Why #I’mWithHer: A TAHS Student Makes the Case for Clinton

The+Pennsylvania+Democratic+Office+of+Blair+County.

courtesy photo

The Pennsylvania Democratic Office of Blair County.

Like most teens my age, we were thrown into politics a little over a year ago knowing little except what we saw through Facebook memes and a few lessons in our social studies classes.

What started out for me as amusement, turned into confusion, followed by rage which led me this past weekend to the Democratic Party office for Blair County to find out how I could make a difference. I met with Clinton campaign intern Ryann Castleman to find out what someone like me, who is not of voting age, could do during this election.

As a blue in the sea of reds, I have been too afraid to speak about who I want to win this election. Everyone speaks loudly about their support for Trump, but no one speaks about their support for Clinton because of the fear of repercussions”

— TAHS junior Morgan Bridges

Castleman originally started working at the office because she is a Political Science major at Penn State Altoona campus. She is now a strong believer in Hillary Clinton and her ideals even though she was originally a Bernie Sanders supporter.

“I found out that [volunteering] was something that you could do because I didn’t know that there was a Democratic Party here. So I kinda wanted to come here and get a feel for how elections work myself because hopefully one day I will be running an election. I thought this would be a good way to get started,” said Castleman.

As for young people, Castleman suggests that volunteering gives them a sense of what they believe in.

“We need a lot of volunteers here, and we actually need to fill 300 volunteer slots and we only have about roughly 44 volunteers at any given time. Volunteering is actually a really great way to increase your political aptitude and your schema on how you view certain political workings. So by coming here and volunteering you’ll not only meet other people with similar interests or similar passions, but you’ll be able to form your own opinions away from the media, away from other people who are trying to influence you for their own good, away from all that,” said Castleman.

I started out this weekend canvasing, going door to door asking people who they supported. If they answered Hillary, I asked them to sign a card that confirmed their commitment for the candidate. I had great conversations with some people about politics. Everyone feels very strongly about their choice.

What should young people know about Hillary Clinton?

Castleman wants the youth to know that Hillary Clinton is a woman who has worked in the political industry for at least thirty years.

“She’s always been there and she’s a highly educated woman. She’s very smart and she’s very capable, and the fact that we have people who are questioning her credentials and instead leaning towards a man who has no credentials is a little bit suspicious in social politics,” said Castleman.

Castleman also believes that people need to look facts up for themselves and make informed decisions based on what they look up about her.

As a blue in the sea of reds, I have been too afraid to speak about who I want to win this election. Everyone speaks loudly about their support for Trump, but no one speaks about their support for Clinton because of the fear of repercussions.

Please volunteer and if you are of age, please go out and vote. Even if you are a Trump supporter, voting is your civic duty, and it’s something that you are able to do and have a say in. It’s just very important,”

— Clinton intern Ryann Castleman.

“Honestly this is a very interesting election because of the fact that young people feel that there are repercussions when dealing with their friends and colleagues. And I think that you just need to be very open about what you want because this is YOUR country and whether or not you can vote now, it’s going to be YOUR country in a few years,” said Castleman. 

To other students that fear the repercussions, speak your mind. Perhaps your friends and family have different political views than you, but that’s why you have the freedom to pick a candidate.

“You’re going to have a say in what you want, and people who are silent are often part of the problem. They’re not helping. Remaining silent doesn’t do anything; it doesn’t do any good, and it doesn’t do any bad. It’s kind of neutral. So by voicing your own opinion, and you don’t have to be a jerk about it, you can say ‘Hey this is what I believe in, and this is what I think is right.’ Because we are fortunate enough to live in a country [where] we can say that, it just makes that all the more important for you… to actually go out and say it,” said Castleman.

According to Castleman, Hillary’s greatest message to young people is, “It’s our time to vote! There hasn’t been many candidates who specifically talked to the youth market because older people tend to vote more. She is a candidate who for the first time in a long time is saying ‘I am directly involved in what you want me to be involved with. I will be a candidate for you, your parents, and your grandparents. I’m not excluding you. You matter even though you’re young.’ So I think that’s really cool and I think that she understands the youth very well.”

“Please volunteer and if you are of age, please go out and vote. Even if you are a Trump supporter, voting is your civic duty, and it’s something that you are able to do and have a say in. It’s just very important,” said Castleman.