As we approach the 2016 presidential election, scheduled to be held on November 8, 2016, we must decide what issues are the most important, and which candidates will help us meet the goals set forth in a realistic way.
First we must look at what it is our country faces and the important decisions that these candidates will have to make. When the candidates were asked what is the greatest risk to Americans and their futures most republican and democratic alike answered ISIS, Al-Assad and the current crisis in Syria, the Iran deal and future spread of nuclear power. It is important that the American people are educated on the happenings of the world around them. It is known that college students are among the most underrepresented groups demographically in the polls, however it is time to change that, because it is our future, our legacy, and our responsibility to keep our country strong.
Now there are some very different ideas we have heard from both republican and democratic parties on how to handle the accumulation of issues arising in the middle east, and further more our own military capabilities.
By listening to republicans it is obvious they believe that a strong hand is the way to go. However, they do not all agree on how to go about accomplishing this goal. One of the leading republicans in the polls, Dr. Ben Carson, believes that to defeat ISIS we must rely on foreign intelligence and get boots on the ground, he believes we should push them out of Iraq and into Syria, as he said in an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News. That leads to the question of what comes next?
On the other side we find democrats taking a very different approach. The front runner for the democratic party Hillary Clinton believes in dealing with this situation through the use of politics, and continuing the support of Syrian rebels. Either option seems risky with the involvement of Vladamire Putin, the president of Russia, and the Russian backing of Al-Assad the president of Syria. Which leads us to take a broader look at these candidates and not just what they want to do but how they will implement their strategies.
After watching the debates we see some very big personalities, especially that of Donald Trump, Senator Rand Paul said in the second GOP republican debate, “His visceral response to attack people on their personal appearance, short, tall, fat, ugly, my goodness that happened in junior high. Are we not all worried,” By worried he is referring to Trump’s unfiltered responses and lack of censorship that we are accustomed to in politics. I believe this should make us think how not just Trump but other candidates without experience in politics will be able to handle the pressures of dealing with world powers and their leaders. On the other hand Trump has repeated many times that he knows how to run a business and this sort of mentality in the oval office could be exactly what we Americans need for the economy and wellbeing of this great nation. One major portion of the issues in the middle east is that of our military.
Many democrats in the debate talked about dealing with these issues through policy and relations. Are these stratagies too passive to get the job done? maybe, but maybe not. The republican candidates take a much more aggressive approach such as Carly Fiorina’s statement saying that we need to get troops in Syria, re-enforce Iraq, and to let Putin know we mean business. This mentality is shared by many of the republican candidates as Jeb Bush has pointed out that we have let our military become the smallest it has been in decades. For us as the voters we need to decide what is best, to build up our military, or to let it continue to shrink in hopes that diplomacy can cure the issues with the world and not American lives.
The second threat that has been discussed and was brought up more in the democratic debate, however is not ignored by any means in the republican party, is that of environmental issues. Everyone by now has heard of global climate change. However the debate is now the best means of mitigating it, postponing it or its actual existence as an issue facing Americans today. In an interview on Yahoo! News between Katie Couric and Carly Fiorina, Couric asked Fiorina if climate change is an important issue facing us today. Carly responded saying that there are much more pressing matters to be attended to in the middle east than environmental issues at home. This maybe true but one of the democratic front runners Bernie Sanders said in the democratic debate that global climate change is the greatest issue facing us as a nation.
The Obama administration in collusion with the Environmental Protection Agency has put forth a new regulatory plan the Clean Power Plan on carbon emissions from power plants that has been receiving mixed reviews. Republican candidate and a senator from Florida , Marco Rubio, points out an important aspect to consider when thinking about climate change mitigation when he says, “Every proposal they put forward are proposals that will make it harder to do business in America, that will make it harder to create jobs in America.” So then voters should look at what the candidates plans are and not only think about the impact it will have on the environment but also the economic toll they could take on our country. All while keeping in mind that other countries such as Russia and China are not as open to making changes for the government as we are in the U.S. So what that could mean for us? At the same time we cannot and should not disregard the fact that we cannot continue on our current path. If we want to see what not maintaining our environment looks like we should learn from China, where smog covers the city of Beijing and people wear masks on the street to protect them from air pollution. Each candidates plan should be evaluated carefully when making your decision to vote.
Obviously there are many other issues to educate ourselves on such as Immigration, gun control, health care, and many others. Each candidate with their own plan on how to tackle these varies topics. This makes it our job as voters to find the candidates with the right plans and vote to make the changes we need. In this election we find a wide group of candidates at the primary level. They come from many walks of life and of course have all been quite successful to get them on this public stage. We see candidates like Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina who come from the business world, there are well established doctors such as Dr. Ben Carson, and Dr. Rand Paul, while of course we have many politicians this large group of candidates who are conservative, progressive, republican, democrat even capitalism and socialism comes into play with self proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. This begs the question who is right for the presidency? Only we the people can decide, which brings us to the real question. Are you voting?
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