Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Is It 2016 Yet?

If you know me, you know that there are some things that I am slightly obsessed with, a few of which are Lilly Pulitzer anything, anything related to dogs, and the US of A. I am involved with various political organizations, such as the American Legion Auxilary Volunteer Girls State, my school's Student Government Association, Tennessee Intercollegiate Student Legislature (TISL), and other small things. I have had a love of America ever since I remember, always holding the upmost respect for those in the armed forces, even seriously considering joining myself as an engineer for the Air Force. I believe in voting informed, holding the government accountable, and knowing what is going on in the government. I also believe in voting for the best candidate for any race. The one that lines up with what you believe on individual topics, not just what you think you believe in a political party. If you look at the history of political parties, you will see that what we deem "democratic" or "republican" was actually the opposite at one point, which explains why we see a lot of old timers who obviously believe in Republican values voting die-hard Democratically until they die. This is one of many examples that I use to urge you not just to look into candidates within the party you think you are affiliated with, but to both parties. Not only will it help you better select, it will also assist you in not sounding like an idiot when someone asks you why you don't like a certain candidate.
With that being said,
 Party politics by rule works something like this:
-Members of the Republican/Democratic party are SUPER Republicans/Democrats. They are usually much more concerned about getting their party re-elected than they are about electing a candidate somewhere in the middle. So as we can see in our Republican primary candidates, for example, the candidates all "believe" the most Republican things they can support. Anti-abortion, traditional definition of marriage, lower taxes, border control, repealing Obamacare (my new favorite because that will be a really big disappointment whenever they get elected into office), all that jazz.  When the Republicans elect their super Republican and they have to begin campaigning to the rest of the nation, their views tend to get a little less Republican-ized. Funny, huh? Then, when they get to office, we see that almost all of the things that they promise actually do not happen. Did Obama fix the economy? No! Does Obama even have control over the economy? Not a lot, no. Sure, presidents can do some things to help boost the economy, but for the most part (unless they pull an FDR and do some things that are actually kind of illegal) presidents have no control. This phenomenon in which almost every citizen slowly becomes dissatisfied with the president that they loved so much when they voted is called the Expectations Gap, and you can thank the Great Depression for the fact that we now expect much more from our President than he can actually legally deliver. Which is the long way of saying that the best Presidential candidate for the nation actually is probably somewhere between a Republican candidate and a Democratic candidate but they don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected, so to speak.

*takes deep breath*

Now that that's out of the way, I will say that for the upcoming Presidential election I will be voting Republican. I find that I (most of the time) agree with Republicans more, however I ALWAYS will make sure I know what every candidate believes.However, there is no Democratic candidate that I agree with (in fact I would almost sell a limb to assure that Hillary does NOT get elected, jokingly saying that the only person that has been in office dumber than her was Jimmy Carter), so I will have to vote for the "lesser of two evils", a super Republican. Luckily I really am liking the Republican candidates and honestly can't choose who I like most. In all honestly, they all believe almost the same things (at least for the primary, for reasons described above). So here are my notes on 3 (excluding Jeb Bush, because lets not kid ourselves)

Rand Paul: We've seen some good things come out of Rand Paul, such as his 2013 fillibuster moment which was AWESOME (political nerd coming out, sorry). I really like knowing that he is willing to stand up (for long periods of time, even!) for what is right. As I said, he pretty much thinks the same way right now as the rest of the candidates, so that's all I got.

Ted Cruz: I've heard good things and I've read some of the things he has voted on/believes in, but honestly I don't know much about him besides the fact that my parents like him. So for right now, I'm still soul searching on this one.

Marco Rubio: This is where it gets interesting, if you like strategy. We have also seen good things out him, but strategy is where it gets really important for the Republican party. First off, Marco Rubio has gotten some national recognition before which is really important for portions of citizens who vote on names that they may have heard before, not on policy. Also, he is a Latino American. Our Latino numbers are increasing very rapidly and they stereotypically vote democratically, as that's usually who gives them the most benefits. However, if we had a presidential candidate that was one of them, would that make them more inclined to vote for him? Granted, Jeb Bush is also a friend of the Latinos, however I believe that Marco Rubio has the upper hand being as he is one. And 3/4ths of America doesn't hate his brother. That helps too. Anyway, this fact could really assist the Republicans in getting the upper-hand of what is bound to be some lame feminist movement with Hillary (I am a woman engineer, if anyone knows about sexism it is me. So believe me when I say we have far fewer issues than what feminists will lead you to believe).

That's just my two-cents on the whole issue there. We still have a large chunk of time before we need to seriously start considering who to vote for, but it's nice to know where they stand now and where their platforms morph to over the process as a whole. With that being said, I want to take some time to debunk what so many Americans believe:

The President is not our King. No matter whether you like Obama or dislike Obama (Or Bush, or any other president), he (or she?) does NOT hold all of the power. Take it from someone who takes Government classes because I think they are fun, the American Government system is so incredibly in-depth and well thought-out that our checks and balances really do work. Yes, there have been historical instances where presidential power probably did come a little close to over-stepping it's  bounds. There are probably other instances involving Congress or the Supreme Court, but was there an uprising about that? No. MUCH more Americans vote in the presidential election than in the congressional election, which is really crazy because CONGRESS WRITES YOUR LAWS. Congress is the most important branch of the government (not just my opinion, read the constitution) and next to no one gives a flip about them because this country is under the impression that the President runs this thing. HE DOES NOT. Now, do I want to see Hillary Clinton elected? Heck no! I don't agree with literally anything that she says. While the executive branch does not have all the power, it does have some and that should be respected and accounted for. But if Hillary Clinton becomes president do I honestly think that America will burst into flames (aside from the jokes I will inevitably make)? No, of course not. Because when that happens she will suck so bad that Republicans will inevitably have control of the House and Senate and the whole system will jam up as it is now and policy will get nowhere until we can get someone else in there. That's exactly what we are seeing in the office today. I do not like Obama even a little, however he has not run our country into the ground. He has done some really stupid things, like Obamacare for example (something I hope gets taken care of in the next few years, though it will be a booger to revise). He also has over-utilized executive actions (most of what he has done has been executive actions, not orders as the media would have you to believe, which means that it is much less formal and holds much less legality, making it much less scary. Feel better?), I agree, but in all honestly all he has done, with the help of Congress, is make a bunch of gridlock on legislation and taken a lot of vacations. So that's my long spiel about how 'Merica actually works. Sorry, it had to be said.

I hope that was coherent as describing the many facets of our government is way complicated. Again, we will have to see where candidates are in a year or so, but that's just my thoughts on where it is going. Remember to be informed and read up on what is going on for the election next year and to vote at all costs! Not everyone (intact almost no one) has the right and the power that you hold and it's only by you holding the government accountable that we get to keep America great. God bless.

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