November 7, 2016

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | For Some of Us, This Isn’t Ideological

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Re: “‘Disenchanted’ Students Seek Alternative to Clinton and Trump,” News, Nov. 6

To the editor:

Yesterday, The Cornell Daily Sun published an article titled, “‘Disenchanted’ Students Seek Alternative to Clinton and Trump.” Cornell Political Union member, Nate Baker ’17, states that, “Growing up in the era of gridlock has disenchanted many young voters from tradition party affiliation, We don’t feel loyal to a party, but rather to values, to candidates and to ideology.”

While Mr. Baker offers an interesting perspective, he fails to acknowledge another reason why many young voters are disenchanted with the current state of politics:

For many of us, this election is not a matter of values, appealing candidates or ideologies in abstraction, but rather, a matter of survival. Though values and ideologies are highly important, we also must fully consider the perspective of those who are not just disenchanted by the political system, but also disenfranchised by the system as a whole.

As an undocumented student my life changed drastically in 2012, when President Obama issued an executive action that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, under which I was able to get a work permit and driver’s license.

DACA has given me the ability to attend Cornell and have bright job prospects upon graduation; however, since the primary days, Donald Trump has vowed to end DACA, something he could easily do given that it is under executive power.

For me, a Donald Trump victory means that everything I will have worked for will be taken away from me. My Cornell degree will mean little when I am no longer legally allowed to work or to even have a driver’s licence. My 10-year-old brother, a United States citizen by birth, will live in fear that his mother and sister will be deported. My future, and the future of my family, will be ripped out of my hands. I will again live in fear of being deported to a country that, though I love, I hardly know.

I hope that the matters of survival that face many of us are part of  the consideration that voters have when going out to vote, not just for presidential candidates, but for all elections down the ballot. These aren’t just ideological choices, these are choices that affect the very existence of millions of people in our country.

Many of us, for whom this election determines our future, can’t vote, but to those of you who can, I ask you to consider the effect this election will have on ALL people living in this country.

Julia Montejo ’17