The last time WSP broached the subject of the 2016 presidential elections was back in March, when fewer than half of the states had finished their primary elections and caucuses.
Back then, the Democratic Party was in the middle of a heated race between two well-qualified candidates in Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The nation was more or less evenly divided between the two charismatic contenders, with polls showing leads for Clinton one day and Sanders the next.
This year, the Republican Party has been on a rollercoaster ride, with Republican forerunner Donald Trump at the head of the pack amongst other serious contenders like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich. What first seemed like a hybrid joke and nightmare to many, quickly became a reality as it became more and more evident that Trump was gathering steam and support throughout the year.
By July, two winners had emerged after months of grueling campaigning. The tight battle between democratic candidates Clinton and Sanders ended in a clear win for Clinton who secured 2811 delegates, enough to push her forward as the democratic nominee in 2016 over Sanders, who accumulated a total of 1879 delegates. Much to the chagrin of democrats and many republicans, Trump came out of the dust as the republican nominee for 2016, with a landslide victory won by accumulating 1542 delegates.
Fast forward to September, and we are on the cusp of this year’s presidential election, which will be held on November 8. One part of being an empowered individual is finding your voice, but another is knowing when to use it. As the elections creep slowly but surely toward us, it is imperative that we exercise civic engagement.
For many people, particularly college students, this will be the first presidential election we’ll actually be able to vote in and make our voices and opinions heard. Thus, it is important to educate ourselves on each candidate’s platforms and values.
This election, our democratic and republican choices are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. To help ease the burden on voters, I’ve compiled a list of issues that brings you right to meat of what each candidate is about, along with links to their website for any further inquiry.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign website highlights her stances on various issues in a format heavy with text, but also filled with promotional videos. Her website employs a detailed approach in explaining Clinton’s position on many different issues. Some of her main ideas include:
- Continuing and expanding on the universal healthcare system implemented by Obama
- Restructuring the tax brackets to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share
- Creation of a debt-free public college and university system
- Addressing issues that negatively affect LGBT, people of color, and women
- Ending gun violence through background checks and fighting the gun lobby
Donald Trump’s campaign website lists out his stance on various issues solely in video format, which, when compared to Hillary’s, is a bit lacking in concrete details. His ideas include:
- Stopping the drug trade routes through creating walls/stricter borders
- Building a “great wall” along the US/Mexico border
- Drafting more restrictive immigration policies to prevent illegal immigration
- Keeping American jobs and companies in America through implementing a 35% tax on imports
- The abolition of Common Core standards in our education system.
As empowered individuals it is imperative that we have a say in who becomes the next leader of the United States of America. Using our critical analysis skills, we should all strive to learn about what each nominee stands for and what they plan to do during their term in office. One of the most impactful ways we can voice our opinions in the arena of American politics is through voting. If you want to vote, make sure to register by October 24 and show up to the polls on November 8.