Student offers insight on popular presidential candidates

by: MAKENZIE MEANS/Staff Writer 

Although the 2016 presidential race kicked off just a few months ago, it is going to be interesting to watch during the next year.

With 15 Republicans and six Democrats running for their party’s nomination, this may just be the biggest presidential race ever. Since there are so many people running, I will only share my opinion on a handful of candidates.

Starting with one of the most talked about candidates, Donald Trump is currently leading the Republicans by almost double digits. I think that Mr. Trump does make some good points concerning certain issues. Unfortunately, he also does not convey his message with the best wording and often comes off as racist, sexist, or sometimes hateful. Trump has not introduced many plans or policies to help our country besides building a huge wall on the border. He also has to remind everyone that he is a successful business man every time he opens his mouth. I believe that he is just trying to tell Americans that he can make our country economically successful. Even though he has done business with people of the opposing party, he did it from a business prospective. I think that, as a president, it is important to be able to work with both parties. I am just concerned that Trump will flip flop on important issues. I do like that he will stand up for himself. That is a very important characteristic for a president to have that I don’t think I have seen in the past eight years.

Another talked-about candidate is Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. Clinton has been linked to more scandals than any other presidential candidate. The main thing on almost every news station is Clinton’s e-mail scandal. Clinton has been accused of illegally using her private e-mail server while she was serving as Secretary of State. This raises many concerns for me. If she was willing to break the law for e-mails, what will she do if she is elected president? Another scandal she has been connected with is the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the American diplomatic building in Benghazi that left four people dead. This is scandalous, because Clinton used her private e-mail to discuss information about Benghazi. For Clinton, this could ruin her bid to be the first female president. With that information aside, Clinton’s campaign promises are unreasonable. Her plans will raise taxes and end up hurting the working class. She continues to stand with and support Planned Parenthood despite their recent scandals. Almost everything tied to Clinton involves some type of scandal. Where our country is now, I don’t think a scandalous leader is what we need.

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Even though he continues to fall in the polls, Jeb Bush is a talked-about Republican candidate. Unfortunately for Bush, he is going to have to take criticism or answer for what his father and brother, George H. W. and George W, respectively, did when they were president. Jeb did stand up for his brother during the recent debate, stating that his brother went to war to keep America safe. I believe that Bush wants the best for America, but I think he may be too weak to lead us right now. The polls are evidence that maybe Bush may just need to go ahead and drop out or pick up his game.

My presidential hopeful is Ted Cruz. Cruz has experience in politics. He stands up for his beliefs (religious and otherwise), and he has strong plans for foreign policy. Cruz is a senator from Texas who has given a filibuster over Obamacare. Cruz also repeatedly stands up for religious freedoms. When it comes to the rights of Christians, Cruz will make sure that they are not infringed upon. He also is currently fighting against the Iran Deal and federal funding for Planned Parenthood. With Cruz, there is evidence that he will actually defend what he says he stands for. A lot of the other candidates have wavered back and forth about important issues.

Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, is another Republican nominee who is surging in the polls. I think that Dr. Carson is a very smart man who can make an impact in politics. Although it is nice to see other people besides politicians running for president, I think that Dr. Carson’s lack of political experience does affect his ability to create successful foreign policy. Considering everything that is going on in the Middle East and with ISIS, strong foreign policy and knowledge of the subject is crucial for our next president. I would like to see Dr. Carson be a vice president, since he is a logical man.

Another Democratic candidate is Bernie Sanders. My major issue with Sanders is his desire to avoid war. He thinks that it should be the last option, but sometimes it has to be the first. Once again, our country needs someone who is willing to protect our country and stop our enemies. Anyone who is willing to cut back on military and military spending does not have my vote. Another issue I have with Sanders is that he wants to make minimum wage $15 an hour. My issue with this is that some jobs do not need to be making $15 an hour. This will eventually hurt the employer to the point they will have to lay people off. Jumping from our current minimum wage to $15 an hour will shock employers and their budgets.

Both Clinton and Sanders believe that college should be free or more affordable. As a student, it is hard not to want those things. But I have to remember that things don’t come free in life. Someone, taxpayers, will have to pay for this “free college.” College won’t be free if taxpayers are forced to pay for it.

Even though there are a lot of presidential candidates, it is important to know what they believe in. It is also important to know their history with keeping their stand on issues.