The Deepening Divide: American Political Parties

You might be familiar with the term political parties. I think most people would conjure up images of a donkey and an elephant. Many people associate political parties with democrat and republican. In most countries, there is either no political parties or just one; or there are more than two. America is unique in having only two main parties. There may be some others but America is the best known. The point of this post is just to casually discuss the widening divide of the two main parties. I expect that with my own political compass to probably discuss the lack of a third-party.  Yesterday I was having a conversation with somebody who has some opposing views in terms of politics. The conversation really made me start to think about the political parties. In recent years, it seems that the democrats and republicans have gone to further extremes. Obviously if you were born in 2000 or after you probably wouldn’t notice.

You don’t have to be old to see the extremist stretch of the parties. All you have to know is a little historical context. I’m sure I have explained this before in some other post but its worth explaining again. Political parties started in America in 1776 on about the same day the declaration of independence was signed.  Typically historians will say somewhat ironically that after George Washington’s farewell address is when the parties really got going. I will get to George Washington’s farewell address too. But first lets discuss the political parties at that time. During the time before the constitution was signed, there were two sets of loosely based political beliefs. There was no actual organized parties til much later. The Federalists and the anti-Federalist. (Yes, very creative naming) The Federalists were led (loosely) by Alexander Hamilton. They believed that the constitution maintain a strong executive presence within the federal government. The anti-Federalists who led (loosely, not right away) by Thomas Jefferson. They believed that it should be the states who hold the majority of power not the federal government.

I say loosely lead because there wasn’t any organization not until after Thomas Jefferson’s presidency in 1801 to 1809. Now as for George Washington’s farewell address, this is part where its relevant to political parties: (Irony coming ahead)

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796 Yale Avalon Project

So here is the ironic thing about George Washington and his address, Washington himself was not above joining a party. Throughout his presidency, he tended to call on his secretary of treasury and in the revolutionary war, his first clerk to attend to government business. Alexander Hamilton was one of George Washington’s closest confidants. He also happens to be the de-facto leader of the Federalist party. Washington was actually pretty persuaded by Hamilton’s beliefs. He felt that Hamilton had the country going in the right direction. Washington also did try to stay above the Federalist and Anti-Federalist mudslinging.

If we fast forward to just before the Civil War, we see that political parties have evolved from Federalist and Anti-Federalist to Whigs and Republican-Democrats. The names seem to be different and very much the same even ironic. However, the Whigs represented the Federalist view in many ways. The Republican Democrats represented the Anti-Federalist view. The Whigs dominated the north and the Republican Democrats dominated the south. Abraham Lincoln was the end of the Whig party and the beginning of what many call today’s Republican party. At a contested convention in 1860, Lincoln was able to swing votes to his Republican party from the majority Whigs. From Lincoln time until Teddy Roosevelt, the Republicans and Southern Democrats dominated American politics. Even now, parties tend to be very regional and sectional in popularity. Its one way to define who votes for them. Of course up til 1919, it was only white men who owned land then women’s suffrage was passed.

Teddy Roosevelt was elected by a third-party, one of the few presidents to do so. The 20th century represents a major change in the parties. After Teddy, the political extremes begin to take off. You can contrast the parties in the alternating decades of their rule. The republican decade of roaring twenties saw relaxed government meanwhile the progressive era of 1930s to 1940s  with Franklin D. Roosevelt saw the Democrats dominate because of the Great Depression. The democrats also held power during World War 2 and afterwards with Harry Truman. The 1950s saw the rise of Republicanism in Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was actually pretty moderate by today’s standards. The 1960s saw JFK and LBJ, the latter passing the Great Society, the so-called “second New Deal”. The 1970s saw even more moderates like Nixon and Carter but leaned Democrat. The 1980s is when the extremes pushed higher than ever with Ronald Reagan. Since Reagan, the Republicans have pushed for more tax cuts every year. The 1990s stay relatively moderate with Bill Clinton as a centrist democrat.

My point is that over years it seems like Democrats and Republicans seem to farther apart than ever especially today. I believe this last election really show how deep the divide came. I think when you politicians like Bernie Sanders running, whose view is more socialist than democrat, you have a problem. America always been able to stay the course and not veer to extremes. In part thanks to our constitution and our checks and balances. You know its extreme when Donald Trump is considered an acceptable candidate and is elected. I don’t have a solution to this extreme push to fringes. However, I would propose that we allow more than two dominate parties. I’m a libertarian and I take some opinions from both sides and mold them into one view. I think that being extreme politically is like being ignorant. You can irrationally argue just about anything but you won’t make progress. In order to make progress, you have to accept that there are other ways to achieving the same goals. I think one of the bests to describe the dysfunction of our political parties is that they all have the same goal with a different way to get there.So why can’t we just compromise. The reason is simple. Democrats want big government to control every aspect of our lives except abortions. Republicans want government out of lives except when it comes to abortions. We need to make our goal to make America the best it can be by any means necessary. We need to compromise. Until we can do that then the only thing that will happen is Congressional deadlock and fighting.

Thanks for reading!

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Republican Debate: The Media Bashing Monster

I regretfully did not watch the debate last night because I was watching the World Series. However, the good news I was able to record the debate and watch it this morning. Let’s talk about the World Series because during the conference series I said that I hoped the Blue Jays would win over the Royals. My reason was that the Blue Jays are power hitting team similar to the Cubs. The Mets’ strength is pitching especially their starters. The Royals even before seeing the two games already played versus the Mets, I saw they could be a potentially dangerous opponent. The Royals with their contact hitting and situational genius are the Mets worse nightmare. That is what we are seeing in the World Series. Unfortunately, as a Mets fan I have to concede to the Royals because the Mets have no answer.

I also have another reason for bringing up sports before going into the nitty gritty of politics. I was watching the Herd on fox sports 1 and he was talking about the similarities of sports and politics. It is a very similar world where winners and losers are created through a contest, both being of physical and mental in nature.  Both worlds are built on big money and big time publicity. Both drive the conversation of the media. Rarely ever do sports and politics mix but as an analogy I feel they work perfectly.

In this debate, we saw countless candidates bash the media especially coming from Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Interestingly enough, these two stand to gain the most from doing so. Mr. Trump kept quiet because as I have written before, Trump has the media to thank for the success of his candidacy. Almost everyone including pundits and others feel that Cruz and Rubio are the hold the line establishment republicans. One could also include Jeb Bush in there due to his large amount of endorsements. I will come back to Bush later. I thought Cruz and Rubio both put on strong performances. They were able to grab a lot of air time. They also made their points and plans clear. The more I listen to Rubio the more I actually like him.  I that think Rubio sometimes makes sense. He also has a legitimate shot especially if Carson or Trump fall apart.

As for Jeb Bush, it seems the end is near. This article that I have linked is a very interesting one because it breaks down the performance of Bush compared to the other candidates. Bush just couldn’t seem to gain any traction or talk time. Foreign policy was not Bush’s biggest fault in this debate. (They barely touched it) Chris Christie was another surprising candidate to me. Christie helped push Bush near the edge with his blast about fantasy football. Christie literally told him, “Look, who cares about fantasy football, if they want to play let them” I thought Christie along with Mike Huckabee also put on a strong performance. Huckabee has never been my favorite candidate. He’s a little too much into religion and pushing it on others. The problem is not that he is religious but that he is willing to criticize and tried to convert anyone who isn’t. Let’s face it, Huckabee, this country is moving away from not towards to god. Fewer people attend church every Sunday now than ever in the history of this country!

Before I move on to Rand Paul’s performance, I want to rant and rave about this fantasy football thing. I believe each candidate nailed it when they said government should not be involved. However, I do believe that unregulated gambling is above the law. These daily fantasy companies definitely stretch the rules. I don’t care if people want to gamble all their money away. The problem I have is that they might actually just be blind robbing people. I read articles that their commercials which are annoying as hell, fleece the regular person who would want to play. The word ‘fleece’ means trick in this case. They show these people who are actually professional gamblers that win millions. Its not right. At least portray the reality of the game. I think that regulation to make sure there is no false advertising and there is no insider advantage. Also stop playing so many damn annoying commercials!

Pheww.

Ok then, Rand Paul’s debate performance was lackluster because he got very little air time. It seems like my man Rand always the shaft on air time. Either way, when he did get a chance to talk, he made it count. He set some things straight about taxes, the fed, and healthcare. I love how everyone says Dr. Carson is sooooo fucking great. Bullshit. I’d take Rand Paul as my doctor any day of the week. Excuse my french. For one thing, I do like Rand’s tax plan as I have written in previous posts.  I think Rand is a dark horse candidate. Despite the media ignoring him, he is still doing well. Also unlike other candidates, Rand is a class act and polite. I think its going to take more than no media attention to kill his campaign. Give me any candidate against Rand and I’ll take Rand’s view on the issues 80 percent of the time. Vote Rand.

Now let’s turn our attention to the two clowns in front. Dr. Jykell and Mr. Hyde. Aka Dr. Carson and Mr. Trump. I thought they both underperformed. I feel like Trump’s punch lines have gotten old and stale. He has been saying the same things about the same issues. Its boring. I know that they have worked in the past. I would also place the blame on the moderators who literally asked him the stupidest questions (fittingly). While Trump struggles to find a new tune to scream, Dr. Carson just finds new ways to look like a novice. I just can’t get over Dr. Carson’s inability to explain his views on issues. I also feel like  he has no clue what he is talking about. Seriously. Especially with foreign policy, I rather have Jeb Bush. (Rand Paul over anyone else) There is a big part of me that wants to see both of these candidates get lost. They might be outsiders but I don’t think they can run it properly.

The only two people whom I didn’t mention is the Ohio governor John Kasich. I felt like he did a lot of talking. Unfortunately it was always the same thing. “I have a proven record and a plan to fix Washington.” (Repeat 7 times) OK Mr. Kaisch WE GET IT. ugh. We know that you did it in OHIO. If Ohio is so great then why can’t Lebron James fix the Cavs? Riddle me that. I digress. And Carly Fiorina. Carly seem to do okay. My opinion about her hasn’t changed. The moderators went after her HP experience. The only thing I do want to say is that if her and Hillary Clinton got in a fight, a big cat fight. I think my money is on Hillary. Clinton probably beats the shit out of Bill Clinton all the time. After all, Monica kinda made them look bad. hahahaha

To bring this post full circle, I am going to use a little sports analogy. With so many candidates in the Republican field the candidates have a distinct disadvantage. Hillary Clinton has it pretty easy as a frontrunner because other than Bernie Sanders there is no other legitimate threats. (Let’s face it, Bernie is hardly an enemy basically supporting Clinton in that debate) Meanwhile the Republicans face a longer and tougher road. In sports, usually better tested teams tend to win. However, the game is a little different. The problem that Republicans face is divided support at this moment. Meanwhile Hillary enjoys a strong lead with most of the support split between her and Bernie. If Republicans want to go for the victory, they will need to focus on maybe two candidates to push behind. The two strongest candidates both outside and establishment. The more voters behind the Republican nominee the better. The nomination is like a goal line stand, your just trying to punch in the touchdown. But you don’t want to use all your energy there, because the election is a marathon with the game going into overtime. Regardless of sports or politics, there is only one thing that matters, winning.

Thanks for reading!

Democratic Debate Preview 2015

The first democratic debate will take place on October 13, 2015. The candidates have not been officially selected. In the spirit of the debate season kicking off, I want to preview some of the candidates that will be expected. Unlike the Republican debate featuring over 20 candidates, the democratic debate will feature fewer candidates but tough competition. I have already discussed two of the candidates, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on this blog. I looked at parts of their platforms and reviewed what they might offer us as president. Outside of these two candidates the field becomes less well-known. The two candidates that could possibly show up in a debate are Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb. O’Malley is a former a governor of Maryland. Webb is a senator from the state of Virginia. The both have election websites that have some substance. They both each detailed biographies that help outline who they are and let’s the American public get to know them. Here is O’Malley’s bio and here is Webb’s bio. Both worth a read especially if you are not familiar with them.

In this post, rather than nitpick through each O’Malley and Webb’s platforms, instead I want to compare their ability to compete with Bernie and Hillary on the issues. I suspect that both O’Malley and Webb both closely align with the two more popular candidates. However, if they want to be elected they will face the challenge of popularity. The problem is that Hillary Clinton is famous and has been since her husband became President in 1993. Bernie has built a solid grassroots campaign and is a fixture in congress with over 30 years of experience. For both O’Malley and Webb they will have to sell their brand of a democratic platform if they want to even be considered.

Let’s take O’Malley’s platform against both of the top candidates. O’Malley goes with a similarly vague outline of the issues. You can read it here. If O’Malley is selected for the debate, he will have to articulate and detail all his positions. He will have uphill battle trying to sell that he can get it done better than both Sanders and Hillary. I talked about minimum wage and college plans for Sanders and Clinton respectively. So how will O’Malley match up?  O’Malley matches up well with Sanders by advocating the same 15 dollar minimum wage (Same as Hillary). He also wants to fix wall street and hold it accountable. His approach is different from Sanders though. Sanders is more taking down the 1 percent and the rich and taxing them more. O’Malley just want accountability and an increase in pay and social welfare programs. If O’Malley can take more of an everyday person approach on these issues, I think he could sell it better than Sanders. However, to Sanders is his own brand of feisty and “won’t-take-no-for-answer” kind of mantra. It’s important to remember that these candidates all want the same thing, the issue is how will they make it work in favor for votes.

O’Malley highlights that he wants all schooling for pre-k to college to be debt free. Hillary’s plan which I outline in my last post on her, is more substantive. Hillary actually has a specific way that she wants to accomplish it. Unfortunately for O’Malley just saying I want education to be debt free doesn’t swing voters. He needs a plan of action. In order to head off Hillary, he would be wise to suggest a plan that uses the repeal of unnecessary tax cuts to help pay for education. Or maybe even a cut in the extra defense spending. Either of those would have an appeal to the voters. Being the former governor of Maryland certain will help him. On his website, he claims to have the best gun control in the nation. If that is really true then maybe that’s what he should really use to sway voters. My take on gun control is that taking away guns completely doesn’t stop the problem and letting everyone have guns is called a war zone. I believe that there is a medium, it combines good gun practices, laws and regulations to control who has guns and who can get them. Guns are no different from illegal drugs because black markets tend to thrive when something is forbidden.

Jim Webb goes into more depth on his issues. The very first issue is “economic fairness”. Webb cites some statistics from the Wall Street Journal supposedly. Webb does not directly come out say anything about either minimum wage or college debt. However, he looks at the tax code and how we could fix that to help. Not terribly different from either Sanders or Clinton. In fact to me, Webb sounds like Rand Paul. (Not an insult to Rand)  How would he fare against the two heavyweights?  I think on both issues against either Sanders and Clinton that Webb would fall short. The statistics are good but the specificity of how he might accomplish it is weak. Sanders and Clinton just have a much stronger conviction about how they want to change things. I feel that Webb lacks it. If Webb is selected for the debate, he will need to come out strong in his opinions on each issue. It would stand to reason that each candidate will get more time to speak at this debate. Fewer candidates means more time right?

The democratic debate will certain be interesting. The head to head of Clinton and Sanders will be based purely who can sell the most votes. The platforms of most democratic candidates is very similar. I almost think that the democratic convention should be worried about how popular they both are. Right now, Clinton is leading in the polls from what I’ve been hearing. I just wonder what will happen after the primaries select the nominee. Whoever is selected will be a force to be reckoned with. I can’t say the same for the republicans who seem to have an uphill battle even if Trump is contender. I came across this article which says that Clinton and Trump are neck in neck in the polls.

I want to write a brief opinion about some speculation, namely the potentially candidacy of current Vice President Joe Biden. I find Biden’s potential run very interesting. Of course he is still in office right now, but as Vice President he has a considerable amount of flexibility. Biden would make an interesting candidate because of his partnership with Obama. It seems that voters would likely vote for him if they liked him with Obama. The last vice president to be elected as president was Richard Nixon. I’m not sure what Biden would run on his platform. I have a hunch that it would be similar to Clinton, Sanders, Webb, and O’Malley. Biden was formerly a senator of Delaware. He has a lot of experience in politics. Biden could potentially be a dark horse candidate if he decides to run….

Thanks for reading! Next post coming soon!

Dick Cheney Affecting Foreign Policy Issues for 2016.

Dick Cheney is a former Vice President serving for 8 years under former President George W. Bush. He served in congress for many years and even in the private sector as the CEO of Halliburton. The controversy surrounding the former Vice President circulates as the election heats up for the 2016 race. I recently read another blog detailing the situation in Syria with all the refugees pouring into countries like Germany and Australia. The author also goes into some brief history about why the situation in the middle east is like it is. In this post I want to expand on that history and highlight the importance of it to today’s political situation. The same situation that will presented to our next president. Dick Cheney has come into the news because of opinion on the Iran Deal. Cheney also has various backdoor deals that have gone bad and resulted in bad publicity and even legal action.  However, despite Cheney’s involvement in shady activities, he was still able to become a powerful icon in US foreign policy. In some respects, he changed the face of foreign policy all together.

From the beginning of Cheney’s political career he was always looking to move up the ladder. He went from volunteer to Vice President in a matter of 30 years. The most important movement of Cheney’s career was his appointment to Secretary of Defense by George H.W Bush. President Clinton ran against Cheney for election in 1993 into 1994. During his time as Secretary of Defense, Cheney made major changes to how the Department of Defense worked it budget and gave out contracts. Cheney decided it was more advantageous for the DOD to privatize the government’s defense contractors. At time that he left his post, the DOD was handing out more non-competitive contracts than competitive ones. The distinction is that usually private companies will bid with each other to get the contract. Where non competitive contracts are simply awarded to one company exclusively. Under Cheney’s oversight of the contracts become more relaxed. In other words, the money and deadlines became less important. The result would become what many scholars cite as war profiteering.

Dick Cheney was not in politics after a failed presidential run against Clinton. He shifted his talents found in the DOD to the private sector. Dick Cheney became the CEO of Halliburton in a quite convenient deal for both Cheney and Halliburton. ( A private company specializing in oil equipment and eventually war making) The circumstances of the deal closely reflect to what is known as a revolving door. (Switch from Public to Private sectors or vice versa) Cheney as CEO used his government connections to help make Halliburton and himself very rich. Within a span of five years, he took Halliburton from medium-sized oil drilling company to a massive multi-billion dollar corporation. Cheney did this amazingly all using taxpayer money via those government contracts. The contracts just so happen to be awarded to Halliburton.  Wikipedia’s footnotes are a good resource. (I have also researched extensively for a past research topic)

So that is all interesting but I am sure you’re wondering why this matters? Well it matters because he doesn’t stop after five years at Halliburton. As VP Cheney takes it to a whole new level. Not only does Cheney not stop working for Halliburton but he also helps push the US into the Iraq War–allegedly that is—.  Cheney made out like a bandit too. Let’s recap now, Cheney reinvented the DOD contracts and privatized all military production and services. He pushes the US into an expensive war costing trillions. Here’s the breakdown circa 2014. Here we are today facing another tough decision on Iran. Cheney has chimed in and come out against the Iran deal. Cheney has bashed Obama and any support for the deal because he favors boots on the ground, of course. Cheney is a basket of contradictions as this article points out. Cheney was the VP for 8 years and never wanted to invade Iran even though they had a nuclear program. For Cheney, this is the normal mode of operation, playing both sides until a clear winner emerges.

All of Dick Cheney’s past political moves for money and power have boiled down to a rock and a hard place for the American people. This year’s election will be a tough decision because foreign policy has been a weakness for both Bush and Obama. The complicated nature of foreign policy and international relations makes it impossible for one person to understand it all. Ideally the candidate that can cobble together a simplified yet workable foreign policy plan should be elected.  The debate is always about if it will work. The Iran deal is sure to go through giving Iran economic relief in exchange for reducing its nuclear ability. The problem for our next president will be how to keep Iran in line without starting a full-out nuclear war. The problem with nuclear weapons is that they are the ultimate destruction and they are the ultimate deterrent. The double standard of deadly and safety at the same time is a new concept. A concept only born 70 years ago. There is no comparison to any other time. There has never been a greater weapon known to man.

For each candidate running this year, whether it’s a democrat or republican or independent, they will have to contend with this issue. How does a candidate undo or try to fix what Dick Cheney has engineered over the past 15 years? Can it be fixed? The answers to these questions are unknown. In my political opinion I think there is a starting point. That starting point has to be with the government. The department of defense needs to be controlled. Their budgets need to be strictly managed and reviewed consistently. The DOD needs to be held accountable. Bottom line. War should not dictate policy. Policy making should always go the diplomatic route first. The goal is world peace yet the US often relies on war to get that goal. The irony is obvious. The problem with my political opinion is that it doesn’t quite fit into the republican point of view. Republicans believe that we need a strong and well-funded military. However, there is no reason why we can’t cut the HIGHEST defense spending in the world. (Twice as much as the next country)

Democrats would see this as great plan, especially someone like Bernie Sanders. The disagreement for me is what they would do with that money they cut. (Probably put into social programs–that aren’t necessary) If the democratic president were to say put that money into education, healthcare or social security I would be all for it.  But I feel like putting a leash on the DOD is the least that a candidate could do. Not to mention freeing up money in the budget. I think that every candidate is going struggle with foreign policy because it’s not an easy thing to understand. In all honestly, I’m scared of Donald Trump’s foreign policy, he might build a wall around the US and drop a nuke on China. (Shattering the world economy and creating havoc) But seriously, I hope Trump hires some professional foreign policy experts.

Dick Cheney’s story is one that needs to be heard. I think it’s an important lesson. A lesson that shows that no government is perfect. Corruption doesn’t just occur out of nowhere. Corruption is done by people. Cheney took trillions from taxpayers and they should know it. I will come just short of calling Cheney evil but this why I would urge all voters to pay attention. History does and will repeat itself. I’m hoping next repeat doesn’t result in a nuclear holocaust.

Thanks for reading! 9/11 14th anniversary article soon!

King of the Hill- The scandalous Hillary Clinton

The email scandal, Benghazi, cheating husband, and questionable morals. All these are synonymous with Hillary Clinton. Clinton is best known because of her husband Bill Clinton who was president from 1993 to 1999. Bill also served as Arkansas’ governor before becoming president. Hillary Clinton adopted to public life during her roles as first lady then later as a senator of New York and most recently secretary of state. Now she wants to be president.  According her website, here, in her bio it says she was born in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois into a middle class family. She become a lawyer going to Wellesley college and eventually graduating from Yale Law. She has this great name recognition and popularity (Not the good kind) that makes her a legitimate candidate for president.

In this post I want to discuss her platform similar to my Rand Paul post and Bernie Sanders post. I want to avoid bashing her for her many scandals that seem to have the media’s attention.  I believe that ultimately her campaign isn’t helped by so many devious actions. I think her worst problem is that she avoids talking about it or admitting wrong doing. Its been proven by so many famous people who admitted it and served time in punishment can help retain respectability. Just look at Tiger Woods, Michael Vick and even Bill Clinton. Granted, that stigma will always be there, for example, Mike Vick recently was cause of a pet shelter pulling out of an event at Heinz field because of his dogfighting charges. (Here’s the story) But my point is here all of Hillary’s so-called baggage is just one aspect of her whole candidacy. I do believe that we need a president who can be honest and candid about what is happening. Transparency is so important in government.

Hillary Clinton is currently leading  Bernie Sanders according to many polls. However, Bernie is surging. Her platform is also on her website. She lays out four main headings under the title of “Four Fights”. The heading I want to look at first is “Building an economy for tomorrow” and it encompasses a lot of different issues in the economy.  When you first scroll down you see quote that she recently said. Then you see a chart, which shows the years on the horizontal from 1950 to 2010. On the vertical, it shows the cumulative percent change since 1948. See the featured image with the red arrows. The chart is supposedly if you can’t read the small writing, it’s from April 26th, 2012 from the Economic Policy Institute. (Link) It interesting to look at chart despite the fact it’s nearly 4 years out of date. If anything I am sure that the gap has not decreased but got a little bit wider. Quite simply, the chart shows that as wages increase so does productivity. Besides the fact it is out of date, the only problem I have is that increasing wages does not always mean more productivity. Also you have to consider what the business is doing and how an increased wage affects their revenue.

I added the red arrows. They point to the date the chart was supposedly made . Also the source its from.

I added the red arrows. They point to the date the chart was supposedly made . Also the source its from.

The chart brings me to the always controversial minimum wage fight. Her website does not go into specifics like Bernie Sanders and his 15 dollars an hour.  However, she argues in four point that wages should be higher with tax relief and protection for unions. The typical democratic platform with nothing out of ordinary. I could make the same argument I did with Bernie Sanders. However, I want to focus another part that comes as you scroll down the page. The college debt which she accurate claims is around 1.1 trillion dollars is something very closely related to me. As a recent college graduate I feel that college costs are out of control. In this part of the page she combines college costs, healthcare, child care and retirement. The basis being that she wants to cut costs in both healthcare and college costs. While also improving child care and making sure retirement is possible. No specifics on how she plans to do any of this.

However, coming back to college costs, Hillary did announce a plan earlier this year.  Her plan which is called the New College Compact which involves 350 billion dollars over 10 years by supposedly cutting tax deductions. This plan sounds great at first. it seems a little scary because the tax deductions that might get cut could be critical. I just hope if she’s elected that she does not screw over the middle class with tax increases. The only problem with cutting college costs is that usually that responsibility falls on the taxpayers instead of the student. Any candidate who proposes a plan should definitely consider that putting too much tax weight on taxpayers could have huge consequences. So a plan affording college should ideally come from somewhere else in the massive federal budget. The rest of the page on the economy is small businesses and corporations. I would definitely recommend reading for yourself.

Another one of four fights is called revitalizing our democracy. In this fight, Clinton takes a really great stance on issues of bipartisanship, voting rights and money in politics. All of these issues are big time problems within American politics. The fact that she is able recognize this is a good sign. She endorses working with conservatives to make sure things get done. One thing that I really like is that she wants to repair the voting rights act. The supreme court recently took a nice chunk of the legislation out. This was a huge to minority voters especially in the southern states. I strong believe that all races, origins, creeds and sexual orientations should be able to vote freely without ID or any sort of harassment. It’s absurd to call America a democracy when some people have restricted voting rights. For those who fell asleep in history class here is a brief breakdown how the voting rights act got passed.

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the greatest civil rights leaders known in the US. He was able to fight for the rights of minorities everywhere. He changed the social and politic landscape alike. Due to peaceful activism and lobbying, he was able to gain the ear of then President Lyndon B. Johnson during the mid 1960s.  One of LBJ’s missions as president was to pass a sweeping domestic legislation package known as the Great Society. LBJ was a new dealer of his time with intentions similar to that Franklin D. Roosevelt during the depression and oncoming world war. LBJ’s Great Society include many pieces of legislation including the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act, Public Housing Act, and the voting rights act. This landmark legislation was LBJ life’s work. He came up through the senate and house of representatives as minority and majority leader. He learned the secrets of passing laws in congress and was able to use that knowledge as President. When Martin Luther King Jr. and his posse met with LBJ they were able to work out details of the voting rights act. The act gave all black men and women the right to vote. The southern states since after civil war had made a set of laws called Jim Crow laws. These discriminated against minorities especially blacks. The voting rights act superseded the state law of Jim Crow. This act was lobbied for by Martin Luther King Jr and considered of LBJ’s accomplishments as President.

My point is that I love that Hillary wants to repair the voting rights act. She may not act honest and open about her own devious actions but at least she has decency to make America a real democracy. Everyone who is 18 and registered to vote should be able to do so. I can’t stress the importance of voting. Its your civic duty and the least you can do. The advent of social media and internet has elections easier than ever to learn about the candidates. Please vote. Another thing relating to voting and elections is the spending involved. It’s literally crazy expensive to run for president as legitimate candidate. A candidate needs at least minimum a billion dollars whether that’s through fundraising or their own money. That is ridiculous if you ask me.

Hillary advocates for campaign finance reform and a cut in corruption. I strongly agree. I would take this a step further and make all political positions volunteer. Let’s be honest, how can the average joe compete with billionaires that have resources beyond the wildest imagination. If each position of President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Treasurer, House of Representative, and senate are all volunteer along with fundraising only not personal money. I would love to see how many billionaires win. Not many. Plus without the salary, benefits and perks the government would run much more cost effectively. The truly best candidates would win. The taxpayers already pay for everything so whatever expenses that are incurred can be picked up. it will be much less than it is now.

Hillary Clinton’s website is certainly interesting. I would definitely recommend reading all of the four fights. Whether you are republican, democrat or independent.  Surprisingly, Hillary offers some good insight about what America needs. Her vagueness is what really makes me worry. The real question is what she will do once she has the country’s purse strings in her hand. Our national debt is ever-increasing. Any candidate has to be careful about spending. Overall I would say that her website is pretty much standard for most politicians. If Hillary is elected, she will be the first ever woman president.

Thank you for reading! Next article coming in a few days as my birthday is on Labor Day.