• 2016 Election: People vs. Policy

    This election, as everyone knows, is crazy. The Republican primary defied all expectations--a certain real estate dealer became the Republican nominee for president, despite his mimicry of a second-grade bully. Except, of course, second graders do not speak about sexually assaulting women. It's surprising not only to scholars, political theorists, and pundits, but also to students, parents, and Americans.

    And, as is expected, Hillary and her campaign are taking advantage of this surprise. It's stunning that this man (who here will go unnamed) can continue to run for President despite alienating more than half of the people (i.e. women) whose vote he is asking for. I cannot believe that someone as wealthy as he is does not pay his fair share, in terms of federal income taxes, certainly, but also in terms of regular charitable giving (his foundation paid his company's legal bills).

    But what I'm saying here has not gone unsaid. The backlash against Trump, from celebrities, businessmen and women, political leaders, and thinkers of all stripes, has been direct and forceful. While he still garners support among his base, his reputation has been ruined for almost every other American. Although it looks like he still may be able to use the election for monetary gains, several groups and individuals have already cut financial ties with him.
    Trump has been ridiculed, lambasted, and more; our Hillary Clinton herself has fought him tooth and nail.

    And, as the race became close, and Americans became scared, the narrative started to become about Donald Trump's character and personality. Right now, a decisive number of American voters are going to vote for Secretary Clinton because they do not believe that such a man can be trusted with nuclear warheads. But the voters are not voting for Hillary because of her nuclear policy. It's a strange dynamic! Ultimately Hillary’s maternity pay policy and her decades of fighting for women and families aren’t what's going to win her the White House--rather, it is the fact that Mr. Trump is the misogynist that he is.

    This election is about people, and not about policy. I'm 16, and although I do a lot of political organizing work, I can't actually vote. My support for Hillary, however, is not won because I do not like Donald Trump, the man. It is because I support the policy proposals that I believe Hillary will fight for.

    Climate change, and the destruction of our natural world, is one set of issues that I am passionate about. Not only has Donald Trump, regardless of his present opinion, denied climate change, but his policies lack any concern for our environment whatsoever! His stubborn stupidity surrounding the issue of coal is ignorant, reckless, and will end up hurting the working families of Appalachia, as well as the working families of our globe. He has no policies to rein in Wall Street, and has not even mentioned the need for the protection of consumers from massive financial institutions. His other economic claims are based on old, disproved dogmas which will benefit the super-rich (read: him) or play into the partly misguided emotions of his angry, passionate, highly misguided, base! And do not get me started on his immigration policy, or his views on education, or what he calls his foreign policy, or guns, or even his claims to help out veterans.

    Even within his twisted, scientifically incorrect policy plans, he has no policy! His ideas are based on values, meant to stir up donors, voters, and make the Republican Party Honchos smile and pat themselves on the back. All of this, of course, forms a strong contrast to the specific, intelligent, and articulate policy awareness of our HRC!

    Hillary's acutely knowledgeable about all of the international players, from Syria to China; she was the one who developed sanctions strong enough to bring Iran to the bargaining table. Her plans regarding shadow banking, gun safety, investments in clean energy as well as infrastructure, and,rebuilding the Veterans Administration, all look at the issues as nuanced, complex, and incrementally solvable. Not only do I believe that Hillary Clinton is smart enough to know what we need to get done, but she is the only one capable enough to go to Washington and actually make those things happen. And, quite frankly, I know that Donald Trump is not. Regardless of who they are as people, I know that I am a teen4Hillary because of her policy.

    Photo credit to Barack Obama 
     

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