Tonight concluded the third (and final) presidential debate. Of course, I have a lot of feelings about what was discussed. If you missed my twitter rampage, here’s a short synopsis of my opinions on a few of the issues and why I feel the way I do about them.
President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the current vacancy in the United States Supreme Court. However, the Senate has failed to either confirm or deny this nominee and has instead has been in a standstill for 217 days. Two days ago Senator McCain voiced the intent to continue to block Obama’s nominee, and do the same to a Clinton nominee should she be elected president. Constitutionally, the Senate has a duty to move forward with the decision regarding Supreme Court Justice. Without a full Supreme Court, our government cannot fully function. The abject refusal to move forward with the process is not only unconstitutional but damaging to our country. If he is elected president, Trump has already suggested twenty nominees for the seat. As NPR points out his candidates tend to lean towards “originalism,” or following the constitution as directly as possible without taking into account the changing present. Our country is vastly different now from when it began. The constitution is a very old document. Trying to put an olden-day context into the current times simply does not translate over.
The Second Amendment and Gun Regulation
The Second Amendment outlines the rights of citizens to bear arms. I support this, but with limitations. Americans should have access to guns. They deserve to be able to protect themselves and their families and, yes, have fun on the shooting range. However, I believe that we need stronger background checks before people are allowed to purchase guns. Those on the terrorist watchlist, those who have committed violent or hateful crimes, and those who are a danger to themselves or others should not be allowed to have weapons. Additionally, there is no reason the purchase of an assault rifle or machine gun would be necessary. This is not to unreasonably restrict Americans. This is for the safety of the public.
Abortion was heavily discussed during the debates. Trump takes a pro-life stance while Clinton is pro-choice. I support a woman’s right to abortion. There are many situations where an abortion is needed. To name a few: when a woman’s health is in danger, in cases of rape, when a woman is unable to support a child, and when a woman does not want a child. I believe that the rights of a grown, living woman should not be overshadowed by the rights of an unborn fetus. This being said, I do not think that third term abortion should be permitted except for in cases where the woman is in danger because of the pregnancy. Donald Trump suggested the overturn of the Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade. This was the decision that made it legal for women to receive abortions. If Roe vs. Wade is repealed, it will not stop abortions. It will only stop safe abortions. Women who cannot have a child for one reason or another will still seek to terminate the pregnancy, some at the cost of their own lives.
Hillary Clinton has proposed a plan of debt-free college in which families with an income of $125,000 or less will be tuition-free at in-state colleges. This will be paid for by limiting tax deductions for the wealthiest 28 percent of citizens. I think that higher taxes on the wealthy is a fair trade-off for affordable education. Many students graduate thousands of dollars in debt. Some are not able to afford college at all. My generation and the generations following need to be able to go to college. Without an educated future, how can our country continue to advance?
The center of many divisions between the two parties is taxes. Should they be raised or lowered, and who should pay? Trump suggests giving tax cuts to the wealthy and to large businesses, while Clinton suggests raising them. I, personally, believe in tax increases if it means food and shelter, debt-free education, and medical care for those who need it. If taxing those who earn more money will provide life necessities to underprivileged populations, then I support it wholeheartedly. Those who are given more in life should in turn give more to others.
I encourage you to listen to the debate if you have not already. Additionally, please do outside research on both candidates to learn more about their policies and opinions. Form your own opinions on these issues and more. In any election, especially one this important, you can never be too informed.