The Upcoming Presidential Election: Some Things You Need to Know

Nathan Currier, Staff Writer

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Ah… the beginning of election season. It’s really no one’s favorite time of year, but it’s something we all have to go through. But of course you can’t have a presidential election without some good ol’ fashion controversy and political slandering on both sides.

Disclaimer:
In the first half of this article I will try to stay neutral on my approach to some of the primary candidates. I can’t cover them all, but I’ll discuss the most noteworthy of the bunch. I might grossly gloss over some important things, but people can do research on their own.

Democrats:

Bernie Sanders

-Believes in strengthening the middle class
-Believes in redistribution of wealth
-Pushing reform to help climate change
-Fair Immigration Policy
-Care for veterans
-Putting power back to the people
-Access to free medical care
-LGBT and Racial equality
-Making up for the failure of the war on drugs
-Making college education the best it can be, as well as being free
-Access to the internet be free and equal

Hillary Clinton

-Supports small businesses
-Women’s rights and opportunities
-Increased voting rights
-Protecting rural communities
-Focus on K-12 education
-Gun violence prevention
-National Security
-Criminal justice reform and change
-Support of labor unions
-Focus on training and preparing the next generation of workers

GOP:

Donald Trump

-Strong supporter of the second amendment
-Focus on illegal immigrants in the U.S
-Supports pro-choice for abortion, but is against Planned Parenthood
-Increase sanctions on Iran
-Believes in the sanctity of marriage.
-End corporate tax
-Believes Chinese companies are beating out U.S ones
-Wants to create more jobs
-Strong sanctions on Russia

Carly Fiorina

-Support the Kurds in Iraq
-Believes in climate change, but doesn’t believe action is needed
-Set national standards for education
-Support Israel and break off Iran deal
-Support second amendments, but make a “no sell” list for some people to be on
-Believes in repealing the affordable care act
-Pro-life

Alright, we got the boring part over with now. Those were just some major candidates to keep your mind on. Most of you reading this all know Mr. Smith, right? I got a chance to interview him about the presidential race. He’s held a political position before, so it was nice to get some insight along with his view.

First I started with the opening of his general opinion so far. We both agreed it’s pretty crazy and hectic. This year is a pretty important year when it comes to the elections. As Mr. Smith stated,

“We’re at a critical point; two different ideologies are going at each-other. You got the Democrats who want us to step back from the world stage… and the Republicans who think we should get more involved.”

To go further, I brought the run down of the candidates for the Democrats to Mr. Smith. His opinions are what the general populace hold. Sanders is the honest and truthful guy, but has a lot going against him. Hillary is the “professional politician.”

I just want to focus on what it means to be a “professional politician.” I think it’s a pretty good description of what most politicians have become. Of course, you need to be professional in the business but some candidates take it to the extreme. Their policies are often reflect what their donors do to support their campaign, and not their actual beliefs. It’s honestly pretty sad to see the American system collapse and fall into that pit more and more.

Back to the Democrat side: I asked if it’s too late for Joe Biden to get into the race. “It’s not too late…and I think if he runs, he’ll be the democratic nominee,” Mr. Smith said.

And there’s truth to that. He has the resources, he has the backers and he has ability. But as Mr. Smith said, “If he’s going to run, it needs to be before November. After that, there’s no chance.”

If Biden is going to get in the race, it needs to be now. But it is still up in the air.

We also talked about the elephant in the room… Donald Trump. As Mr. Smith stated, Trump is targeting the “uninformed voter.” What does that mean? It means the crowd of people who aren’t informed about the political world and just want something different. If you’re going to have a political discussion or chose a candidate, you need to have a reason and support them. Not just say,

“He just has funny hair.”

Carly Fiorina is on the GOP side and has similarities to Trump. But she is not as radical. In my opinion, she’s a much more votable figure and has seen a sharp rise in her polls and popularity. She’s a woman with experience, I will credit her with that. Mr. Smith even gave her props for her previous business experience; being a woman in a corporate position, isn’t a walk in the park.

A side issue we covered in the interview is the growing relationship between Russia and China. When two of the strongest economies join together, it should be a major concern here in the U.S.

“Will there be a future war of West vs East again?”

“No, there’s just too much at stake,” Smith Replied

He’s right. With so much investment and global connectivity in the world, we won’t see a major war happening. But what we will see is an “economic war.” It’ll be just a massive buildup of economic resources and a new form of “war” including cyber attacks and hacking. It’s like a Cold War but without the cold or the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Most candidates have made comments about China and Russia being a threat or a problem, but they see them as a military advisory rather than a economic opponent. That’s the wrong way to go about it since no one wants any military action. Just like Mr. Smith said, there is literally too much at stake.

My Take:

I wrapped up the interview by finally discussing why the kids at Weedsport, New York should care. Here’s the answer.

Everything is political. Even though we don’t like to admit it, everything is political and will be political until the end of time. Your perspective on the world, and your actions are determined by your views and position. Some might not realize it now, and some might not ever realize it but everyone should have at least have a basic understanding of politics and how the American government system works.

This year will be that crucial deciding year of what path America will take. You and your children will be affected by what happens over the next four years. That can be said about anything really, but when you have the two polar opposites clashing, it’ll definitely be a big impact on the global stage.

All of this is really a suggestion. Next year, some of you will be old enough to vote, so use that right that’s been given to you. Don’t just blow it off. You have the right to chose who represents you the best. And if you don’t… then you’re failing doing your part as a citizen.

Although that sounds harsh, it’s the truth in the matter. But if you’re just voting because of a bias like “she’s a women,” or “he’s black,” that’s not doing much better than just not voting at all.

There’s nothing wrong with holding opposing viewpoints, it’s just the uninformed need to do something about their ignorance of the situation. Ignorance in this case, not meaning stupidity, but just lack of information.

Just be informed, and give a damn about your nation.

“Nothing’s wrong with debate, as long as it’s substantiated and honest.”
-Matthew Smith

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