V-O-T-I-N-G & What it Means for You
By: Darby VanHoutan
A presidential election is bringing a huge number of issues to a worldwide stage . Believe it or not, a large amount of decisions being made by lawmakers and presidents won’t. Even. Affect. Them. Who’s it going to affect? You.
Nominees at a national, state and local level pour money and time into resources to get young people engaged. This might be due to the fact that a majority of the issues are linked directly to people aged 16-30. It’s a passionate age group. It’s made up of generation Z, millennials, and more importantly – very passionate voters.
The presidential candidates narrowed down from three democrats and seventeen republicans to democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump Although the competition between candidates narrowed, the issues remained. Here are a few of the most important issues to young people that have been heavily debated during the 2016 presidential election. You must be 18 to vote in all 50 states but are never too young to care about the issues.
- Climate Change
An almost certainty to be brought up in conversation among voters is climate change. Almost every politician has a certain viewpoint on climate change. With a multitude of scientists and experts saying global warming is real, with 2015 being the hottest year in history (since record keeping began in the 1880’s. They also say that human beings are a large contributor to this drastic global warming.
Republican nominee Donald Trump leans more toward the side of his party, agreeing that the Earth is warming but not for the reasons that link to human contribution. He wants to repeal what President Obama has put in place regarding global warming contributors.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton In her first term she has laid out plans to implement a large amount of solar panels around the United States. Clinton praises the Paris Climate Agreement attended by President Obama and other world leaders while also realizing how much more needs to be done.
What should be of utmost concern to individuals making policies and laws, it their duty to future generations.
- Education Costs
School is expensive. With college tuition higher than it has ever been, while still legitimately rising every year, it’s hard to ignore the conversation of adjusting college prices.
The person that arguably talked the most about it this presidential election was senator Bernie Sanders. He propose what many college students have asked for in the past: free college. Democrat Hillary Clinton wants to piggyback off of Sanders plans and make college not free, but much less crippling.
Republican nominee Donald Trump doesn’t have exact plans on adjusting the price of higher education. The main thing Trump says when this question comes up is how instead of the government being involved in student loans (how a majority of college students with loans are handling them, private banks would be in charge of loans. This would actually make the process more exclusive, perhaps making it harder for all students to have a chance for college.
- Minimum Wage
Yet again senator Bernie Sanders made waves in this area. Sanders pushed for a $15 minimum wage and constantly attacked republican nominee Donald Trump who said he was happy with $7.25 an hour, the current minimum wage. The problem is that many families are in a situation that they have to live on the minimum wage, which is absolutely not enough to live on.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leans towards senator Sanders on this issue though not to the extent of $15 an hour. Clinton wants to raise the minimum wage enough that it is livable.
- Health Care
Healthcare is an immensely important issue because EVERYONE needs medical care. President Obama worked to initiate the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. This, in short makes it more affordable for individuals with a low income to afford basic medical care.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton actually worked with Obama on the Affordable Care Act as Secretary of State and wants to expand this plan and work kinks out. She has also worked fervently while she was First Lady, a young politician, and Senator for new York.
Republican nominee Donald Trump plans to repeal Obamacare. He shouts this stance at his rallies and discusses his plans openly regarding the replacement he plans to put in place of Obamacare. Trump recognizes that America needs more affordable healthcare, focused on patients, but hasn’t laid out direct plans for what would be successful.
- Reproductive Rights
The right to one’s body is always up for discussion. This issue affects young people, middle aged people, older people, and everyone in between. It’s a basic right for a woman to have access to things regarding her body. Whether it’s allowing a woman her basic right to an abortion if she so chooses, contraceptives, or the funding of the organization Planned Parenthood, it’s a hot topic for good reason.
Democratic nominee plans to continue to fund Planned Parenthood and allow it so that nationwide a woman has access to facilities that are safe for abortions. She has tirelessly advocated for women’s rights dating back to when she served as First Lady, speaking to the United Nations. It was here that she famously said “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights”.
Republican nominee Donald Trump wants to enforce what his Vice President Mike Pence also endorses, which is the outlawing of abortions and the defunding of planned parenthood. He also quite infamously once said that women who do get abortions should be punished.
Voting takes place on Tuesday November 8 for both presidential and local elections.