STORRS – The vice president of the College Democrats at the University of Connecticut, Stevie Della-Giustina, said that a “crisis of confidence” is the United States’ biggest issue.
A junior political science major, Della-Giustina said this crisis has affected a “chaotic” presidential election between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald J. Trump.
“Entire groups of people aren’t voting because they really believe in someone anymore,” he said. “They’re voting because they feel scared of the other person.”
Della-Giustina said that an aspect of unpredictability has caused this year’s election chaos.
“The fact that he [Donald J. Trump] beat Jeb Bush… No one saw Donald Trump winning the 2016 Republican nomination,” he said.
A similar phenomenon occurred on the Democratic side.
“Someone who is ‘not liberal enough’ for [Democrats] is the person who’s on the ticket,” Della-Giustina said.
A member of the UConn for Hillary executive board in 2015, Della-Giustina did not succumb to the “crisis of confidence.” He has known from the start for whom he plans to vote.
“I feel inspired by Hillary Clinton and I think what she stands for is great,” he said. “She is a fighter and gets things done.”
Della-Giustina said that people voting is “integral” to U.S. democracy; however, he had a particular message pertaining to college students.
“Our voices get drowned out a lot,” he said. “Not enough students vote… because of that, people don’t respect our voice enough.”
The UConn College Republicans voiced their opinion in August, announcing they would not endorse Republican candidate Donald J. Trump.
UConn Republicans President Paul DaSilva shared his personal thoughts on the GOP candidate.
“He is anathema to what our party stands for,” DaSilva said. “We obviously don’t believe Hillary Clinton is a better choice… We’re just telling our members to vote their consciousness.”
DaSilva said he has a hard time finding a point of agreement with Trump.
“He doesn’t really talk about policy in any clear way,” he said. “He seems to really not have any clear plan on issues of intervention.”
DaSilva disagrees with Trump on immigration, something he said the Republican candidate is “adamantly against.”
“Immigration is what this country was built upon,” DaSilva said. “It’s essential to maintain a capitalist free market system.”
What has angered DaSilva most, he said, is the number of Republicans that have rallied behind Trump.
“People are behind Trump because he’s someone obviously very different,” he said. “He says America’s going to win.”
DaSilva said a massive Trump loss would be the best thing that could happen to the Republican party.
“It will finally put a stake through this anti-intellectual, celebrity wing of the party that doesn’t really buy into real conservatism or even understand the Constitution, though they may purport to say they do,” he said.
DaSilva said that the Republican Party will be a “mess” in the short-term after the election. But, regardless of who wins or loses, he said the end result is poor for everyone.
“America loses this election because, regardless of who you support, we’re not engaging in a debate on policy,” he said. “There obviously has to be some kind of autopsy and reflection on this election and all that.”
Christopher Leslie contributed reporting.