The Case for Clinton

As Nov. 8 approaches, this board would like to endorse Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president, due to both her significant merit as a politician and the potential dangers of the other candidates.

In part, Clinton is the best for the job because she has experience as Secretary of State, with four years of international decision-making. It is responsible to elect someone who has had a front-row seat to the rise of the Islamic State group and fully understands the mistakes that have been made in the Middle East, as well as America’s international role and responsibility.

In addition, Clinton’s role as a senator allowed her to gain valuable experience with domestic and international politics. She holds similar ideological views to Bernie Sanders and, in fact, holds a more liberal voting record than Sanders on gun ownership, according to a Jan. 18 CBS article. They served in the senate together for two years during which Clinton introduced 19 pieces of legislation that Sanders chose to co-sponsor, while Clinton supported seven of Sanders’ bills, according to a Feb. 13 Newsweek article.

Clinton also is arguably more effective than Senator Sanders. According to an April 7 Washington Post article, Clinton sponsored 10 bills that passed, while Sanders only managed to sponsor one bill in the nine years he served in the Senate.

The Case Against Third Parties

While Clinton deserves the Brandeisian vote on her own merits, her contenders are also unfit for the presidency.

The standard argument against voting third-party — that a protest vote only steals support from an electable candidate — is as relevant as ever this year. Protest voting prioritizes one’s sense of self-importance over this existential threat.

To many millennials considering a third-party vote, this notion sounds like the elite discrediting them. Democracy, they say, should be about choosing whom you believe in, not who is most electable. Assuming that is a legitimate grievance, neither Gov. Gary Johnson nor Dr. Jill Stein deserve the votes.

By now, the electorate should be well aware of Johnson’s embarrassing lack of foreign policy knowledge. He could not identify the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo, and when pressed, could not, at the time, name a foreign leader he respected.

Further, Johnson’s domestic vision for America is dangerous. He only balanced New Mexico’s budget by unrealistically rejecting any legislation involving government spending. He privatized state prisons, even feeding reporters false information to portray unionized prison employees as incompetent. He admits climate change exists but argues alleviating it is not worth jeopardizing a free market. In total, Johnson’s policy proposals betray a dangerous disinterest in nuance.

As for Stein, she has never held public office, and it shows; her idealistic proposals reject an economic reality. For example. Stein regularly calls for the federal government to completely forgive student debt-holders, the cost of which would be enough to fund welfare for needy families for the next 78 years, according to a July 27 Slate business and economics blog.

Stein also impractically promises a completely green-energy economy by 2030, all without investing in nuclear energy. Stein only endorsed the safety of vaccines after sowing conspiracy fears that the FDA had been bribed by corporate lobbyists, using the trope of corporate money to incite fear of life-saving medical procedures, all for a few votes on the fringe left.

Ultimately, Stein prioritizes emotional appeals over facts and pragmatism. Stein flounders outside of the extreme left, while Hillary Clinton’s untiring style and bipartisan record personify pragmatism.

The Case Against Trump

Ultimately, the presidential race has come down to two options, and this board argues that Trump must not win. From policy to personality, Trump is wrong for America.

One of the many concerns of this board is Trump’s immigration policy. His proposal to “build a huge wall” that “Mexico is going to pay for” not only poses a threat to the relations between two allied nations but also represents a fundamental misconception of illegal immigration.

A July 28 Politifact article confirmed that while “there is no reliable count of illegal immigration” rates, they are at their lowest point in decades.

Further, his past proposals to ban Muslims or require them to be on a registry show alarming Islamophobia.

Trump is patently unsuited for handling international relations and commanding the most powerful military force in human history, particularly because of his demeanor and temper. He has consistently reacted volatilely to little provocation, and this board is extremely concerned about what might happen if he has something more than a Twitter account with which to strike back.

Trump presents a breeding ground for hate. His well-documented sexism, misogyny, xenophobia and racism will only deepen existing divides within America, and his hate speech and incitement of violence will worsen civil unrest.

We cannot have Trump running this nation.

The Importance of Voting

Millennials are a deciding factor in elections, so it is important that Brandeis students vote. A November 2012 study by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement concluded that our generation determined as many as 80 electoral votes in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections. Had millennials failed to vote, President Obama might not have been re-elected.

While the millennial generation accounts for 25 percent of potential voters, according to a May 16 Pew Research Center report, they notoriously fail to vote. In 2008, only 50 percent of millennials voted.

The process of registering to vote and acquiring an absentee ballot could not be easier. Many states are coming up on deadlines for registering to vote or getting an absentee ballot, and some have already passed.

Regardless of what party you are voting for in the upcoming election, it is important that you cast an educated vote for president and members of Congress alike. A failure to vote is as powerful as voting itself. Either way, when Nov. 8 comes, you have the unique opportunity to decide who’s the next to set up shop on the Hill or to sit in the Oval Office.