Recruiters interviewing job candidates will sometimes ask themselves, “If I were stuck in an airport for an eight-hour layover, would I want to be stuck with this person?” The policies of the next administration will shape the rest of our lives—everything from how much money in student loans we will have to borrow to whether or not we will have jobs when we graduate. Now is the time we must ask ourselves, “If I’m stuck in school for another eight years, who would I want to be stuck with in the White House to forge my future?”
Hillary Clinton, Former United States Secretary of State
A moderate, establishment Democrat who has weathered over 30 years in the political sphere, Hillary Clinton has received considerable support in an election that is characterized by extremism. Supporters of Clinton cite her extensive experience when arguing for her party nomination. They believe that her economic policies of regulating Wall Street, having mixed markets, and giving stronger power to labor unions—not as radical as her opponent Bernie Sanders’ proposals—would advance the economy. Hillary plans to, “Cut taxes for the middle class, raise the minimum wage, and ensure the wealthiest pay their fair share”— policies that she claims will stabilize the economy and stave off inequality. Advocates of Clinton also hold that she would be most suited to deal with the geo-politically complex regions where the United States is active. Her fervent support of the nuclear deal with Iran shows that she is able and willing to negotiate with nations that our country has historically struggled with.
Socially, Clinton has recently become a firm advocate of marriage equality and a woman’s right to an abortion, upholding many of the same social positions of Senator Sanders. Critics often rebuff that Hillary Clinton lacks integrity or is tarnished by her status as an establishment politician, but their attempts at character assassination failed after Clinton’s skillful defense at the Benghazi hearings. Hillary is a candidate who has widespread support, reasonable policy proposals, and over ten years spent at top tier governance.
Donald Trump, Business Man
Donald Trump is not your traditional Republican favorite— the mogul and former television personality has swayed back and forth across the political spectrum in what the arch-conservative National Review deems, “Philosophically unmoored political [opportunism].”
Although, his economic platform is considered to be more liberal, his reactionary social platform stands in contrast to young people’s tolerance and secularity. He often touts his expertise in business, which his backers assert will provide expertise when managing fiscal policy. Those who support Trump believe that his skills at deal-making will benefit the nation during international negotiations. In regards to student loans, Trump has condemned the federal government’s collection of over 43 billion dollars in interest from student loans, but has presented no policies to alleviate the crisis. Critics of Trump say that his braggadocio will hurt America abroad, and that his social conservatism and protectionism are the manifestation of widespread anger at establishment politics. Trump’s plan to bar Muslims from entering the US and his subtle anti-Semitism sentiments have led to accusations of xenophobia.
In short, although Trump may support student loan forgiveness programs, his anti-free market leanings would cost jobs and likely make it significantly harder for those entering the work force.
Bernie Sanders, The junior Senator from Vermont
Although his economic policies are appealing for many young voters, Bernie Sander’s extreme liberal views would weaken America in the global field. Sanders has been firmly behind free tuition to all public universities, a policy that appeals to many young voters, and wishes to increase government spending to combat economic inequality. However, with all these free services, there comes a price. In the countries that model his proposed policy, youth unemployment is significantly higher than that in the United States. If we really want free college, we are going to have to pay for it in jobs and tax hikes.
Sanders represents a leftward current in the American political scene, a movement that is taking a liberal approach to social issues such as race and worker unions. He is, by far, the most radical liberal candidate to have ever gained so much momentum. However, should Sanders become president, a conservative Democratic and Republican front would most likely unite to counter almost all of his radical policy proposals.