Election Coverage 2016: The Candidates
February 25, 2016
Here at the Courier, our staff has a variety of opinions on who should be the next president of the United States. As part of our continuing coverage of the 2016 presidential race, we will add new perspectives every week to explore all sides of the election. Scroll down to see each of our articles on presidential candidates.
Why I Support Hillary Clinton
I am a teenager. I support Hillary Clinton. I probably shouldn’t exist.
Based on the results of our own article last week about how seniors plan to vote, I’m in the minority of young liberals. Unlike many who seek to detract her, I actually like Clinton. She’s been involved in politics for decades, serving most recently as Secretary of State under President Obama. If you open your mind and weigh the options, you just may come to the same conclusion that I did: Hillary Clinton deserves your vote this year.
For as long as she has been involved in national politics, some people have hated Hillary Clinton. People claim she’s distant or complain that she only supports issues if they have been endlessly focus-grouped. She even famously flip-flopped on the issue of gay marriage, moving from opposing it to endorsing it fully. However, her political oeuvre is anything but scandalous. People’s positions on issues change, especially after being elected to office, where politics are constantly being challenged. Clinton’s views evolved. That’s par for the course.
Clinton is and has been an ardent supporter of human rights and liberal reform. She can rally voters and fill stadiums. She virtually tied with Bernie Sanders in Iowa and won with a healthy margin in Nevada, and elsewhere, she’s leading in the polls. In fact, Clinton garners more support from minorities and women than does Sanders.
Clinton’s track record of reform alone should be enough to convince young people of her ability to run the country. Her platform supports human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, college finance reform, paid leave and voting rights expansions, among other issues. She lines up with Sanders on most of his campaign’s finer points.
It’s very easy to get swept away in the incessant support for Sanders. He, despite all odds, has turned 2016 into a race to the left, energizing young voters who have never felt included in the political process before. It might be fun to imagine a world where Sanders could actually be president, but let’s be honest — it would never work in real life. Take, for example, Sanders’s push to raise the national minimum wage to $15 an hour. Even liberal economists who support an increase in wages have found issues with this plan, which could end up doing more harm than good to workers.
Far more people in this country are right of Sanders’s views than those that would support him. If he becomes president, the likely Republican-led Congress will block whatever he tries to accomplish, as opposed to Clinton’s more likely universal support.
Still, Clinton might not seem like an exciting choice over Sanders. This perception needs to change. Demi Lovato, Lena Dunham, John Legend, Jesse Eisenberg, Salma Hayek, Uzo Aduba, Jennifer Lopez, Olivia Wilde, Kerry Washington, Snoop Dogg and, yes, even Beyoncé have all campaigned for, donated to, or publicly endorsed Clinton.
Clinton’s detractors use a well-worn set of talking points and snap judgments to delegitimize her presidential bid, but they fall apart under scrutiny.
The Benghazi scandal is the most-echoed reason for conservatives not to support Clinton. She became the scapegoat of the Obama administration for Washington Republicans. By attacking her credibility over deleted emails, they attempted to mar both President Obama and a potential Clinton presidential run. Even a Republican-led committee that investigated the attacks cleared Clinton of any wrongdoing, putting to rest any lingering accusations against her.
Hillary Clinton is the best chance the Democratic Party has at the White House. She’s more centrist than Sanders, but she’s still about as liberal as President Obama, if not more. Most importantly, against an establishment Republican candidate, she could win, not alienate independents like Sanders might. As the 2016 election draws closer, I urge you to take another look at the candidates. Hillary Clinton needs your vote to do more in the White House than Bernie Sanders ever could.
Why I Support Marco Rubio
Although Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has energized the political youth, he’s not the only Senator in the running. Florida Senator Marco Rubio asks, “Are you ready for a New American Century?”
In his 2015 book entitled American Dreams, Rubio writes, “the American Dream is not small. It’s not about entitlement. It’s about opportunity. It is not about parceling out prosperity to the few. It is about a striving, growing prosperity for anyone willing to work hard and to dream.”
In 1956, Rubio’s parents pursued the American Dream, working hard to make one’s children’s lives better than his or her own by traveling from Communist Cuba to the United States. Both his parents worked multiple working-class jobs and ultimately achieved their goal. Their son, a child of immigrants, is now a United States Senator.
Now adhering to conservative values like the importance of family, protection of the Second Amendment, and prioritizing small business interests, Rubio has become a front-runner in the GOP primary campaigns. He shocked America with a close third-place finish in the Iowa Causes, but fell out of America’s good graces with a poor debate performance, earning him fifth in New Hampshire.
One can choose to listen to criticisms, especially the most recent ones, of Rubio and dismiss his candidacy. However, Rubio’s pros outweigh his cons.
Yes, Rubio can come off scripted and was called “Marco Roboto” after the New Hampshire debate. But, does America want a president who can’t be bothered to study the issues he or she wants to discuss? At least he is thoughtful in his speech unlike rival Donald Trump, who blurts out whatever comes to his mind. America needs a president who is eloquent and thoughtful, two characteristics that Rubio possesses.
Rubio redeemed himself with a much-improved performance at the South Carolina GOP debate, held on February 13. Rubio was recently endorsed by South Carolina’s governor Nikki Haley joining other endorsements from the likes of former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and former rival Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.
Rubio is a fairly young senator (age 44) and is often criticized for not having much experience. However, here’s something to consider: America’s current president was only in the Senate for a little over three years before moving into the White House, and Rubio has already been a Senator for over five. Instead of dwelling on how young he is, voters must take into account his calls to action and the policies he supports. Everyone must start somewhere in his or her career.
Due to his stance on some issues like same-sex marriage, some consider Rubio to be too conservative for 21st Century America, but Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders is considered much too liberal for other voters. In his campaign, Rubio strikes a balance between extremist “conservative” (if he can be called that) Trump and extremist liberal Sanders. While he supports immigration reform, he doesn’t scream, “I’m going to build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it!” at debates, which is just one example of his level-headed policies.
After his third place finish in Iowa, Rubio was named a possible establishment candidate by the media, and he placed second in both South Carolina and Nevada. As the primaries continue, the “Marcomentum” will only grow, but only with the votes of educated citizen like you who want to see Rubio’s New American Century.
Why I Support Donald Trump
Frequently, the presidential race is more of a question of who is the better of two devils in disguise. This time, it has never been a more accurate depiction of the race.
As the primaries draw near to the final selection, it is becoming more and more apparent that it is going to be Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Donald Trump for the Republicans. Yes, the others could still make a comeback, but it’s fairly unlikely.
It isn’t a particularly great set of choices, but for a multitude of reasons I would vote for Trump over Clinton. While both are awful, Trump is far more trustworthy than Clinton, whom I see to be a lying snake.
Trust issues aside, there are still more reasons to vote Trump, especially if you find your beliefs align more closely to the Republican side. For one, taking a look at the other candidates, he is by far the best of the Republican side that still has a chance of winning.
Marco Rubio doesn’t have nearly enough backing to have a strong chance of making a good comeback, and, quite honestly, should drop out like his advisors are telling him to. When you go to his website, the first thing you see is an ad that just says, “Stop Trump.” It offers no explanation as to why Rubio should win over Trump, but hey, good for you if you want to base your campaign solely on hating Trump. Meanwhile, if someone is actually serious about not wanting Trump, they will probably vote for the person that is less than a hundred points behind him, and still has a chance to come back.
Moving on to the person in second, Ted Cruz still has a chance to come back from his less than a hundred point deficit, but, looking at his platform, why would you want him to? For one, based on his website, there are no such things as generic terrorists, only Islamic or Muslim terrorists. Apparently, Cruz thinks the only dangerous terrorists are the Islamic ones. Don’t worry about the other ones. (Please note the sarcasm).
Looking further into Cruz, his plans for dealing with unemployment and immigration also focus on halting and auditing every work visa until American unemployment drops. Yes, this is a brilliant idea. Instead of encouraging and making legal immigration easier, we are going to make it harder for them to work legally and more likely to chose the easier, illegal route.
While we are on the topic of immigration, all of the people who laughed at Trump for wanting to build a wall, you should probably take a closer look at Cruz’s plan on his website. “It’s not that we don’t know how to solve illegal immigration. What is missing is the political will to get it done. As President, Ted Cruz will do what he says. He will stop illegal immigration. He will build a wall that works, triple border security, and put in place the surveillance and biometric tracking to secure the border.” Sound familiar?
Also still vying for the Republican ticket is John Kasich. Excuse me while I laugh at the possibility of him coming back. This man doesn’t even really deserve to be counted in the running, as he is behind Trump by over 400 points. His campaign has basically devolved into a political stunt for his own state, Ohio, to attempt to gain popularity for him. His only real purpose for staying in at this point is probably to ensure he gets elected as governor again.
So, moving past the Republican primaries, Trump having taken the Republican ticket, Trump will now be facing Clinton. Sure, good ol’ Bernie is still in the running, but not for long. As of March 9, Clinton had 1,221 votes of the needed 2,383 for the Democratic ticket, while Bernie only has 571. For him to make a comeback, he would almost need a miracle.
This leaves us with Clinton running against Trump in November for the key to the Oval Office. As I said before, while neither is particularly fantastic or maybe even acceptable, at least Trump is honest about it.
Clinton is a habitual liar, and, when caught, plays with words to get out of it as Jonah Goldberg of the National Review so kindly points out:
“The most discussed deception came in an exchange about her e-mails. Clinton declared emphatically that, “You know, you’re starting with so many assumptions that are – I’ve never had a subpoena… Let’s take a deep breath here.”
Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), chair of the committee investigating the Obama administration’s response to the Benghazi attack, promptly produced a copy of the subpoena.”
This was an excerpt from another article explaining how Clinton lies. This kind of thing is common for Clinton, whereas Trump tends to tell it like it is. While he may seem a clown, his rhetoric is what is known as hyper-sensitive. He doesn’t use fancy wordplay, as that is used to hide the truth. When he talks, it is simple, and you don’t have to dissect what he is saying.
Take, for example, his plan to build this wall. He is not beating around the bush with it, he is telling it as it is. He plans to build the wall and get Mexico to assist and/or pay for it. After all, according to Trump, it is their citizens that are causing the problem by coming into the U.S. illegally, and so it is not unreasonable to ask them to help keep their own citizens from leaving illegally. But Trump tells people straight up that that is what he is doing and is planning to do.
All in all, while he may not make America as great as he says he will, at the very least I believe he can help staunch the bleeding. Vote Trump, and hope and pray that we get a decent choice next time.