Election Brings a New Beginning

Students research decisions regarding the 2016 presidential election


Keenan Taylor, Ryan Berry, and Elizabeth Hennessey

From social media buzzing with memes to in-depth articles on major news sites, the election of 2016 is proving entertaining and controversial to all. After the three presidential debates in October, many Americans are still unsure who to vote for in the upcoming election, set for Tuesday, November 8. Shawnee Heights students now 18 or older will have the opportunity to vote for the first time. From Barack Obama being the first African American president in the history of the United States, many believe that the election of 2016 will be historical in a different way.

The candidates for the upcoming election includes: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her running mate, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia (Democrat). The other candidate is Businessman Donald Trump and his running mate Governor Mike Pence from Indiana (Republican).  Aside from the two main candidates there are also third party candidates that will appear on the ballot which include: Former Governor Gary Johnson and Former Governor Bill Weld (Libertarian Party). While there are other parties, those are the only three parties that will be on the ballot for all 50 states.

Intro by: Ryan Berry

Barack Obama started off his presidential career by making history. Being the first African American president, Obama took the white house with many policies he planned on implementing into the United States. The Obama Administration implemented policies including: health care, education, immigration, climate, finance, energy and many more.

As President Obama leaves the white house in 2017, he leaves behind a legacy filled with both positives and negatives . One policy Obama implemented was the Affordable Healthcare Act, more commonly referred to as Obama Care. While the idea of affordable healthcare for everyone sounds like a good idea, it failed when it came to the actual application of it. Recently prices for Obama Care have gone up. According to the New York Times, it is estimated that the price for Obama Care will cost about 22 percent more in 2017 than it cost this year. The amount of money loss because of this act made Obama Care, almost impossible to succeed.

Despite the failure of Obama Care, Obama has one of the highest approval ratings compared to all other presidents. The most recent poll surveyed by Gallup.com put Obama’s approval rating at 54 percent as of this month.

Obama shaped and changed domestic policy in this country. During his presidency gay marriage was legalized nationwide, solar tech was implemented in multiple states, carbon emissions significantly dropped, and two wars ended.

When Obama took office the national debt was at $10.626 trillion; today it’s slightly over $19 trillion according to thebalance.com. The way in which Obama spent his money has caused controversy, including the use of taxpayers dollars to subsidize failed green energy companies.   

Obama’s appeasement approach on foreign policy has continually upset many Americans.

Although Obama didn’t keep all the promises he made during his election campaign, including many policies dealing with taxes, he did make a lot of changes to this country both for the better and the worse.

Section by: Elizabeth Hennessey



Republican: Donald Trump

Donald Trump, the Republican nominee from Queens, New York City, has important  platforms and controversies upcoming voters should be informed about.

Donald Trump, president and chairman of The Trump organization has acquired a large and diverses amount of wealth throughout his business ventures.

Trump’s platform for immigration is to first build a wall spanning the U.S Mexico border. Next is selective immigration, only picking immigrants based on the likelihood of success in America and only issuing visas where adequate screening is available.

Trump business knowledge has allowed him to draw out a plan for administration.

Trump’s tax plan is to reduce taxes and tax brackets from seven to three. With tax rates ranging from 12 percent to 33 percent at third and highest tier.

Trump’s foreign policy platform is to defeat ISIS, end nation building and regime change and to ensure the security of the American people.

Trump has many more platforms as well as many controversies. Surrounding Trump is claims of sexual harassment, eight women have accused Trump of predatory actions towards them, these claims span from 1980 to 2010. Recently Trump denied these accusations.

“Take a look. You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. Tell me what you think. I don’t think so.” Donald said.

Trump was responding to sexual harassment accusations a reporter made against him.

Trump has made controversial comments that generalized Mexican-American immigrants.

“They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Donald Trump said in June of 2015.

Controversy can bring a lot of negative light to a candidate covering positive news about Trump, being a successful businessman Trump has not had the accusation of corruption being pointed towards him. Since Trump has funded his own campaign, While still accepting donations.  

Democrat: Hillary Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee from Chicago, Illinois,has a campaign  surrounded by controversy and important political platforms voters should know.

Clinton’s political career started with her role as a governor, time as first lady and the role as Secretary of State. All of these roles have prepared her for a potential term as president.

Clinton’s platform for immigration is to introduce a reform that will provide immigrants a path to full and equal citizenship and bring hardworking people into a formal economy. Humane enforcement of current immigration laws by detaining and deporting those who pose a threat to the American people’s safety.

Clinton was a senator for New York in the early 2000s giving the former senator experience of the U.S tax code. The Clinton campaign’s platform on taxes is to create better fairness amongst the tax brackets. The top bracket, anyone making over $5 million in ordinary income will pay 43.6 percent. While the lowest bracket anyone making less than $9,275 will pay ten percent on ordinary income.

From 2009 to 2013 Clinton was Secretary of State. Testing the secretary on the subject of terrorism and the Middle East. With the Benghazi attack Clinton faced a controversial congressional court hearing discussing her involvement. Clinton’s stance on foreign issues is to defeat ISIS, working with allies dismantle global terror networks and harden domestic defense by efficiently spending taxpayer dollars.

Secretary Clinton has some controversies following her political career. Clinton’s email scandal, where it was revealed that Clinton was using a private email server to send classified documents. This scandal has been a subject of attack on her campaign since the beginning of the senator’s presidential run.

Libertarian: Gary Johnson

Governor Gary Johnson the third place runner and libertarian nominee has big plans for a third party.

Former New Mexico governor, Gary Johnson, has experience with the Immigration crisis. Johnson wants to focus on providing a more efficient system of obtaining work visas and a simpler way of entering legally. Allowing law enforcement to better focus on individuals who threaten our security.

With experience in running a state government Gov. Johnson has a background on taxation. Gov. Johnson’s tax platform wants to remove double taxation on small businesses, expose and close loopholes for individuals who manipulate it for personal gain. Promoting small business growth and forcing tax code manipulators to pay their tax brackets percentage.

Gov. Johnson in the full swing of campaigning must know the important issues in and outside of the United States. Gov. Johnson’s campaign on foreign policy focuses on non nation building and no longer wanting to police the world. Johnson’s firm belief that putting more troops in the Middle East won’t stop the spread of terrorism.

Governor Johnson has faced controversy in his campaign, when questioned about the Syrian city of Aleppo where ongoing conflicts continue.
“What is Aleppo?” Gov. Johnson said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Many news outlets attacked Johnson for not knowing the current situation of the Syrian city.

Former New Mexico governor, Gary Johnson, has experience with the Immigration crisis. Also with experience in running a state government Gov. Johnson has a background on taxation.

Green Party: Jill Stein

Jill Stein, activist, politician and the Green party’s nominee has been working on combining key political issues with environmental conservation.

The Green Party of America focuses on environmental reforms and ideas of improving the nation through environmental conservation.

Stein hopes to achieve one hundred percent renewable energy in the U.S by 2030 and create jobs by making this transition. Building renewable resources requires people. Jobs will be created for the manpower required for companies to make the transition. With the new jobs created Stein wants end poverty, by guaranteeing food, water and housing. Assuring American’s have a life of dignity. Jill hopes to protect people’s rights by ending surveillance and unwarranted spying on people.

Stein’s neutral stance on most political issues has her prepared for foreign policies.

Stein wants her foreign policy to reflect diplomacy and human rights. By cutting military spending and stopping U.S support of arms sales to abusive countries.

Stein has had a controversial moment in her campaign. When on the topic of vaccinating children. Stein being a doctor supported vaccinating but did not support the federal drug administration being controlled by the drug companies.

Candidate breakdowns by: Keenan Taylor