Where did Trinity seniors stand on McConnell vs Grimes — and politics in general?

Daniel Russell, Staff Reporter

The voters have spoken. With 56 percent of the vote, Senator Mitch McConnell defeated Alison Lundergan Grimes. How did 18-year-old Trinity students vote?  Did they vote?  What do they think of the political process?

A youthful opinion is usually one that is brushed off. Society looks for a more developed mind to emphasize a thought or belief. But what happens when youth have the ability to make a serious impact in society? When a teenager turns 18, he or she gains the power to have their opinion matter. Young people make up 17 percent of voters, young meaning 18-24 year olds. Young people also have the ability to make up 21 percent of voters.

Having had their opinions brushed off for the first 18 years of their lives might be the reason for that missing four percent. Prior to the election, Trinity senior Justin Crabtree said, “I am not voting because the way politics are set up is a corrupt system. People vote for the political party rather than the candidates’ beliefs.”

His opinion is not an unpopular one, but some disagree with not voting.

Senior Ryan Trefes said before the election that he intended to vote. “It is awesome to be grown up and have my opinion heard,” he said.

Prior to the election, McConnell seemed to have an edge among Trinity students. An ECHO poll of 200 students gave McConnell a sizable win.

Senior Carter Lohman said, “I will be voting for Mitch McConnell because of his stance on making abortion illegal, but it is time for Mitch to have a replacement, and Allison Grimes is not strong enough for the position.”

Senior Eric Goranflo said he intended to vote for McConnell because “he strongly represents the Republican party.”   

It is awesome to be grown up and have my opinion heard.”

— Trinity senior Ryan Trefes

Trefes said, “I will vote for Mitch because he is experienced and knows how to get things done in the Senate.”

Crabtree opposed everyone by saying he would not vote because both candidates were not worthy.

Having their political opinions held back for so many years, there are bound to be some very strong views among young people. And of course their views are some of the most pure and haven’t been affected by the outside world. Or are they?

Trefes, Lohman and Goranflo all said they take after their parents’ views of politics. Parents are the most influential people in a child’s life, so it does make sense they trust what what their parents believe in.

This might be the problem in today’s political system. It holds the ideas of the youth back until they have all opinions affected by their immediate environment, so they cannot see any other option that makes sense. This process hurts because it does not allow fresh ideas to reach our government for change in the country.

Given the chance to have a campaign to voice their opinions, students gave some of the same answers you would expect from their elders. Trefes said he would run his campaign based on “helping the lower and working class.” Lohman wants to end capital punishment with his campaign.

Crabtree and Goranflo, however, said they would base their campaigns on much bigger ideas. All Crabtree wants to do is change the world for the better. Goranflo said all his campaign would need to be based on is honesty.

So where do politics go from here to the future? All that can be certain is there will be plenty of arguments.