Politics: The Storm is Brewing

Politics: The Storm is Brewing

Jason Ferris, Co-Editor

storm-brewing-at-seaIf you have been following the news, you know that the United States is in the throes of the 2016 presidential campaign and not just its soap opera merits. With Iowa starting off this year’s primaries to decide which Republican and which Democrat will have a chance at the presidency, the rest of the nation’s voters are wondering behind whom to throw their support. According to Iowa’s results, voters should train their sights on Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The race has degenerated, according to many reporters and a few not-so-silent candidates, into a popularity contest but that does not mean these politicians do not have plans for this nation.

Donald Trump has made quite the name for himself since, according to Trump, his father started him off with a “small” loan of a million dollars. Shrewd businessman, host of The Apprentice and spinoff the Celebrity Apprentice, organizer of the Miss Universe Pageant, basher of Megyn Kelly, supporter of the Great Wall of Mexico, the first candidate to plan a counter event to a presidential debate and 2016 presidential nominee; yes, Donald Trump has quite the resume. But, behind all the publicity and crude rhetoric, is a candidate. Trump has, in recent years, become a pro-life advocate against abortion. He is working, like his fellow Republican candidates, to defund Planned Parenthood. He plans to channel his savvy business skills into balancing the federal budget, bringing back jobs from China and Mexico and reducing mortgage interest, all to grow the economy by 6% annually. The news plasters headlines of Trump turning the presidential race into his own publicity stunt but his goal is to rescue the American economy. Whether his point is evident or lost in his harsh rhetoric is a question voters are beginning to answer in primary votes across the nation.

Ted Cruz has been on Trump’s heels for some time thanks to his less eccentric take on Trump’s Republican platform. He, too, wants to strike down Planned Parenthood and get a handle on an economy serving banks rather than the people. He, like Trump, aims to nurture annual economic growth far beyond the 1.2% Obama accomplished in 8 years. He also wants to abolish the Department of Education, in favor of empowering the poor with the same choice of school as the rich. He; however, does not support civil rights with the same gusto, dubbing same-sex marriage unconstitutional and calling for women’s demands for equal pay to end. He may not have Trump’s twinkle, but he is a conservative alternative.

Unlike the rest of this assemblage of candidates, Hillary Clinton has been tussling with the spotlight since her husband Bill started his campaign for the presidency. However, it has not proven her fortitude, just her staying power. She stands for women’s right to choose whether to have an abortion and plans to beef up the adoption and foster care systems. She stands for an end to bank corruption bankruptcy reform. She stands for same-sex marriage, affirmative action and police-adorned body cameras. She stands for a return to the Common Core of the 1980s and 1990s, regardless Obama’s lackluster go at it (you know what I mean, PARCC testers). Her ideals are noble but the Benghazi crisis forces voters to question whether she is the person for the job. How, after she buried sensitive material in an off-the-books server, can voters trust her word?

Now, secrecy may not be as much a blunder to America as Bernie Sanders’ socialist agenda. He, like Clinton, stands for women’s choice to opt for an abortion. He stands for equal pay for women, the black lives campaign and same-sex rights, like Clinton, but his economic policy leaves little to be desired. He wants to break up banks and funnel wealth from the top 1% to the rest of the classes. He wants a single player health care system. He wants to tax Wall Street and make public universities free. He wants to ensure paid family leave. Sanders is not lacking in idealism, but needs the realism tinted goggle a candidate needs to support America. Aside from the fact that this policy will push even more American businesses overseas, what will happen to American work ethic? Why should a doctor, for example, commit years of study and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to saving lives if Sanders is going to toss their necessary earnings to the poor? How can Americans aspire for success if their labors reap the same fruits as everyone else?

Pro-life or pro-choice, tradition or civil rights, socialism or capitalism: this year’s presidential campaign is not lacking in difficult choices. But, which candidate is a recipe for success four to eight years down the line? Which candidate will point the United States in the direction it needs to stabilize its economy and support its citizens? Iowa is the first thread in a fabric of voters grappling with who will represent their nation. Whether you are following this electric race for its mystery novel twists and turns, or with a concern for who is the best fit to take on a 2016 world, a storm is brewing, one that will scar the land or unite it for the better.