the strings.