By Wiliam Lewis
The presidential election of 2016 has taken a strong turn as a result of the primaries. It seems that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have emerged as the two front-runner candidates in the presidential race. Therefore, if they are the official candidates, for the first time we will have two presidential candidates from New York. This situation should lead to intense interest in the election.
Most political observers seem to believe that if Trump and Clinton are the candidates, it will lead to one of the hardest-fought campaigns that we have had in American history. There are significant reasons for that. First of all, both of them are known for their fierce competitiveness. Both will have access to huge financial resources during the campaign, and both candidates will also have professional staffs and advisers.
The positions that both these candidates will take on the issues are radically different. For instance, Clinton favors strong control of firearms. Trump seems to refer to the Second Amendment as a source of our founding fathers agreeing to firearms being possessed by our citizens. Clinton strongly favors gun control laws and their rigid enforcement. Trump believes that government policy on gun control should relate to the U.S. Constitution.
In regards to immigration, we have 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants in our country. Clinton apparently wants to put them on the road to citizenship. Trump has indicated that illegal immigrants must be returned to their point of origin and apply for admission to the United States.
Trump favors building a wall on the southwest border of our country to keep illegal aliens from coming into the United States. Trump also would not favor bringing refugees into America from the Mideast. Clinton has not taken a strong position on this issue at this time. In addition, Trump does not believe that citizenship should be granted to children born in this country of non-citizens.
Pertaining to the trade issue, Clinton seems to favor most free trade. Trump thinks that free trade is not always in the best interest of our country.
Both candidates favor strengthening our military structure. However, in the case of Trump, he wants our military establishments to be the strongest in the world.
Both candidates have excellent speaking ability. They also have received education from Ivy League schools. They have both had successful careers—Clinton as an attorney, and Trump as a businessman.
However, the two political parties are vastly different in ideology and will present different platforms through their candidates. In past years we have tried to develop a consensus on government policy. It was in the year 1860 that the consensus broke down and the citizens of the South would not accept Abraham Lincoln as our president, and a civil war of four years developed.
We have just had violence at several political rallies. It can be helpful to the situation if some degree of peace and harmony can be present at political functions, including future primaries, conventions and the fall general election.
We’ve had an unusual election cycle in the past several months. We hope that this election cycle will improve for democracy to be successful. It has to operate in an atmosphere of reason and stability.