Opinion

Candidate Policies: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

An overview of the policies of the remaining presidential candidates.

 

 

By: Shubham Saharan

With the New Jersey primaries rapidly approaching on June 7, now is a great time for all of us to brush up the policies of each remaining candidate.

Republican(s)

Donald Trump

Unfortunately, we have come down to only having one Republican nominee.  Of course, of all the conservatives it could have been, we get stuck with this over-glorified potato.  But, given that this overview has to remain slightly unbiased, let’s take a look at some of his policies.

Foreign Policy

We’ve all heard the infamous, “I’m going to build a large wall, and on top of it, I’m going to make Mexico pay for all of it.”  But Trump’s plans do not simply end with building the Great Wall of Trump.  According to the latest debates and interviews, developments of his ever-evolving and elusive foreign policies include perhaps pulling out of one of the most beneficial international coalitions our country has ever been a part of, NATO, developing and calling for the increase in nuclear proliferation, and hiking up tariffs to a point we haven’t seen since the Smoot-Hawley bill of 1930.

Economy and Jobs

Ironically, even though he is one of the “greatest businessmen alive,” Trump’s economic policies leave much to be desired.  Not even addressing the detrimental effects increasing tariffs on China (if they don’t behave!) is going to have on our economy, one of the biggest stances Trump has taken is decreasing business taxes and taxes on the rich, once again.  Clearly, we haven’t learned about the awful effects of Reagan’s trickledown economics in the past 30-odd years.  In fact, Trump has even stated that under his presidency, we can never default on another loan or go into more debt, because he can just print more money—as if that won’t cause hyperinflation.

Civil Liberties

White supremacy and Islamophobia have long been linked to Trump’s campaign, but he’s taken it a bit too far with his policies.  His latest propositions have included implementing surveillance in certain mosques with no information provided as to how these mosques will be chosen.  He’s even suggested Muslims register in a nation-wide database.  This demagogue has even gone so far as to compare Muslims to the Trojan Horse, people who are coming into the country only to wreak havoc upon our national security.  You’d think after all these years we would come further than the McCarthyism that plagued our nation 60 years ago, but evidently not, considering how well Trump is doing.

Education

Like many of his other policies, Trump’s views on how to fix flaws in our education system are contradictory, to say the least.  Although he acknowledges the fact that there needs to major reforms, his one solution seems to be to cut funding from the board of education to try and fix the dilapidated system.

Running Mate Possibilities

Our very own Chris Christie has been the frontrunner for Trump’s running mate since January when he voiced strong support for his policies and ideologies for the future of America.  The fact that Trump has appointed him as head of his potential transition crew seems to only solidify his position.  However, Jeff Sessions, Senator from Alabama and Trump’s top foreign policy advisor, former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich, and former candidate Ben Carson have all been named as potential running mates.  Perhaps the most interesting option is former Republican candidate John Kasich, who Trump has expressed explicit interest in, but whom has denied any interest himself.

 

Democrats

Bernie Sanders

This unconventional candidate has taken leaps and bounds in his campaign and has both become a serious contender for Hillary Clinton and for the Democratic nomination as a whole.

Foreign Policy

“Strength through diplomacy,” has become a rallying cry for Sander’s foreign policies.  Some of his top priorities include supporting and ensuring the Iran Nuclear Deal and making sure that there isn’t further turmoil in the region, which in it of itself is a bit of an impossible goal considering the festering of radical groups like ISIS.  Promoting a two-state resolution between Israel and Palestine seems to be a topic very important to Sanders; however, detail as to how Sanders is going to do this have yet to be revealed.

Economy and Jobs

A commonality between both Democratic candidates seems to be investing in infrastructure, and in Sanders’s case, this involves re-investing one billion dollars into our bridges, roads and highways.  His other great triumph seems to be raising the minimum wage to $15.  However, the biggest contention people have against him is that economists say Sanders’s plan will potentially increase the national deficit by about eighteen billion dollars (CBS News).

Civil Liberties

Sanders constantly asserts that right to privacy shouldn’t be the price we pay for national security, which completely goes against Trump’s idea to put surveillance systems for a certain sect of society.  Instead, Sanders wants to work with local authorities to ensure the safety of the American people.  Since the start of his political involvement, Bernie has always been a LGBTQ+ advocate and a proponent of equal rights regardless of race.

Education

Needless to say, Bernie has been garnering much of his support from the student population of America who absolutely adore his plan for higher educational reform.  Some of his largest goals include making tuitions for public colleges and universities completely free by “making Wall Street pay,” stopping the federal government from profiting on student loans, and overall, cutting student interest rates.

Running Mates

Though Sanders has not been very vocal about who he himself is thinking of naming as his potential vice president, a few names like Senator Amy Klobutcher, Congressman Keith Ellingson, and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth have popped up.

Hillary Clinton

Despite all the bashing she has received for her e-mail scandal and Benghazi, Clinton still holds first place for the Democratic nomination.

Foreign Policy

As former Secretary of State, Clinton already has the experience to be Commander in Chief.  Some of her prime goals for our foreign policy include maintaining a cutting-edge military, strengthening international alliances, cultivating new partners, standing up to aggressors such as ISIS, and enforcing the Iran nuclear agreement.  Although she hasn’t advocated large-scale ground operations, she has pushed for the creation of “safe zones” in Syria and further intervention in the Middle East.

Economy and Jobs

Raining minimum wage, creating well-paying jobs, and building an economy that works for everyone—not just the top one percent—seem to be Clinton’s top priorities.  She plans on cutting taxes for the middle class, while ensuring that the wealthiest pay their fair share of taxes to reinvest in infrastructure.  In terms of our national deficit, Hillary plans on putting her husband and former US President Bill Clinton in charge of “revitalizing the economy” (New York Times). Provocative choice considering the last time our federal budget was balanced and we had a slight surplus was under his presidency.

Civil Liberties

With all the support she has been garnering from minority groups and African Americans, Hillary ensures that she has a multi-faceted plan to defend civil liberties that affects us all.  As always, she is a strong proponent of ensuring that women get equal pay and that minority groups are not discriminated against, and plans to fight systemic racism in education and employment.  She is also an advocate of the bipartisan USA Freedom Act President Obama recently signed into law, which protects privacy while giving our intelligence and law enforcement agencies what they need to keep us safe.

Education

Education seems to be the one facet that Clinton seems to be slacking off on the most, as she has not provided significant details on her reform plan.  She seems to constantly flip-flop with her viewpoint on charter schools and teacher tenure, despite the fact that she has endorsements from the two largest teacher unions in the country: the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.

Running Mates

They may still be in the midst of a contentious primary race, but Democratic voters appear to want Hillary and Bernie to run on the same presidential ticket later this year.  Sanders has yet to comment on this matter.  The other top contender is our very own NJ Senator Corey Booker.

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