By Asia Daggs
Assistant Web Content Manager
I am sure you are past exhausted of hearing about the 2016 Presidential Campaign and the candidates at this point. Don’t worry, WE ALL ARE. The past two debates, and arguably the entire campaign, have not been taken seriously at all due to the perception that each candidate is a joke. However, there is a point when we have to make-do with what we have been given and decide on how we will express our vote. So, let’s get down business. Assuming you are already registered, your next task is to narrow down your choice by screening each contender’s campaign for policies you agree or do not agree with. If you feel like you are voting between two evils, you are not alone. This election’s barnstorm has the majority of people confused about who to vote into office for the sake of our everyday lives and our country. In this blog, I will be giving you a short and simple guide to help with any general questions you may have about the 2016 presidential campaign.
We are always being told that our voices matter and that we have the power to generate change, but how plausible is this? We as millennials (ages 18-35), are the largest living generation today. There are 74.5 million of us which makes us a larger body than the baby boomers (ages 51-69) who currently dictate our country’s politics. It all comes down to how many people from each generation are actually eligible and willing to be an active voter. If we want to see change, we have to match the baby boomers with the same amount of voters.
THE CANDIDATES AND THEIR POLITICAL VIEWS
Hillary Clinton – Democratic
- Legalization: She was a huge supporter of War on Drugs in its advent, but has changed her position since then. Today, Clinton would like to see the decision being left for the states to sort out.
- Abortion: Clinton strongly disagrees with politicians meddling with a woman’s health decisions. Clinton wants to “…oppose efforts to roll back women’s access to reproductive health care.”
- Education: “We need to make college affordable so that you don’t have to borrow… and pay off your debt,” Clinton says. She supports making education available and affordable for everyone.
- Jobs: She promises to raise minimum wage to $12 an hour and her 100-day job plan is supposed to create at least 10.4 million jobs.
- Healthcare: Clinton is no stranger to healthcare from her First Lady days and says she wants to enhance President Obama’s Affordable Care Act if elected.
- Justice: She believes our justice system is “out of balance” and plans on tackling the social issues our nation is facing.
- Guns: Clinton supports comprehensive background checks and claims she will end gun violence if Congress won’t.
- LGBTQ+: In 2013 she was not be on board, but now she supports letting the states decide on gay marriage laws.
- Immigration: She has committed to “comprehensive immigration reform and a path to legitimate citizenship.”
- National Security: She claims she will work with America’s allies to take out global terror networks.
- Environment: “I’ll make significant investments in clean energy,” Clinton says. She would like to see the end of drilling in the Arctic and tax giveaways to oil and gas companies.
Donald Trump – Republican
- Legalization: He has come out in favor of medicinal use of marijuana and would rather see it being up to the states to ultimately decide.
- Abortion: Throughout this election he has been pro-life and wants to input “some form of punishment” for those who make the decision to have an abortion. He is unsure what to do with Planned Parenthood because he approves of what they provide, but does not believe in federally funding the organization.
- Education: He hasn’t really voiced his opinion on it besides saying the department “can be largely eliminated.”
- Jobs: Trump’s view points on this topic has remained intact. He supports building a wall, ‘bringing jobs back’ from China and Mexico, renegotiating trade deals and lowering taxes.
- Healthcare: Believes “everybody’s got to be covered.”, but has not disclosed a plan for healthcare.
- Justice: In his words, “I am the law-and-order candidate.”
- Guns: He used to favor bans on assault weapons, but now he is supportive of guns being in schools and even allowed in bars.
- LGBTQ+: He has promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn marriage equality, and Row v Wade so it can be ruled at the state level.
- Immigration: He believes immigrants are a threat to America, (that is where the wall idea comes in) with an emphasis on Mexican and Muslim immigrants.
- National Security: “If I become president, the era of nation-building will be ended.” Trump said. He calls for putting a halt to the spread of Radical Islam with the help of both parties, allies, and countries in the Middle East.
- Environment: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make the U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” Trump said.
Jill Stein – Green Party
- Legalization: Her party is so ‘green’, they have called marijuana “hemp”. So of course, she wants to legalize it.
- Abortion: She strongly supports pro choice and even wants the government to provide free contraception and abortions to all women.
- Education: In her words, “Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude.”
- Jobs: Stein would also like to see a big investment of $500 billion into government jobs and to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour.
- Healthcare: Stein believes health care should be a human right and plans on fixing Obama’s Affordable Care Act by getting rid of private insurance companies and charging the government for health finances.
- Justice: She has said that she wants to “Demilitarize the police.”
- Guns: She is in favor of assault weapons bans and increase in background checks.
- LGBTQ+: She wants to protect people from the entire spectrum (LGBTQIA+) from discrimination.
- Immigration: Stein wants to pass the DREAM Act in order to “create legal status and a path to citizenship for hard-working, law-abiding undocumented immigrants.”
- National Security: Stein wants to end all of our wars, cut military spending and close all of the U.S. military bases.
- Environment: She is very supportive of helping the environment and is even facing charges of mischief after she was in a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline.
Gary Johnson – Libertarian
- Legalization: He has challenged the idea of legal painkillers or anti-depressant that kill around 100,000 people a year vs, “Marijuana products — not one documented death.”
- Abortion: He is pro choice with caveats, but also wants to overturn Roe v. Wade due the expansion of government it caused.
- Education: He is on board with getting rid of the Department of Education, but believes it will bring down the cost of tuition.
- Jobs: He wants to eliminate the IRS and federal income tax, because he doesn’t believe the government creates jobs.
- Healthcare: He stands against government being involved in health care. In 2012, he called the Affordable Care Act “a torpedo in a sinking ship.”
- Justice: Libertarians focus heavily on individual rights.
- Guns: Johnson sort of stepped away from the Libertarian views on “all laws at any level of government” and he just thinks there should be limited access to firearms for people with mental illnesses.
- LGBTQ+: He supports the idea of responsible adults being able to live life as they wish!
- Immigration: Supports immigration reform and believes that work visas should “include a background check and a Social Security card so that taxes get paid.”
- National Security: His slogan is “No Nation Building. No Policing the World. More Security at Home.” He only plans to use the military if America is attacked.
- Environment: He is not too keen on the plans of passing regulations to limit carbon emissions, but does accept that climate change is real.
Now that you are aware of the candidates and their policy views/strategies, you can start to weave out who you agree with most according to your personal views. Now you have to show up at the polls and make use of your promised right to vote. Our generation’s movement will only survive if we get registered to vote and then actually follow through on Election Day in large numbers. Try to keep yourself educated and spread the word. See you at the polls!