Elections from afar: we’ve got issues

Although the campaigns have been raging for what seems like forever, the 2016 American presidential election is finally drawing near. In these last weeks leading up to November 8, the UK will be speaking with Americans at the RUG about why this year’s election matters to them and what it’s like to witness the madness from across the ocean.
By Traci White

Question: What are the most important issues in this election?

All of them, maybe?

Clinton and Trump are so far apart on pretty much everything that I don’t think there is any one thing that you could point to and say that’s why you should vote one way or the other. That said, Trump is openly racist and sexist in a way that we’ve never seen, at least not since those terms have been applied negatively to people. In the long run, the most important issue is probably the choice between someone who is openly and forcefully racist and sexist and someone who is not.

Immigration and foreign policy.

If I have to believe the numerous newspapers and my friends who currently reside in the States, illegal immigration, the war against Daesh, the deteriorating relationship with Russia and the rise of China as a new global power are the hot topics of this election. Maybe something that is a little bit more under the radar but is still a topic of common discussion is the future of Obamacare. People who benefit from the healthcare reform are afraid that if the Republicans win a majority it will be revoked.

This is not really a normal election.

I normally focus on economic and environmental policy: particularly, I’m interested in ways to get out of the low-growth, high-inequality equilibrium we seem stuck in – I teach IRIO’s economics courses, can you tell? This year is strange: I think the most important issue right now is preventing a uniquely unqualified individual – to put it far more politely than I like – from becoming president.

I think how the two nominees intend to use the American military is important.

Both are far too hawkish for my taste, but only Trump seems likely to initiate a third world war. How they will deal with the racial tensions that are becoming very evident throughout American society also matters. Neither has good answers here, but again, Trump tends only to make things worse, while Clinton aims to maintain or perhaps slightly improve the status quo. I also think women’s rights and the status of women in the U.S. are at stake. Trump, as a moronic misogynist, will certainly take the country backward, while Clinton is certain to advance women’s rights, if only by the example she will set as president.

Healthcare, the wealth gap, the structure of the tax system, education, and the role of the U.S. in the international arena.

Environmental issues are important, and the candidates’ positions are diametrically opposed.

With Clinton, we have a chance of slowing the warming of the earth; with Trump, we’ll see only setbacks.

There are so many!

Gender equality and women’s issues. Health care. Immigration. Treatment of minorities. Education and student debt. Gun policy. Foreign policy.

Number one: immigration.

Number two: Trump, as in: what is going on that Trump became the Republican candidate for president? And would America elect Trump as president? I think the Trump issue says a lot about our country.

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