What Woodland Park Wants


Lauren Mitchell, Reporter

Within the next few months, politics will be heating up. The presidential campaign will be in full swing soon enough, and people are beginning to feel the tension. As George Leonard said, “Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you’ll be sick.” Leonard was completely right, during the elections Americans are hyper aware of the world around them and start to care about something they previously did not. Candidates will shove every possible idea and viewpoint down your throat and try to sneak into the competition’s head. This is the best time to take a step back and research the candidates, seniors especially.

The seniors (and some juniors) are lucky, will be able to vote next November and have their voice heard. Jayne Welch, a current senior, gave her opinion during an interview and said, “Overall, I think that Donald Trump is the worst thing that can happen to our country if elected president. Hillary Clinton is not the best, but I would prefer a woman over Trump any day. I just watch the news and haven’t done any deep research, but I do believe that Bernie Sanders is the best bet. If Donald Trump is elected, I want to move to Canada.” Based on this conversation we can see that even high school students feel like politics and the presidential election will and can affect them. When asked about the actual ability to be able to vote, Olivia Ostendorf, a senior, stated, “I would like to vote, but I’m not sure how I feel about any of the candidates quite yet. However, I hope to have the opportunity to research each candidate and make a well-educated decision.” This shows that Woodland Park High School is full of dedicated and interested students. They all think for themselves and many have a strong understanding of the world around them.

The graphs provided are from a school wide survey that went out during advisory. Students were asked which democratic and republican candidates they would like to see run, and then were asked which candidate they would like to see win overall. Bernie Sanders dominated the democratic nomination, but Jeb Bush and Donald Trump were neck and neck. 47.4% of the student body wants Donald Trump to run, and 52.6% of the students want Jeb Bush to run. It was a relatively close decision in the overall campaign. 31% of the school wants Trump, 27% wants Sanders, and 26% wants Bush. Clinton came in at the end with only 15% of the school desiring her.

Alex Vela, a senior who is well educated in the realm of politics, was asked how he felt about each candidate. His response was thorough and specific, “Clinton, although being a more moderate liberal candidate than Sanders, is about as crooked as crooked comes. Her credibility with Americans is low, but with foreign powers is nonexistent. Sanders seems like a straight shooter, but he is a socialist, which is diametrically opposed to the current

American system, so changes in his presidency would be drastic and severe. Webb is low in polls, but is the most moderate democrat and probably has the most reasonable foreign policy. He was secretary of the Navy, so he has experience in commanding the military. Trump is a joke. Pure and simple. He strikes a chord with people who are sick of corrupt, lying politicians. Other than that, his policies are dangerous for international relations and domestic stability. On top of this, his poll numbers are higher than is accurate. One has to remember that there are 17 republican candidates. Of which 16 are similarly normal while Trump is radical. Other radical republicans all like him while mainstream republicans are split between 16 others. Once candidates thin out, his numbers will lower. Bush seems ok as a politician. There is nothing wrong with him other than his last name. A Bush is basically unelectable because of his father and brother. Carson is incredibly intelligent but isn’t as good at speaking on his feet. Fiorina is probably the best candidate. She’s very smart, politically and otherwise, and has relatively unobjectionable policies. The rest are pretty much jokes. They have similarly hardcore conservative social and economic policies that are unelectable. The democrat’s best chance would be the “stay the course” option of Biden if he would run.” Overall, WPHS has a mixture of very strong opinions and a lack of opinions, this balance seems relatively normal and healthy for a school our size. Everyone is interested to see what will happen as the rest of the year progresses.