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Election 2016: Race for the White House or Crazed Media Joke?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Montclair chapter.

To say that this election year has been wild would be a severe understatement.

We have a little bit over a month left before we vote and it seems that November will prove to be the craziest month yet with two possible outcomes: we will elect either the first woman or the first reality-star-turned-politician as the leader of the free world. 

As crazy as that sounds, there have been many moments during this race that made it seem more like an SNL skit than a real election. From the first woman to secure a major party nomination to a serial killer conspiracy, here are some of the moments that shocked us this campaign season.

Hillary Clinton Secures the Nomination

When Hillary Clinton announced she was running for president, it came as no surprise. Back in 2008, she ran against our current commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama. While she obviously lost, she came back swinging in 2016 for round two at the nomination. But from the beginning, she’s had her fair share of critics. Many felt uncomfortable with nominating her because of her list of scandals, from her e-mail scandal to Benghazi. Others simply root their disapproval of her as president in the idea that a woman couldn’t run a country as well as a man could. She’s faced some steep hurdles this campaign season, but it seems to have paid off as she secured the Democratic nomination, making her the first woman to ever win the nomination of a major party, 96 years after women first received the right to vote.

“We’re Going to Build A Wall . . .”

If we were to create a list of the most controversial presidential nominees of all-time, it’s safe to say that Donald Trump would top that list. Never has one candidate caused so much heated debate and division in their own party, let alone the country. At first, his announcement as a presidential hopeful was taken very lightly, as many doubted his true intention to run, as well as the public to throw their support behind him. But as time went on, he continued to stay in the race and eventually secured the Republican nomination. Prior to this election season, Trump was by no means a politician, he was a real-estate mogul/reality star and, to be frank, a bit of a joke to most. Regardless, Trump has not only managed to secure the nomination, he has also continued to dominate media headlines week after week with his own scandals and crazed statements that always seem to anger many people, his most outrageous being his foreign policy proposals that included building a wall at the Mexican Border and making Mexico pay for it, something former Mexican president Vicente Fox has, uh, explicitly said is not going to happen. 

Bernie Bows Out

When this election season started, it was anyone’s game. Enter Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders was the favorite among many Americans to clinch the nomination. To many, he was the only candidate truly “for the people.” He favored well with young voters when he proposed the idea of free college tuition and more student loan forgiveness. He favored well with African-American voters when pictures surfaced of him marching during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s as well as when he came out in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Hell, he even favored well with the birds – no reallybirds. His campaign kept gaining traction and for awhile many believed he had a shot to beat out Clinton for the top spot as our Democratic nominee in November. Unfortunately, he fell short of the nomination and dropped out of the race and began to endorse Clinton for president in July.

Ted Cruz . . . the Zodiac Killer?

Ah, Ted Cruz. This was one of the most entertaining conspiracy theories to come about this election year. Social media seemed to have an obsession with proving that the Republican nominee was, in fact, the Zodiac Killer, citing an “uncanny” resemblance to the killer whose identity still remains unknown. Considering that Cruz was born in 1970, around the same time the serial killer began his murdering spree, it is impossible for Cruz to be the Zodiac Killer . . . unless he knows how to time travel. Unfortunately for Cruz and his campaign, much of what people were saying about him on social media revolved around this conspiracy (as well as his resemblance to another famous face) as opposed to his actual qualifications to be the next President of the United States.

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21 year old journalism student at Montclair State University
Sarah Vazquez is a senior at Montclair State University, majoring in English and minoring in Journalism. She is the current Editor-in-Chief and a Co-Campus Correspondent at Her Campus Montclair. She is an avid concert-goer, podcast junkie, X-Files fanatic and someone who always has her nose buried deep inside a book.