With the election mere days away, it's real easy to get distracted by all the news and hysteria that is floating around.
Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have been overdiscussed, overanalyzed, and over-dissected by the media. While you can argue whether or not the mainstream media has been protecting Hillary and attacking Trump, you can agree that this election has been wildly overshadowed by scandals, rumors, and topics that don't relate to the most important issues facing our nation.
The media would love for you to get preoccupied with some stupid words Trump said, or with a new batch of emails from one of Hillary's associates. And while it's all well and fun to explore this dirt, the fact remains we have two candidates with very different intentions for our country.
The United States is at a crossroads. We are facing problems never before seen by our country. While the world juggles with the idea of globalism, the notion that the sovereignty of a nation should be put aside for the interests of a global economy and policy, they face the wrath of unmitigated radical Islamic terrorism.
America itself faces the same problem, burdened with massive surges in illegal immigration, the erosion of our working and middle classes, and an ever-growing federal government that threatens to intrude on our Constitutional rights.
That doesn't even address issues that have motivated Americans for years, issues that have yet to be effectively fixed by a president.
Beyond all the mud-slinging and rhetoric, beyond the extreme views of the left and right, there are actual solutions to our problems. While I maintain that traditional, conservative values that uphold the free market and citizens' personal liberties work best in our nation, the left holds to the notion of progressivism, a set of values that aim to right certain wrongs in our society and bring a sense of equality to places that have suffered imbalance.
But what's best for America? Which candidate can bring good and lasting improvements to our way of life?
Let's take a look at where both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stand on key issues and try to decide for yourself which one is best for this nation.
Perhaps the most crucial issue facing Americans today is the economy. Despite what the left say about Obama's efforts to help it recover since the 2008 downturn, the U.S. economy still limps along. According to reports, millions of people have left the labor force, many in their prime years are out of work, and the GDP has only grown by 2.1% over the last seven years, the slowest growth since 1940.
Donald Trump's plan to turn our economy around focuses on bringing jobs back to America and lessoning the tax burden on the middle class.
Every income group receives a tax cut under the Trump plan, with million more being removed from the income tax rolls and low-income Americans paying no income tax at all.
The greatest percentage reduction in tax bill goes to working and middle class taxpayers (via campaign website).
Trump promises to penalize companies that continue to outsource jobs to Mexico and overseas. He famously called out Ford for closing plants in Detroit, threatening that--when President--he'd hit their imported cars with a 35% tax. This strong stance will punish companies who take jobs from Americans and reward companies who keep their jobs here.
Corporate tax is currently at 35%, driving even white collared jobs overseas to countries like Ireland (whose corporate tax is much lower). Under Trump's plan, the tax rate will be lowered to 15%, encouraging companies to stay in America.
This approach of lowering taxes will not only encourage the creation of new jobs in our country, but help Americans keep more of what they earn.
Hillary Clinton's plan for the economy coincides with the left's playbook of going after the wealthiest. The first goal of her economic plan, according to her website, is to "Making sure the wealthy, Wall Street, and corporations pay their fair share in taxes." (via campaign website).
This has been a refrain from Democrats for years. And it sounds good. Why shouldn't the rich pay their "fair share" in taxes, implying that they don't pay enough now and should be paying more? This punishment of the most successful in our country is the antithesis of the American dream; why should anyone strive for success when the government is going to take it away from them?
This also flies in the face of what we already know is happen. According to Pew Research, the most rich Americans are already paying more taxes than the rest of us:
In 2014, people with adjusted gross income, or AGI, above $250,000 paid just over half (51.6%) of all individual income taxes, though they accounted for only 2.7% of all returns filed, according to our analysis of preliminary IRS data.
Yet Hillary Clinton wants them to pay more. Where is all this money going anyway? How does hitting the rich with higher taxes help to create jobs and put more money back into America's pocket?
These tax hikes are to fund government-funded social wealthfare programs, not help get Americans back to work.
Clinton's website also promises to "Pay for ambitious investments in a fiscally responsible way." What does that mean? Is it the government's responsibility to spend cash on ambitious programs? Tax dollars should go to shore up our military and repair our failing infrastructure, not, as she says, "reduce inequality."
So even her economic plan is rife with the left's agenda of social justice. The bottom line is the economy should be allowed to thrive on its own merits, without invasive control from the government. When the federal government gets too involved, either through regulation or taxes, we all suffer.
The issue of immigration has become a significant one after Donald Trump made it a top priority in his announcement speech. But long before that, America has suffered from weak policies that allow undocumented immigrants to enter our country, jeopardizing the safety of our citizens.
Clearly something must be done to prevent drug dealers, criminals, and terrorists from infiltrating our borders.
We know about Trump's plan to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border. This is an obvious measure to make it impossible for the hundreds of Mexicans who try to daily sneak across the border--often at great peril to themselves and border police.
But he also plans on reforming a system that allows illegals--many of whom commit violent crimes--to stay in our country. He plans to end catch-and-release, enforce deportation policies for criminals, and end the practice of "sanctuary cities," that have allowed violent criminals from being brought to justice.
Hillary Clinton doesn't seem to be making immigration a top concern. The issue isn't prominent on her website, it’s buried beneath many other topics. That's okay, because when you do find her stance, you see that she is prioritizing immigrants over American citizens.
She plans to: "introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship within her first 100 days in office." Her goal is not to stem the tide of illegals enter our country, but make it easier for people who are breaking the law to become American citizens. Hiding behind a mask of sympathy and compassion, her goal is to give greater rights to people who already refuse to follow our laws and come to this country legally.
Most people will agree that the immigration process is difficult and everyone that wants to come to this country should be allowed to safely and legally. But clear measures must be taken to prevent dangerous forces from abusing our policies. We must prevent illegals from weakening our security. We must put Americans first and not rewards immigrants who flout our laws. And we need to reward those immigrants who were patient and took the time to follow our rules for a path to citizenship, not grant everyone amnesty.
Trump boldly announced his plan to put Pro-life Justices on the Supreme Court in an effort to overturn Roe v Wade. Hillary Clinton is endorsed by Planned Parenthood and will continue to defend the policy of abortion.
Second Amendment Rights
Not only has Donald Trump been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, but promises to defend the rights of Americans to own and operate fire arms. According to her own website, Hillary Clinton considers gun rights a threat to national security (listing it alongside issues like terrorism). She promises to "take on the gun lobby," such groups as the NRA which defend the Second Amendment. In fact, she often refuses to acknowledge the Second Amendment grants the right to bear arms.
With the possible appointed of two, up to three or four, new Supreme Court Justices in the coming years, the next president will have an impact that will last far longer than just the next four to eight years. He will have the power to decide the fate of this nation for generations to come.
It's important for us to understand just how crucial this election is, and how it will impact the issues most important to you. Look beyond the rhetoric. Look beyond the poorly-script comedies and rumors that float on the Internet.
Look at the fact and you'll understand what's at stake.