For the 2016 election, the debate among candidates has come to four frontrunners, each with a stronghold for their ideals. Nationally, Donald Trump is ahead of Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination, and Hillary Clinton is ahead of Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.
Prominent amongst high school students has been the issue of whether or not a student who will be 18 come voting time is educated enough to make an informed vote that aligns with his or her beliefs. For this, it is important to highlight the ideals of each side when considering the largest issues our nation faces in 2016. Each side holds strong altercation or approval towards the others’ ideals because of the questions each candidate has introduced by how they present themselves.
In a debate with Megyn Kelly Aug 2015, Trump stated, “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either.”
Facing voting students is the issue of whether or not stating their opinion is beneficial or argument provoking. Regardless, with proper education, each side can be defended equally.
Clinton Appears to Follow Similar Ideals
In Sept. 2014, Sanders said at the AFL-CIO Convention, “A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much while so many have so little. We need a tax system which asks the billionaire class to pay its fair share of taxes and which reduces the obscene degree of wealth inequality in America.” The ideals that Sanders proposes not only have gained high controversy, but have also caused great speculation upon whether or not his fellow democrat competitor is in total agreement.
Clinton, in a statement from May 2007 said, “It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few and for the few, time to reject the idea of an ‘on your own’ society and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity. I prefer a ‘we’re all in it together’ society.”
Sanders could not stand more on the same page with Clinton on these statements.
“I think the overwhelming majority of the American people know that we have got to stand together, that we’re going to grow together, that we’re going to survive together, and that if we start splintering, we’re not going to succeed in a highly competitive international economy.” -Bernie Sanders
“I think the overwhelming majority of the American people know that we have got to stand together, that we’re going to grow together, that we’re going to survive together, and that if we start splintering, we’re not going to succeed in a highly competitive international economy.” Sanders stated in 2015.
Sanders’ ideas come with an estimated price tag of $18 trillion, but supporters state that he does not hope to spend, but in fact rearrange how citizens pay for programs; that it should not be treated as if an extra $18 trillion is being tacked onto what is already being spent.
Highlighting the Differences
But not every issue is a pass with flying colors between the two candidates, and it is important to understand the ideals that they disagree on. The foremost issues in 2016 include immigration, homeland security, and most crucial, international and national financial reform.
Sanders labels himself a “strong supporter of immigration reform” and has been involved in creating pathways for undocumented immigrants and opposes the U.S. government building a fence along the Mexico border. Along with this, Sanders is a skeptic of the expansion of H-1B visas that in his view, could potentially serve as a pathway for big business to keep wages low.
Likewise, Clinton is a supporter of immigration reform and has been an advocate for citizenship to undocumented immigrants. On the contrary though, Clinton voted in favor of building a fence along the border, but retracted the idea after debates with Barack Obama in 2008.
With rising ISIS threats, home defense is a prominent issue. Sanders extremely anti-war, currently with the Islamic State concerns, and he opposes the United States taking a leading role. Clinton’s record on foreign policy is highly hawkish, and unlike Sanders, she voted in favor of the Iraq War in 2002, backed conflicts in Afghanistan, and has shown public approval for targeted drone strikes by the U.S. military.
In a direct response to Sanders on the subject of ISIS, Clinton said,”This cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential.”
“This cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential.” -Hillary Clinton
Being a fierce critic of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, Sanders hopes “to end the era of government bailouts of ‘too big to fail’ financial institutions and redistribute wealth.” Internationally, he has been unhappy with the efforts to enact the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial trade deal between 12 countries.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment, and the foundations of American democracy,” Sanders wrote in a statement.
Similarly Clinton has been a skeptic of Wall Street, slamming attempts by the Republican party to suppress the Dodd-Frank financial reform law which regulates how certain corporations handle the people’s money.
In the contrast, Clinton called the TPP “the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.”
Republicans Bear Contrasting Ideals
The biggest question for voters is whether the government should be a factor in what each citizen is spending or what each citizen in getting for what they spend.
In the words of Sen. Ted Cruz, “Bernie is a socialist, and he admits it. Hillary is a socialist and she pretends she’s not.”
The republican side of the candidacy show that 48 percent view capitalism positively, but among Democrats 49 percent favor socialism.
“Bernie is a socialist, and he admits it. Hillary is a socialist and she pretends she’s not.” -Sen. Ted Cruz
At the University of Colorado, in Oct 2015, Trump stated, “I call him [Sanders] a socialist-slash-communist because that’s what he is, he’s gonna tax you people at 90 percent; he’s gonna take everything!”
Immigration, Homeland Defense, and Finance Reforms
On the issues contrasted between Sanders and Clinton, republican candidates share differing angles to most conflicts, despite most issues having only two definitive sides.
Immigration ideals are highly opposed by the two front-running republican candidates. Cruz, swears “to stop illegal immigration, build a wall that works, triple border security, and put in place the surveillance and biometric tracking to secure the border.”
Furthermore both Cruz and Trump are opposed to catch-and-release, sanctuary policies and H-1B visas as long as American unemployment is high. It is, by a landslide,that the two are in agreement- and what is not highlighted is that both- not just Trump, support heavy deportations and strengthening of border walls.
Polls conducted by The Washington Post have shown majority of Americans (83 percent) fear terrorist attack, and would likely prompt Obama to become progressively on the offensive in the conflicts with the Islamic State. Cruz and Trump both support putting America in a leadership role to defeat the progressive threat. Unlike Trump, Cruz has had experience in politics prior and has proposed Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015, which immediately bars refugees coming from any country, that has substantial territory controlled terrorist groups. This is similar to Trump’s “muslim proposal,” but the difference to understand is that Cruz acted upon his idea, and came up with a comprehensive act; he was not all talk.
“The size of government is inversely proportional to individual liberty. Conservatives understand that as government grows our freedoms shrink.” -CBN.com
The financial reforms proposed by the democratic approach nonetheless have contrasted those of Trump and Cruz. Cruz supports the idea of Simple Flat Tax, in which “the current seven rates of personal income tax will collapse into a single low rate of 10 percent.” According to reputable Tax Foundations, his plans will boost GDP by 13.9 percent, increase wages by 12.2 percent and create 4,861,000 additional jobs. Trump compresses his tax reforms into 4 simple ideals: no added debt, tax relief for middle class Americans by taxing less, simplifying the tax codes, discourage corporate inversions, add new jobs to make America competitive again and grow the economy. Each candidate agrees that government should stay separate of private business relations to create a better economy.
“The size of government is inversely proportional to individual liberty. Conservatives understand that as government grows our freedoms shrink,” stated CBN.com.
Ultimately, the decision is left up to the voter at hand. With this, it is important for the voter to educate themselves to understand the potential downfalls or benefits to each politician’s ideals.
The piece of advice holding the most relevancy is, “Folks, we gotta wake up. We cannot elect somebody that doesn’t know how to do the job,” said John Kasich early in his running.