Is the Ivy League a path to the White House?

By William Lewis

It would seem that Ivy League colleges play a major role in educating future presidents of the United States.

When we look at the higher education backgrounds of recent past presidents, we see that Ivy League schools had a prominent spot on their resumes. Barack Obama received a law degree from Harvard as did John F. Kennedy, who was an undergraduate there as well. Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt were also Harvard graduates. Woodrow Wilson, our president during World War I, graduated from another Ivy League school, Princeton. Hillary and Bill Clinton both received law degrees from Yale University.

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee in this year’s presidential race and Hillary’s challenger, holds a degree from the Wharton School of Finance, part of the University of Pennsylvania, another Ivy.

There is a clear choice between Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s opposing stands on many of the major issues in this year’s turbulent presidential election.

One race from the recent past showed U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, a Republican, running against Democratic incumbent President Lyndon Johnson. They also differed sharply especially on economic issues. Johnson won a landslide victory over Goldwater.

Another race that could be compared to this year’s presidential campaign was the New York City mayoral campaign in 1993 when the GOP’s Rudy Giuliani ran against incumbent Dem Mayor David Dinkins. Giuliani, like Donald Trump, was an outspoken candidate who never hesitated to take a strong stand. Giuliani was mainly popular for his efforts in crime fighting. David Dinkins had been in office four years and seemed to be well-liked. However, Giuliani was able to win a narrow victory and become mayor.

This is going to be a race which will be of intense interest to our voting population. We expect to see a competitive race energized by both political parties.

To look at a campaign closely resembling the presidential race that we are having this year, we have to go back to the year 1840 to the race between Gen. William Henry Harrison, the Whig Party candidate, and Democratic candidate President Martin Van Buren. That year there was probably more enthusiasm in the presidential campaign than there was before or after any other campaign. Harrison won a close victory, although he died shortly after taking office. The Whig political party later became the Republican Party.

Trump and Clinton are divided over economic issues, trade, fighting terrorism, immigration and rebuilding our military establishment. This year’s election will prove to be a turning point in our nation’s destiny. Based on the election results our nation has several extremely different paths to follow outlined by the two candidates. It will be a big change and give our nation’s history a new meaning.

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