Let’s begin with something we can all agree on. We don’t like either candidate. National polls show negative ratings of over 60% for both candidates. That actually makes this election much simpler. We must vote for the candidate that best represents the policies we believe are best for America.
The media is focusing on the many sins of Donald Trump in his personal life. These are certainly egregious and disturbing. But Hillary Clinton doesn’t win the test of character, either. Her sins are just as numerous and even more disturbing since they represent misuse of government power and possibly criminal behavior whitewashed by the Obama Department of Justice.
Therefore, we must ignore the intense focus of the media on these character issues and instead focus on the kind of future each candidate’s position promises for our country.
The Major Issues
According to the Pew Research Center, the top issues of concern in the 2016 election are:
- Foreign policy
- Gun policy
- Social Security
- Supreme Court appointments
- Treatment of racial, ethnic minorities
- Treatment of gays, lesbians, and transgender people
Democrats and Republicans differ on their interest in these issues, in some cases significantly. Intensity of interest also changes the priority list slightly as this next illustration shows:
By this list the top six issues are:
- Foreign policy
- Health care
- Supreme Court appointments
Notably lacking from this list are those issues the media loves to focus on including racism, abortion, the environment, and treatment of gays, lesbians and transgender people. The fact is that these emotionally charged issues don’t impact the concerns of most Americans when compared to much more important issues like paying the bills, feeling safe from terrorists, defending our country and getting good healthcare.
So let’s focus on these six real issues of greatest concern to most Americans and see where these two candidates stand. An informed electorate is critical to republican government.
“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government;… whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.” —Thomas Jefferson to Richard Price, 1789. ME 7:253
It was Bill Clinton who used the catchphrase “it’s the economy, stupid” in the 1992 presidential election to call attention to this issue. Little has changed since then. Americans from both parties still consider this the top priority in this election.
I laid out the economic plans of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in earlier posts Clinton v. Trump Economics – Part I and Clinton v. Trump Economics – Part II and will not repeat those details here. Simply stated, Hillary wants to continue the failed economic policies of President Obama that have mired our country in economic stagnation for seven years after the end of the Great Recession.
It was Alfred Einstein who said, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity.” There is zero chance of lifting our country out of this economic morass with the Clinton continuation of Obama’s policies. The only hope for improvement is the economic plan of Donald Trump.
Americans are rightly concerned about the growing threat of terrorism. When we have a government that refuses to even call it what it is, radical Islamic terrorism, there is little hope of defeating the enemy. Hillary Clinton continues the Obama refusal to correctly state the problem and furthermore wants to increase the number of Syrian refugees coming into our country when everyone knows we cannot accurately vet these refugees.
It is not discrimination against their religion but rather their potential as terrorists that rightly calls for reluctance in allowing them into our country. We have the moral right and obligation to our citizenry to use an abundance of caution to ensure their safety. The lessons of Europe’s terrorism tragedies calls for nothing less than a moratorium on refugees from those countries where terrorism abounds.
Trump’s initial ban on Muslim immigration was an overstated but understandable reaction to the mounting list of terrorists acts around the globe. His recent modification to “extreme vetting” reflects a focus on the real issue – protecting American lives, not discrimination against all Muslims.
This issue has been batted around like a political football for years. Republicans argue over amnesty for those illegals already in the country while Democrats favor open borders because the influx of immigrants enlarges their voting block. It’s time we as Americans came to grips with the fact that without border control we have no control over the future of our country.
Barack Obama came into office pledging “comprehensive immigration reform” with control of both house of Congress. Then he didn’t even pressure that Congress to come up with a solution – even though he had all the votes he needed! This exposed the Democratic lie that they want reform. In reality they favor the open border policy and demagogue the issue whenever serious reform is discussed by Republicans.
Nothing will change under a Clinton presidency. In fact, she has called for more unlawful executive orders to allow illegal immigration like President Obama’s that were struck down by the courts as unconstitutional. Trump has made this a hallmark of his candidacy and will push for real reform, further exposing the Democratic hypocrisy.
(Part II of this post will discuss the last three of the top six issues in this election.)