A topic that has been addressed by many is the presidential election of 2016. This is a particular topic that is not new to criticism. In an interview with President Kelsa Pelletierre of Young Americans for Liberty, she opens up about her views on the election.
Pelletierre openly supports candidate Rand Paul. Pelletierre is hopeful that Paul will be the Republican nominee. When asked why Pelletierre responded,
“I’m for Rand Paul because he’s the best practical choice. He doesn’t want us to go to war. He has the right idea that you can be a strong nation without war as the first option. Also, he’s the only candidate that for his entire career in politics has been for criminal justice reform. It’s ridiculous that people go to prison for twenty plus years for non-violent offensives for using marijuana. He’s also the only candidate that straight up said before it was popular with Bernie Sanders that our criminal justice system marginalizes the African-American population in the U.S. It’s true, too. Not just regarding weed, but other drugs as well. In addition, he wants to change these nonviolent offenses away from felonies. If you are a felon you can’t vote. This also affects more of the African-American population as well.” Pelletierre does not support any other Republican candidate in the current election. “I’m for Rand Paul. And I’m against everyone else. However, if he doesn’t get the nomination for his party I’m voting for Clinton when she gets the nomination, because, as far as I’m concerned, the Republican Party doesn’t deserve to have a chance in the White House this election cycle if they don’t pick Rand,” said Pelletierre.
Although there are some areas Pelletierre does not agree with Paul she does so favorably. Pelletierre feels whoever the new president will be, there are some main issues that should be addressed; “Domestic issues, specifically criminal justice reform and demilitarizing the police, I feel are the biggest issues that need to be addressed right away. The police state is out of control and too violent,” said Pelletierre. Pelletierre advocates for Paul in her ideals as to why he would be the man for the job.
“I honestly think he’s the best option for improving relations between the black community and police. In fact, I think he would be able to get most of the issues proposed by the Black Lives Matter movement resolved. So many people doubt this because he’s a republican, but if you look at their Campaign Zero website, they both agree with each other on demilitarizing the police, ending brutality, and stopping asset forfeiture,” said Pelletierre.
One thing on the to do list of Pelletierre is to keep tension at ease in the YAL organization during major election cycles. Although YAL is a Libertarian organization it is open to members with any political interest. “I prefer to avoid infighting so we are having fewer meetings this semester. Almost everyone is either working with a campaign or avoiding political discussions because it makes them uncomfortable to disagree with other people. I’d rather not push the envelope with our members. If they are uncomfortable we’ll just wait until the political storm passes for discussion to pick back up,” said Pelletierre. Pelletierre in particular joined another political organization for the election cycle.
“Most of the current members of YAL across the nation are involved in the Students for Rand organization which is his youth group campaign. Also, most of the former members of YAL nationwide have or are currently working for Rand Super Pacs or directly for his campaign. It’s exciting. I’m even involved with Students for Rand here at Southeastern,” said Pelletierre.
Pelletierre has an optimistic outlook on the Presidential Election of 2016.When asked if Rand Paul would be beneficial to the country, Pelletierre responded, “Absolutely, I feel that he would be the step in the right direction to fix the nation. It sounds corny, but that’s how I feel about it.”