Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Person Versus Policy
If we have learned anything from this election cycles, it's that the American people pretty much hate elections now. It feels as if pundits have been getting hyped up about the 2016 election since the 2012 election came to a close, and now that it's here people just want it to be over. This is partially becuase of how the election is getting covered in the media. Policy has been peripheral to this election, which, given some of Trump's policies, is ridiculous. This election cycle has been bogged down by the multitude of scandals on both sides. If you've payed attention to the election at all you've hear about Hillary's email and the Clinton foundation. To the majority of Clinton supporters just mentioning the emails will induce a serious eye-roll or groan. And then the Trump campaign is essentially the embodiment of the bed of nails principle, there are just so many of them that it's hard to pick out one that sticks out. It's been said a thousand times but he started out his campaign by calling Mexican rapists and murderers and the fact that that one comment doesn't really stand out is insane.
Had this election been centered around policy and the actual issues each candidate cared about I can't imagine the race being as tight as it is. I'm a democrat and I supported Bernie in the primaries so I'm a little biased here so take what I have to say with a grain of salt if you want, but if you vote based on policy and the plausibility of enacting any change, Hillary Clinton is the only viable candidate. She's a seasoned politician, her policies are closely aligned with Obama's (who has record approval ratings right now), and her tax plan would actually benefit the people in the socio-economic range who are most likely to vote for Trump.
If you look at Donald Trump's policies, it's hard to actually come up with anything solid. He says he'll build a wall but hasn't been clear on how he's going to do that, how much it'll actually cost, and how he's supposedly going to get Mexico to pay for it. According to a number of economists his tax plan would only benefit the rich and actually get the United States into more debt. Also he has zero foreign policy experience. if you ask him about diplomacy he'll tell you he knows the most and what we're doing right now is atrocious and MacArthur would be spinning in his grave but he never gives any specifics of his foreign policy.
And then there're the running mates. There's very little to discuss when it comes to Tim Kaine, he pretty much just echos whatever Hillary says. Yes, he's against abortion on a personal level but he still believes in a woman's right to chose, and other than that there's very little deviation. On the other hand you have Mike Pence, a man who literally believes in gay conversion therapy could potentially be the second in command. Pence had very little support in Indiana from both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans didn't like him becuase he didn't deliver on his campaign promises and democrats don't like him because he tried to take away as many civil liberties from as many minorities as he could. He's wants to overturn Roe v Wade, he voted to ban gay marriage, he voted to repeal Obamacare, and he voted to make the patriot act permanent. Mike Pence sounds like a cartoon villain to me. I understand that I am a lot more liberal than the majority of the country, but if you look at the number of Americans that support abortion in some situations, that support gay marriage, that have benefitted from health care reform, and believe anti-gay hate crimes are in fact hate crimes and should be punished (Mike Pence does not) he should not be this close to the White House. But a lot of voters just don't pay attention to the actual policies anymore, they care about headline scandals, they value character over anything else. Yes, character is something that should be considered, but it's not the only thing that should come into play. Casting your vote for either candidate means a lot more than just choosing between two undesirable people, it means signing on to their policies too.