Much has been made of who the presidential candidates are during the 2016 US presidential election. Hillary Clinton is a ‘nasty woman’ who smiles too much/doesn’t smile enough, and is too shrill to be president. Donald Trump is a self-confessed sexual predator, and likes his daughter a little more than a father should.
While we know a lot about the people, we don’t know much about the policies. They seem to have gotten lost in the chaos of what will be remembered as the weirdest, most vicious election cycle in American history.
So, to make an informed choice about who you’ll be rooting for on election day (‘cos you can’t vote in it), here’s a breakdown of the two candidates’ policies.
While Clinton has historically supported tough-on-crime laws that victimised low-level offenders and led to the mass incarceration of African Americans, the 2016 election has seen her change her tune.
Primarily, Clinton supports a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to the legalisation of recreational marijuana and believes that medical marijuana should be available to those who require it. She also supports a stronger standard of community policing, and wants to divert low-level drug offenders away from prison and into treatment & rehabilitation.
“A Trump administration will secure and defend our borders…a wall will not only keep out dangerous cartels and criminals, but it will also keep out the drugs and heroin poisoning our youth.”
He also wants to aggressively investigate “sanctuary cities” – cities that don’t co-operate with federal immigration authorities in deportation cases. This he believes is the best way to get drug dealers out of the United States.
On a side note, it’s rumoured that Donald Trump is on cheap speed.
Clinton supports comprehensive immigration reforms that will provide a route by which illegal immigrants could attain full citizenship. She wants to deport violent undocumented immigrants, but otherwise intends to scale back immigration raids and increase border patrols.
Trump immigration policy is largely about building the aforementioned enormous wall along the Mexico-US border. He also wants to halt any kind of Muslim immigration into the United States, and has called for a thorough investigation of asylum seekers and refugees.
Clinton supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq and now wants to put an end to the situation it created (hindsight is 20/20). Her three-point plan for the destruction of ISIS includes stepping up bombing campaigns in Iraq and Syria, partnering with Silicon Valley to create better cyber-security infrastructure at home, and an online ‘denial-of-territory’ push that will discredit jihadist propaganda and hinder ISIS’ recruitment strategies.
Indiscriminate bombing of
countries like Iraq and Syria is of course how you wind up with organisations like ISIS. But hey, at least Clinton has a plan.
Trump says he opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq (which is up for debate), but at this time has no clear plan to deal with ISIS or the wider geopolitical situation in the Middle-East. He wants to work with the Kurds, and has made vague threats about “doing something extremely tough”. Horrors.
Guns! Something that everybody is an expert on. Clinton proposes tighter gun laws and stricter background checks, and wants to find a solution to the problem of “straw purchasers” – individuals buying a gun for another person and thus negating the background check.
Clinton has gone to great efforts to show that she’s gun literate. Most notably, during the 2008 election she devoted part of her speech to talking about learning to duck-hunt with her father. She is now making a stand against gun lobbyists and the NRA, and also wants to close a loophole that allowes gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed within three days.
And Trump? Trump loves guns. They’re great weapons, he’s used thousands of guns, he has a great relationship with gun people. He’s going to do great with the gun people, in fact a poll came out on Fox recently, he polled 25% with the gun people; someone said that if you get 25% of the gun people vote, the election is over…but if he’s elected president, he’s going to protect the gun people. He has to protect the gun people, or he won’t have a country any more. He is also on cheap speed.
Trump is a big Second Amendment person (his words). He wants to legalise concealed carry across all 50 states and believes that better mental health infrastructure is more important than a weapons ban.
A very fun topic. Clinton is a staunch defender of reproductive rights and Roe vs Wade, but has held personal reservations about it due to her religious upbringing. Clinton holds that no politician has any right to interfere with a woman’s ability to make decisions about her own body, and has pledged support for Planned Parenthood during her presidency.
Trump just fucking hates abortions. Except in 1989 and 1999 when he didn’t. He was pro-choice then. But in 2011 he wasn’t. And then between March 30 – April 1 of this year, his position changed from a system that would allow states to make decisions about abortion rights, to a system that would punish women who have abortions (but not the men involved?!).
American goes to the polls it should be assumed that Donald Trump still hates abortions. And women. And women who get abortions. But also women who don’t get abortions? Very confusing.
While it wouldn’t be entirely accurate to say that a Trump presidency would bring about the apocalypse, it will be like the worst parts of Reagan and George W. Bush on, again, cheap speed.
And regardless of whether you love or hate Clinton, her foreign policy cannot be summed up by cutting and pasting phrases from the Bible and a Reagan speech onto one of The Apprentice‘s press releases. I have heard that this is an important part of being president.
There’s no such thing as a perfect presidential candidate, but there are definitely better ones. Whether Trump or Clinton gets elected on November 8 (November 9 for Australia), the result will make history.