As Americans, every four years we choose a presidential candidate to be the face of our nation. This year is no exception— the daunting task approaches with November’s election looming overhead. If we haven’t already, it’s time we educate ourselves in a rushed attempt to make a wise decision, or what we would like to believe.
If you missed watching any of the debates on TV, you can find footage or text of them. A question was posed during the debate — do they believe they were setting a good example for young Americans watching the debates? That question led to a positive response from both candidates, but if you continue reading the transcript you’ll see the debate quickly descend into distraught candidates trying to incite anger and distrust in the American people if we vote for either one. In a scene we have seen play out plenty in this campaign, each candidate was either calling the other a liar, or pointing out the evils of the other candidate. How can Americans, college students, tomorrow’s future, glean either candidates’ intentions from this back and forth negativity?
Education is an important issue when you’re faced with paying for your school. Secretary Clinton wants to spend money on grants to schools and states reducing the need to take out loans and eventually eliminate tuition costs for students from families making less than $125,000 by 2021. She also plans to have students offset the cost of their education through increased work study. Mr. Trump calls for schools to spend more on their students to lower tuition costs. He acknowledged that part of the reason for high tuition costs is that it costs universities too much to comply with federal regulations. He supports less federal loaning, and supports local banks lending money to local students. Also, Trump wants schools to consider projected future income and current job market when loaning money. He believes the school and bank should share the risk associated with loaning money to a student. Trump wants to implement a repayment plan where the borrower would repay loans on a percentage of income basis. After 15 years, any unpaid loan would be forgiven.
As our campus full of engineering hopefuls, let’s look at how the two candidates stack up on the issue of environmentalism. Trump wants to expand domestic production of fossil fuels. He supports drilling on federal lands, offshore, and in the arctic. He supports the use of coal for energy. Trump wants an “all of the above” strategy when it comes to energy. Stating that new technologies open up more fossil fuel to us that shouldn’t be wasted. He says that a carbon tax is going to kill jobs. He has promised to do away with most of the Obama administrations environmental policy. Secretary Clinton on the other hand, wants an immediate moratorium on fossil fuel extraction on federal land. She wants to move away from coal, using natural gas as an intermediate resource. Her goal is that by 2025 the U.S. will generate 25% of its electricity from renewables.
Just as important is who we send to represent our respective states in congress for as we all know, the Chief Executive’s power only goes as far as congress and or the Supreme Court will let it. Whoever we elect will obviously have the same obstacles to making changes.
Information on the dividing issues of this country is flooding the internet and multimedia. The trick to master is wading through the speculation and opinion to find the nuggets of truth. Go confidently to the voting booth with knowledge tucked safely in your coat, and make your mark in America’s next chapter.