Are Trump and Clinton good role models?


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two major candidates for president of the United States in the upcoming election. But have they been good role models for adolescents during their campaigns? (Photo credit: Flickr)

At the second presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, a very thought-provoking question was asked by audience member Patrice Brock, an undecided Missouri voter.

“Do you feel you are modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today’s youth?”

This question draws attention to the criticism that both Trump and Clinton, through their actions and words during their campaigns, have failed to be good role models for adolescents. Many Mercy girls are also frustrated by the way both major party candidates treat one another, and think that it is time they start setting a better example for today’s youth, especially during the debates.

“I don’t think they’re very good role models,” said sophomore Isabelle Miner, “because in the debates, they aren’t respectful to one another. If someone is going to be the leader of the country, they have to be a good role model because they are leading America, and America needs a leader that has good character, so [adolescents] have someone to look up to.”

Throughout the election season, neither candidate has shown much respect towards one another. But why is it so important that America has a good role model in the White House for younger people?

“As candidates for president of the United States,” said senior Jordyn Kreucher, “both Trump and Clinton should hold themselves to a higher standard, because the youth of this country are looking up to them now more than ever, especially the teens that can vote in this election.”

Trump and Clinton’s lives have been dissected by the media for the whole country to hear about. Mistakes they made years ago have been brought to light through the media, and instead of admitting they’re wrong and apologizing for their actions, they only try to push the blame off themselves and find a fault within the other candidate to scrutinize. But in such an important election, this isn’t what people should be hearing about.

“I think both of them are at fault, especially when it comes to the presidential debates,” said junior Abby Hembree. “Because during a debate you should be discussing your policies, your plan for the country if you are elected, and just your stance in what you believe, and how you’re going to lead America, and how you’re going to be a world leader.”

But what do they often do instead? They attack one another. Instead of focusing on policies and actual important issues, they  throw insults at the other to make themselves look better.

This is sending the message to youths that it is okay to say mean things to other people, and to attack others for mistakes they might have made. Because if the two most prominent people in our country are doing it, why isn’t it okay for adolescents to do it too?

“We’re all so exposed to the media,” Hembree said, “especially younger kids in this generation, and when they see world leaders attacking one another, it gives them an example of how they should treat one another as well.”

While it isn’t likely that Trump and Clinton are going to start treating one another better in the coming weeks before the election, it needs to be known that the way they are treating each other is not acceptable. People who are given so much attention, especially those who want to be given one of the highest positions of authority in our country, need to set a better example. Because whether Trump or Clinton is elected, one of them is likely going to serve as the leader of our country for at least the next four years. They need to be showing people that they will not only make a good leader, but a good role model for the youths of our country.