By Livi Nichols
The 2016 United States Presidential race has been dominating media outlets for the past few months. With election day coming up on November 8th you’ve probably heard a lot about who will replace America’s current president: Barack Obama. Surely you know about the two candidates of the major parties- Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and Donald Trump (Republican)- but did you know that there are quite a few other candidates running for President as well? Here is a basic summary of some of the main candidates and their stances on specific policies.
First, we’ll start out with background information. Hillary Clinton is our current Secretary of State; she attended Wellesley College and went on to graduate from Yale Law School. Her running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in economics. He then went on to graduate from Harvard Law School. This duo has a significant amount of experience in government, especially because they have both served as attorneys.
Donald Trump attended Fordham University in the Bronx for two years, and then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, graduating from the Wharton School of Business with a bachelor in economics. His running mate, Mike Pence, is a name that we Hoosiers are very familiar with. He has been very invested in our state community, graduating from Hanover College and then earning a law degree at Indiana University in Bloomington. Donald Trump has received a considerable amount of flak for his lack of experience in government, but he’s actually not the only candidate lacking an uber-political resume.
Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson considers himself an entrepreneur instead of a politician, and like Donald Trump, he has a successful history in business. Johnson graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He has served two terms as Governor of New Mexico. His running mate, Bill Weld, also served as Governor for two terms in the state of Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard, spent a year at Oxford University, and then went back to Harvard for law school. Both Johnson and Weld served as Republican Governors.
You’ve undoubtedly heard about Hillary Clinton and the significance of her being the first woman to receive a major party’s nomination, but Clinton is not the only female running in the 2016 Presidential race. Jill Stein was the presidential nominee in 2012 for the Green Party, and is running again for this year’s campaign. Stein graduated from Harvard magna cum laude and then went on to Harvard Medical School. She is well known for social activism and has run for numerous offices in Massachusetts. Her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, is also a human rights activist and attended Clark Atlanta University. Both Green Party leaders were born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.
One more Presidential nominee is Darrell Castle for the Constitution Party. Castle graduated from East Tennessee State University, served in the United States Marine Corps, and then graduated with a law degree from the University of Memphis. He opened his own law firm five years later and has expanded across the Southern and Midwestern United States. The vice presidential candidate, Scott E. Bradley, was born and raised in Utah, and served in the Utah Air National Guard. Bradley received a bachelor of arts from Westminster College, a master’s in public administration from Brigham Young, and a PhD in constitutional law from George Wythe University. Both leaders of the Constitutional party are veterans and devout Christians, which play an important role in their policy stances.
Abortion: Pro-Choice, she supports funding for Planned Parenthood.
Gun Control: Wants to implement stricter regulation. She wants to repeal gun industry liability protections and require background checks for the purchase of firearms.
Immigration: Wants to establish an office of immigrant affairs to regulate American immigration policies. She supports immigration reform with a designated pathway to citizenship.
Foreign Policy: She wants to shut down the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. She is for declaring war on ISIS through targeted airstrikes. She supports Obama’s movement to reestablish relations with the Republic of Cuba.
Economics: Wants to raise taxes, especially on the top 1% (people earning $732,000 or above in a given year) and cut tax breaks on companies that provide jobs overseas, instead of here in America. She believes that labor unions are beneficial and wants to raise minimum wage.
Environment/Climate Change: Pledged to change half of America’s energy consumption into renewable resources by 2030. Supports the Paris Climate Agreement.
Abortion: Pro-life, except in cases of rape, incest, or health problems that pose a threat to the mother’s life. He does not support the funding of Planned Parenthood.
Gun Control: Believes that gun free zones should not exist and that more people should have guns in order to protect themselves; he was endorsed by the National Rifle Association.
Immigration: Pushing for a wall along the Mexican/American border. He wants to ban immigrants from “high risk” countries (yes, you know what that means: primarily Muslims) and increase deportation of illegal immigrants.
Foreign Policy: He is for increasing military spending and declaring war on ISIS. He wants to send in ground troops to Syria. He is not opposed to waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques.
Economics: Wants to create more tax cuts for businesses, wants to lower all income taxes, and wants to lower the number of tax income tax brackets.
Environment/Climate Change: Does not support the Paris Climate Agreement. Does not believe in climate change, considers it a “hoax.” He does not believe that humans did not cause climate change, and that it is a natural occurrence for Earth.
Abortion: Pro-Choice, he supports federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
Gun Control: Does not believe stricter gun laws would be beneficial.
Immigration: Supports comprehensive immigration reform, wants to make immigration less strict and more available to individuals who are wanting to work and have no criminal record.
Foreign Policy: Wants to decrease military spending and stay out of conflict in the Middle East. He wants to shut down the NSA and stay out of foreign affairs unless they directly involve the US.
Economics: Wants to eliminate income and corporate taxes and replace them with a federal consumption tax.
Environment/Climate Change: He believes that humans are contributing to climate change but does not believe the government has any obligation to this topic. He is against cap and trade taxation on carbon.
Abortion: Pro-Choice, she supports the funding of Planned Parenthood and recognizes value in the other services PP provides, such as cancer screenings and prenatal services.
Gun Control: Wants to ban assault weapons and implement regulations that wouldn’t allow criminals and individuals with mental illness to buy guns.
Immigration: Opposes deportation completely. She supports the DREAM act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors).
Foreign Policy: Wants to decrease military spending and is opposed to declaring war on ISIS. She believes we should be taking in more refugees from Syria, and withdraw from NATO.
Economics: Stein wants to raise taxes and reduce military spending. She believes property taxes are one of the most important sources of state revenue.
Environment/Climate Change: As the Green Party Candidate, this is one of her main platforms. She is a big advocate for local, green economies. She pushes for clean energy and sustainable agriculture. She has proposed the Green New Deal, which is solely focused on helping American’s tackle the problems with climate change and fossil fuels vs clean energy.
Abortion: Castle is strictly pro-life and is against the funding of planned parenthood.
Gun Control: Against tightening up restrictions on gun control.
Immigration: Wants to “secure American borders by whatever means prove necessary.” Wants to establish much more control and strict rules to immigrating into America.
Foreign Policy: As a veteran, Castle wants to avoid the prospect of war. He is against declaring war on ISIS and sending in troops. He does not believe in providing foreign aid to other countries.
Economics: Castle opposes all taxes increases and public service unions. He is against raising the minimum wage.
Environment/Climate Change: Has stated that he is against the UN’s Agenda 21. He is opposed to increasing regulations that focus on preventing climate change.
This election is unlike any that we’ve had in the past. It’s extremely important to get out and vote (if eligible) and stay educated on the candidate platforms. There is so much to learn about the future of our country!