Town bearing nominees name an example of small-town America

A sign proclaiming Clinton

CLINTON, N.C. — In Southeastern North Carolina, one will find the quaint and friendly town of Clinton — a town full of tree-lined streets with the Courthouse Square in the center, boutiques and flower shops flanking the sides, and residents who wave as they pass by. It’s a long way from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and has no formal ties to Hillary Clinton other than sharing her last name.However, Clinton is similar to many places in rural America. With a population of just over 8,800, Clinton was named an All-America City in 2007. Like many rural communities in America, it strives for new jobs and economic growth, and feels the weight of the decision for who will earn their vote for the White House.”We need jobs down here. Any kind of job that a lower class person can get their foot in the door with,” said Louis LaRouche, 46, a local mechanic. “We’re all in trouble. Trump is full of crap and Hillary is a liar. The country is on a downward spiral, and it doesn’t look good. I don’t know who to vote for.”Hillary Clinton made history last week when she became the first female nominee on a major party ticket. The moment was one many felt pushed the women’s equality movement forward and earned her the votes of fellow women.”It means something this year that a woman is running,” said Ashley Brady, 23. “It’s time for a change, so I’ll vote for Hillary. I decided that when she began running for president.”Veronica Garcia, a 40-year-old small business owner, will also support Clinton.”Good or bad, Hillary has been there in politics,” Garcia said. ‘With her being a woman, she would think about her decisions before making them and could stand up and be a strong woman for us. Trump is not qualified to be president. He is qualified to make hotels and make money.”The choice in this election has many residents echoing similar sentiments in their views — feeling they need to swap party affiliations or select the lesser of two evils.”I’m a Republican who can’t vote Republican this year and will have to vote Democrat because of the lunatic who’s running for the Republican Party,” said retiree Janice Barnes, 67. “Hillary Clinton is more qualified than Donald Trump, though she comes with her own baggage.”Dorothy Austin, a 29-year-old registered Independent voter, thinks things won’t change regardless who comes out on top in November.”It doesn’t matter who wins — Trump or Clinton — we will be in a jam either way,” Austin said. “I don’t really feel like my vote counts. The government will still decide to do what they want to do no matter who is the president.”She added, “Donald Trump wants to ‘Make America Great Again,’ but when have we ever been great?”