Clinton: The case for optimism and inclusion
By Jake Marcus
For me, support of Hillary Clinton is rooted in three different reasonings: a moral commitment to a humanitarian role of government; objective support of her policies, as well as those of the Democratic Party; and a deep seated fear of her opponent’s platform and, more severely, incompetence.
The most fundamental reason I support Secretary Clinton and Democrats up and down the ballot, is that I am firmly committed to the idea that government exists to help the people whom it serves. It is not enough to pave roads and maintain law and order; instead, government ought to lend a hand up to Americans who are down on their luck. It should work to remove systemic barriers that all but preclude entire swatches of our population from the same American Dream offered to the rest of us. It should maintain a strong social safety net, so that a recession doesn’t drive a family into inescapable debt and poverty, or take away from someone a dignified retirement after a lifetime of hard work. Government should expand access to education, from preschool to graduate school, protect the environment from excessive pollution and the irresponsible consumption of resources, and help the millions of Americans suffering from mental illness find the treatment they need. All of these things are ideas central to the Clinton campaign. Her commitment to these Democratic values defines her lifetime of public service, and reflects exactly the priorities that I want to see in our 45th President.
However, these policies do not strike only a moral argument, but an objective, economic one as well. Each of her policies is extremely detailed, and economists on both sides of the aisle agree that it will result in economic growth across the country. For example, her College Compact makes college affordable through a combination of federal refinancing of student loans, scholarships for single parents seeking an education, cost-reducing tax breaks for private colleges, and a monthly repayment plan that only takes a percentage of the borrower’s disposable income. These initiatives will undoubtedly produce a better educated population, and at relatively minimal cost to the taxpayers as that, which in turn gives our economy immense capacity to expand in the future. Other policies, such as an expansion of the Medicaid program and the ACA, allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug costs, and an expansion of the MIECHV program similarly stimulate sustainable, long run growth by promoting a healthier and more productive populace. Furthermore, her plans to ensure Equal Pay for Equal Work, guaranteed family leave for new mothers, and quality, affordable childcare encourage women to more fully enter the workforce, rather than discouraging one half of our population from contributing to the economy. In totality, these proposals—not to mention her trillion dollar infrastructure bill to create quality jobs in the short run—offer a future in which the American economy can grow to be greater and more inclusive than ever before, and are thus indicative of why Hillary Clinton must be our next President.
But if you aren't convinced by the idea that we have a fundamental obligation to help our neighbors, and refuse to be swayed by the economic reality that her proposals are advantageous, I’d only ask you to look at her opponent. I still maintain that Clinton deserves to be elected on account of her merits alone; however, a comparative look at Donald Trump removes any shred of doubt over my vote. Trump is economically illiterate, with even conservative economists admitting that his proposals will be disastrous to the American economy. He is painfully and noticeably oblivious concerning foreign policy. Besides an inability to speak carefully or conscientiously when representing the free world, he presumes to know “more about ISIS than the generals,” and has publicly entertained the notion of firing the military leadership en masse; as such, foreign policy experts and four former presidents from both parties have denounced his ability to be Commander in Chief. Trump offers us none of the substance or demonstration of understanding that was once a prerequisite to being a candidate for President. Contrast this with
Hillary’s message of optimism, of inclusion, and of experience, and the choice we face in November is clear. I’m with her, and come November, I hope the rest of the country is too.
Public service used to be a noble calling. Our founding fathers didn’t make careers of politics; they held jobs ranging from military generals to bakers – soap makers to artists – bishops to botanists. The reason our founding fathers were able to create such a strong foundation upon which this nation has evolved is because they knew that America was different from any nation which ever existed. The great American experiment is one which empowers every voice, belonging to every person; never mind skin color, socioeconomic or religious background. This is not to suggest that our country has never witnessed great injustice. As a result of the framework which our founding fathers provided in the Constitution, we’ve been able to ensure liberty to every American. Today, that liberty is threatened by a Washington which answers not to the people but to special interests, lobbyists, corporations and a crippling obsession with political correctness. That liberty is threatened by radicals who seek to destroy our liberal democracy and all the rights guaranteed to American citizens.
Donald Trump seeks to change the way that Washington operates. Unlike most politicians, Mr. Trump isn’t running for office to amass personal wealth – he’s already done that. He isn’t running for office to continue a career in politics – he’s interested in no such thing. He isn’t running for office to fulfill the whims of Wall Street elites – he doesn’t need their support. In 1988, Oprah Winfrey asked Mr. Trump if he ever planned to run for president. His response: “Probably not, but I do get tired of seeing the country getting ripped off … if it got so bad, I would never want to rule it out totally.” Well, it’s been just 28 years, and it’s gotten that bad.
Donald Trump talks about the issues that ordinary politicians run away from. His position on the Mexican-American border wall (a position identical to that of Bill Clinton’s, just 20 years ago) is attacked as racist and xenophobic but no mention is made of the hundreds and thousands of families of every race which are being destroyed by the drugs pouring across the border. According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 2010 and 2014, there was a 213% increase in heroin-related deaths amongst African Americans and a 137% increase amongst Hispanics and Latinos. In the 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment, the DEA notes that most of the heroin in America comes from Mexico and Columbia and is transported across the Mexican border. African-American and Latino families are being disproportionately affected by this epidemic. Understanding this, a legitimate argument can be made that it is racist not to build a wall.
Donald Trump will protect American Veterans. The Veterans Administration is in shambles. On August 21st, 2016, a 76 year old veteran shot himself to death in the parking lot of the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Long Island because he was unable to receive the mental and physical healthcare that he deserved. Hundreds of veterans have died while waiting for V.A. healthcare. Mr. Trump has a plan that will ensure every veteran gets their care in a timely fashion or is provided a voucher for public healthcare.
Donald Trump will cut taxes and reduce the size and scope of the government. Far too many decisions are being made in Washington as less and less are being made at the kitchen table. By cutting taxes to 0% for many of our nation’s poorest, followed by three brackets of 12%, 25%, and 33%, Donald Trump will put money back in the pockets of everyday Americans, ease the burden on our middle class and ensure that America’s wealthiest individuals are paying their fair share.
Mr. Trump has a plan to ensure that every parent is able to provide for their children. Under Donald Trump’s childcare plan, we will 1) help every family with the costs of childcare and eldercare 2) empower families to choose the care that is right for their family, 3) create a new, dynamic market for family-based and community-based solutions, 4) incentivize employers to provide childcare at the workplace, and 5) provide 6 weeks of paid leave to new mothers before returning to work. Mr. Trump’s comprehensive childcare plan means mothers get to spend more time at home with their newborns, parents get to keep the money that they earn to take care of their children, and for a parent making $15 per hour at a full-time job, the Earned Income Tax Credit boost in the Trump plan could mean as much as $1,200 extra per year.
Donald Trump isn’t bought and paid for by Super PACs and Wall Street elites. Throughout the course of his campaign, Donald Trump has raised $168.2 million. 99.2% of that money, or about $166.9 million of that comes from grassroots donations and Mr. Trump himself. Secretary Clinton, however, has raised $516.6 million, with 28% of that, or $144.4 million coming from super PACs. Donald Trump owes his allegiance to nobody except the American people.
It’s time to try something new. According to an August 2016 Gallup poll, 72% of Americans report being dissatisfied with the Federal Government. In order to break this trend of dissatisfaction and finally restore America to that “shining city on a hill,” we have to try something different. Nothing will ever get better if we continuously elect and re-elect self-servient Washington elites into offices of high power. Donald Trump is running for President because the American people are being ripped off from every angle. Our rights become more and more limited, our jobs are outsourced, we have massive trade deficits with nations whose economies depend on our goodwill. Donald J. Trump is the kind of President we need to restore America to its place in the world, arrange better trade agreements, defeat the threat of radical Islamic extremism and attack America’s drug epidemic from the source.
By Charlie Megginson
Trump: It's time for a new direction in America
Johnson: Don't vote for the lesser of two evils
By Alex Yom
The 2016 election has been one of, if not the most divisive election in recent history. In no small part due to the two major party candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. According to an RCP average, Trump has a 58 percent disapproval rating while Clinton carries a 54 percent disapproval rating. You read that right, the majority of Americans view both major party candidates in a negative light.
Yet, people say we have no other choice.
The fact is, we do. Americans in November can select a candidate who has had two terms of executive experience as a Republican Governor of a swing-state, libertarian Gary Johnson. We should not feel handcuffed by two untrustworthy and unpopular nominees of the two-party system.
Even when you put Trump’s divisive rhetoric and Clinton’s countless scandals aside, there is more to Governor Johnson than simply being the lesser of two evils. He has the experience and demeanor necessary to be the President of the United States.
As Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, Governor Johnson cut taxes, shrunk the size of government, and returned power back to the people, sparking economic growth in his state. During his tenure, Johnson reduced the annual 10% growth in the state budget. He cut the state income tax, putting more money in people’s pockets while cutting the prescription drug tax and gasoline tax, making goods much more affordable. While Trump and Clinton both want to grow the size of government, Governor Johnson is the only presidential candidate that will work to keep government small while he’s in office.
Not only is Governor Johnson fiscally responsible, he believes in the end of the War on Drugs. As President, Johnson will end mass incarceration that is both expensive and ineffective and instead work to remove the federal ban on marijuana. Most importantly, he’ll begin to treat drug abuse as a health issue and not a crime to actually help those that are dealing with addiction instead of putting them behind bars.
Governor Johnson is also the only presidential candidate to support free trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership. While Trump and Clinton have advocated for outdated, protectionist trade policies, Johnson understands the importance of a free and open global economic market.
With foreign policy, Johnson believes in a strong national defense and will work to support active duty members and improve veteran’s affairs. However, Johnson will work to end unnecessary and often times debilitating interventionist policy. Instead of toppling governments and getting involved with complicated civil wars overseas, Johnson will work with our allies abroad to keep peace and the focus on more important issues at home.
Governor Johnson also understands that the government has no place meddling in our personal decisions. That’s why he supports same-sex marriage and a women’s right to choose. Governor Johnson supported marriage equality even before Hillary Clinton did and before it became popular opinion, that takes conviction. Johnson will also protect American civil liberties, keeping government away from your phones, private communications, and financial documents. As Johnson’s running mate Bill Weld says, he too a successful two-term Republican governor in a blue state, “we’ll keep government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom”.
These fiscally responsible and socially accepting policies are what the majority of American’s identify with. We should not let the traditional two-party system force us into voting for someone that we don’t trust. The office of the President of the United States is too important to simply cast a ballot for the lesser of two evils.
When I tell people that I’m supporting Gary Johnson for President, I always hear “why vote third party, you’re wasting your vote”. Ultimately, wasting your vote is voting for someone you don’t believe in. Simple as that.
In an election full of empty rhetoric, Governor Johnson is the only one running for President who has substantial policy.