The Idiocracy Among Us

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Presidential Candidates

A recent The Hill article presented this view of American politics: “Voters now confronted with the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are making something abundantly clear: They want another option.” This choice, according to many leading polls, has narrowed itself down to Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. I fundamentally understand the innate limits of a two-party system in encompassing the views of a majority of the electorate. I fundamentally understand the frustration in feeling coerced into deciding between only two candidates that may not represent my views. I fundamentally understand yearning for an alternative. What I cannot understand is latching onto an alternative candidate without analyzing their own policies. It is of my belief that many voters, disturbed by the circus of Trump and the dishonesty of Secretary Clinton (although the factuality of this view of Secretary Clinton is another article) are grasping for a candidate that represents a civility to the political process. However, this desire for stability and civility has led to the rise of two candidates who promote policy that is detrimental to the nation. I would like to examine the dangerous policy positions both candidates endorse in this article, beginning first with Jill Stein.

Jill Stein’s main policy issue is similar to the candidate many feel is her complete opposite: Trump. Many criticize the sentient embodiment of neoliberal wrath of flip-flopping on his ideals, most recently on his climate change stance. Stein follows a similar path, towing the ideology of whoever she is speaking to. While she is most known for her anti-vaccination status, she has frequently walked this back by saying she does support vaccination. When asked about this policy change, she stays murky and dodges the question. Similarly, her views of topics ranging from Social Security to minimum wage have all fluctuated depending on her location. Stein seems to attempt to operate under the guise of the environment-loving Green candidate whose views are rarely questioned due to her unending campaign to save the trees. One thing that will hopefully remain with voters who are considering the lovable grandmother of the election cycle: Jill Stein believes Wi-Fi signals are likely murdering our children.  

Libertarian Gary Johnson is the third-party candidate garner far more focus, recently reaching 13% in a nationwide poll. While he is most known for his Aleppo mishap, it should be recognized that Johnson represents a far more dangerous America for many citizens, one that is devoid of governmental socioeconomic structure. Let’s examine some of his policies. Firstly, Johnson calls for the elimination of minimum wage. Not a cap, not a reduction, but an elimination. Johnson does not believe the market separates the concept of a living wage from the equilibrium wage and wishes to remove an important economic safety net. This dismantling of the minimum wage system, which would result in an increasing amount of citizens under the poverty line, may not hurt as deeply if Johnson did not also want to eliminate Medicare, Social Security, and other socioeconomic safety nets.

How does Johnson fair on social issues? He calls for the complete destruction of the Department of Education, for who needs “free higher education” if we dismantle education. Any student who attends university on any governmental financial aid or attended any public school benefits directly from the positive impact of the Department of Education. Imagine those supports not existing because it is a policy desire of the Libertarian candidate. Does Johnson have any other terrifying policy positions, perhaps on climate change? While he wishes to remove all governmental restrictions on the energy industry, he also claims that he takes a “long-run approach” to the issue; to Johnson, why worry about climate change when the “the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth, right?”

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Liam Rice
Business Editor--Class of 2017 LCS/Applied Economics Double Major--Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Concentration--Finance Minor--Theatre--Sports

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