“At this point, Donald Trump announcing whether he’s running for President is like soccer’s World Cup – It happens every four years and no one in America cares.”
– Jimmy Fallon
We have chosen an interesting time to move to New York. Initially, when we were planning to come here we thought the main news story would be the city preparing to host the 2020 Olympic games. But then on June 16 things got a little interesting; Donald Trump threw his hat in the ring as a presidential candidate for the 2016 election. Sure, he has been considered a potential candidate for every election since 1988, he even declared himself a candidate for the Reform Party’s presidential nomination in 1999, but withdrew in early 2000. In other words, the insane political circus happening right now has been on the cards for the best part of 27 years, I guess nobody ever truly believed it would happen.
Initially, I thought Trump would get a few votes from dumbass college kids doing it for their own amusement and rich guys trying to get richer, but it seems to be a lot more than an in-joke among frat-boys and a ‘Get out of jail free’ card for his kind.
The main reason I am writing this post is for my own educational purposes. I don’t really understand political systems in this country and it is currently impossible to avoid this story. Besides the foot-in-mouth quotes “The Donald” seems to make on a daily basis, I’d like to truly comprehend what I’m bombarded with on a daily basis. I keep hearing about the different political parties, but I simply don’t get it, so I did a little research and I present to you…
American Political Parties 101.
Democrats have long been known as the liberal party, or the left-wing, in the United States. Democrats tend to support progressive social causes, a stronger taxation system, and social programmes based on community responsibility. Social liberalism says government should be involved in addressing issues such as poverty and access to education, as well as healthcare. In general it is pro-abortion and anti-free enterprise, supporting higher taxes, anti-gun policies, and a much larger, more invasive government.
While Democrats have maintained broad appeal, over the years they have received much of their support from lower-income workers, labourers, ethnic minorities, and social liberals. Some of this support has to do with the party’s focus on favouring business regulations and a progressive approach to taxation. Such measures, the party says, increase market fairness, prevent unfair labor practices, and fund social programs intended to help the disadvantaged.
Democrats generally support government funding to help those in poverty and those facing social injustice. They are more likely to believe government initiatives and regulations can develop the economy and reduce business practices they argue negatively affect average Americans.
Democrat candidates featured in five or more major independent nationwide polls and average approval rating for the period Aug. 9-16th:
– Lincoln Chafee 0.7%
– Hillary Clinton 48.7%
– Martin O’Malley 1.7%
– Bernie Sanders 27.7%
– Jim Webb 1.3%
– Joe Biden 12.0%
The Republicans, the right-wing party, on the other hand aren’t as easy to define. They believe in smaller government, self-sufficiency, individual responsibility, the oppourtunity for individuals to succeed in this country, limited entitlement programs, lower taxes, increasing revenues by economic growth and jobs, and believe in the rights of the individual.
Republicans have a better grasp of how business and the economy work and tend to be more logical and analytical, however, they are accused of not caring about the poor or needy. In reality they believe that each individual has the ability and potential for success and that any assistance should be to help that individual get on their own feet.
Other core beliefs of the Republican party include sanctity of human life, protecting traditional marriage, the right to bear arms, safeguarding religious liberties, and freedom of speech.
Republican candidates featured in five or more major independent nationwide polls and average approval rating for the period Aug. 9-16th:
– Jeb Bush 10.7%
– Ben Carson 9.7%
– Chris Christie 3.3%
– Ted Cruz 7.3%
– Carly Fiorina 6.3%
– Lindsey Graham 0.3%
– Mike Huckabee 4.3%
– Bobby Jindal 0.7%
– John Kasich 4.3%
– Rand Paul 4.3%
– Rick Perry 1.3%
– Marco Rubio 7.3%
– Rick Santorum 1.0%
– Donald Trump 22.0%
– Scott Walker 7.7%
What does all of this mean? Well, according to this, each party’s stance on the following issues will generally be as follows:
|Affirmative Action||For (i.e. maintain race-based preferences)||Against (i.e. ban race-based preferences)|
|ANWR Drilling||Prevent the Alaska drilling||Pursue this and other domestic oil sources|
|Balanced Budget Amendment||Opposed||In Favour of|
|Business||Increase regulation and worker protection||Ease regulation and keep government out of business|
|Crime||Protect the rights of the accused first and foremost||Provide maximum punishment and protect the rights of the victim first and foremost|
|Defense Spending||Decrease or maintain||Increase|
|Embryonic Stem Cell Research||Use federal funding for the research||Don’t use federal funding for the research|
|Government Size||Increase the government and use more socialistic policies||Reduce the government and use more capitalistic, free-market policies|
|Gun Control||Ban all gun ownership by civilians, especially handguns and assault rifles||Protect gun ownership|
|Health Care||Make 100 percent government controlled||De-regulate and introduce free market reform|
|Immigration||Grant amnesty to illegal aliens; don’t build a fence along the Mexican border; allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses; prevent the creation of a national ID card & database to track people in the country.||Prevent amnesty & driver’s licenses for illegal aliens; construct a Mexican border fence; create a national ID card & database to track people in the country. Increase or maintain legal immigration only.|
|Kyoto Treaty||Sign this environmental treaty||Don’t sign this environmental treaty|
|Malpractice Lawsuits||Do not cap punitive & pain/suffering damage amounts||Cap punitive & pain/suffering damage amounts|
|Mexican Border Fence||Do not build the fence||Build the fence|
|Minimum Wage||Increase||Lower or eliminate altogether|
|Missile Defense||Scrap this program||Pursue this program|
|Personal Responsibility||Government needs to protect people from themselves||People should be responsible and be held accountable for their own actions|
|Physician- Assisted Suicide||Allow||Prevent|
|Religion||Maintain separation of church and state; prevent faith-based government initiatives||Introduce more religion in schools; allow faith-based government initiatives|
|School Vouchers||End the program||Expand the program|
|Social Security||Increase age of beginning eligibility (e.g. 68 or 70); increase salary limits subject to tax||Privatise; i.e. allow citizens control over their own money and allow stock investments|
|Social Spending||Increase||Decrease or maintain|
|Taxes||Increase taxes, especially on the rich||Cut taxes, especially on businesses that invest and hire|
|Three Strikes Law||Overturn this law||Maintain and expand these laws|
|Unions||Workers should be unionised wherever possible, even if it means mandatory joining of a union to work at a place||Unionisation should be limited, and workers should never be forced to join|
|World Peace||Negotiate first and only take military action if sanctioned by the U.N. and other world organizations||Work with world bodies and use negotiation, but take unilateral pre-emptive action if necessary to protect America|
There are other parties involved in the election, such as the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Constitution Party, plus an assortment of third-party and independent candidates, but, at the end of the day, it’s a two-horse race between the Democrats and the Republicans and if you took the time to look at the approval ratings I posted for each party, that means all of this could result in one interesting possibility: A potential showdown between Democrat leader Hilary Clinton and Republican front-runner Donald Trump. Hillary is currently leading overall, but recent polls show that Trump is rapidly making ground and is a legitimate threat to make it all the way to the White House, but I’m guessing if he does it wouldn’t be the first time he’s thrown a black family out of their home.
The USA is a democracy and that would entail me giving both Clinton and Trump equal representation, but writing about Hillary Clinton is boring, so I’ll just post this cartoon of her (above, left) and let Trump speak for himself (all sources are on his Wikiquote page) in…
The Wisdom of the Donald.
“A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. I think sometimes a black may think they don’t have an advantage or this and that…. I’ve said on one occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black, because I believe they do have an actual advantage.”
“If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.”
“I have black guys counting my money! I hate it. … The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. … Laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that.”
“I love beautiful women, and beautiful women love me. It has to be both ways.”
[On “You’re fired!”:] “There’s a beauty in those two words. When you utter those words, there’s very little that can be said. There’s a succinctness to those words.”
“Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich.”
“I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”
[On Barack Obama:] “I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard? I’m thinking about it, I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records.”
“It’s like in golf. A lot of people — I don’t want this to sound trivial — but a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive. It’s weird. You see these great players with these really long putters, because they can’t sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.”
“I keep asking, how long will we go on defending South Korea from North Korea without payment? South Korea is a very, very rich country. They’re rich because of us. They sell us televisions, they sell us cars. They sell us everything. They are making a fortune. We have a huge deficit with South Korea. They’re friends of mine. I do deals with them. I’ve been partners with them, no problem. But they think we’re stupid. They can’t believe it. We are defending them against North Korea, we’re doing it for nothing. We’re not in that position. When will they start to pay us for this defense? Isn’t it really ridiculous when you think of it? They make a fortune on the United States and then they got some problems, and what happens? They call the United States to defend them, and we get nothing?”
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people. It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably – probably – from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast.”
Donald Trump: “Oh, well, if you look at the statistics, of people coming— I didn’t say about Mexic— I say the illegal immigrants— if you look at the statistics on rape, on crime, on everything, coming in illegally into this country, they’re mind-boggling. If you go to Fusion, you will see a story about 80% of the women coming in– I mean, you have to take a look at these stories. And you know who owns Fusion? Univision. It was in The Huffington Post. I said, let me get some of these articles because I’ve heard some horrible things. I deal a lot of talking with people on the border patrol. They’re incredible people. They help our country.”
Don Lemon: “But I want some clarification–”
Trump: “No, but Don, all you have to do is go to Fusion and pick up the stories on rape, and it’s unbelievable when you look at what’s going on. So all I’m doing is telling the truth.”
Lemon: “I’ve read The Washington Post, I read the Fusion, I read The Huffington Post. And that’s about women being raped, it’s not about criminals coming across the border entering the country.”
Trump: “Somebody’s doing the raping, Don, I mean, you know– I mean, somebody’s doing it. You think it’s women being raped, well who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping? I mean how can you say such a thing. So, the problem is you have to stop illegal immigration coming across the border. You have to create a strong border. If you don’t, we don’t have a country.”
“Get rid of gun free zones. The four great marines who were just shot never had a chance. They were highly trained but helpless without guns.”
Donald Trump: “15,000 people showed up to hear me speak. Bigger than anybody and everybody knows it. A beautiful day with incredible people that were wonderful, great Americans, I will tell you. John McCain goes, “Oh, boy, Trump makes my job difficult. He had 15,000 crazies show up.” Crazies. He called them all crazy. I said, they weren’t crazy. They were great Americans. These people— if you would have seen these people— you— I know what a crazy is. I know all about crazies. These weren’t crazy. So he insulted me and he insulted everybody in that room…”
Frank Luntz: “He’s a war hero.”
Donald Trump: “He’s not a war hero.”
Luntz: “He’s a war hero.”
Trump: “He is a war hero—”
Luntz: “Five and a half years in a POW camp.”
Trump: “He’s a war hero ’cause he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK? I hate to tell you.”
Luntz: “Do you agree with that?”
Trump: “He’s a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured, OK? You can have— and I believe— perhaps he’s a war hero, but— but right now he said some very bad things about a lot of people.”
“I think that I would be a great uniter. I think that I would have great diplomatic skills. I think that I would be able to get along with people very well. I’ve had a great success in my life. I think the world would unite if I were the leader of the United States.”
All of this was from the mouth of a man who is a legitimate threat to running the USA. Sure, there aren’t a whole lot of other candidates, but Trump is by no means the best of a bad bunch. His motto might be “Make America great again”, but it looks to me like he’s more poised to set the whole Western world back about 50 years if he is elected. The only problem now is finding who is the best of that bunch and I don’t think Clinton’s the answer, either.
Oh, and Donald? The secret’s out: