The race to the White House has long been underway. Both Republican and Democrat parties are in the process of selecting their respective nominees for the presidency. Currently, John McCain is recognized as the Republican nominee while Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are the primary contenders for the Democrat nomination. A review of their stand on pertinent issues, as well as their personal and political background is as follows: John McCain John McCain is presently senator of the state of Arizona. Before he entered politics, he was an officer in the U. S. Navy for 22 years (America. gov).
He served in Vietnam and was the recipient of not a few honors for his exemplary performance of duty. McCain ran for Republican nomination in the last elections but lost the battle to George Bush. The emphasis of McCain is in homeland security and the threats of terrorism. His view is that strengthening the military and continuing the role of the U. S. troops in Iraq will guarantee a safer America (Washingtonpost. com). Incidentally, his son is also in active duty in that country. Once elected, he will call for modernization in the military and the use of national missile defense systems.
High technology weaponry will enable the U. S. to prevent and counteract the anticipated attacks from non-democratic states. He also sees the need for the adequately training the Iraqi military forces to raise their capacity to perform their responsibilities without the assistance of U. S. troops. If America would withdraw its troops this early, this would result in widespread civil unrest. Further, the U. S. should also force Iraq’s neighbors, Syria and Iran, to halt their support to al-Qaida in order to isolate Iraq and effectively contain terrorism in that country (Washingtonpost. om). McCain will support efforts towards establishing democratic states not only in the Middle East but also in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Regarding immigrants, McCain is pushing for stricter immigration laws. He views illegal immigrants as a threat to national security. The U. S. should secure the U. S. -Mexico border which is perceived as the major route of illegal immigrants. He initiated legislation efforts in setting up an immigrant status verification system and for employers to hire persons who are legal immigrants (America. ov). McCain also sees it the responsibility of immigrants to master U. S. English, acquire knowledge on U. S. history, constitution and government in order to effectively integrate themselves in society. McCain is also supportive of reducing the taxes of the working class by as much as $2,700. 00 annually and to also offer tax credits to families who could not afford health insurance as well as allow individuals to keep their insurance regardless if they move to another state or seek another job (America. gov).
Taxes should also be maximized by evaluating all government programs and removing those that are not effective. With regards to education, he thinks that through encouraging competition, public schools will be motivated to provide their students top-performing teachers whose abilities would translate in higher performance of their students (America. gov). For this to work, teachers should be given proper incentives based on the output of their students.
Finally, John McCain is an advocate of free trade and supports the continuing role of the U. S. in the North American Free Trade Association and other trade relations that are already in place and in expanding these relations to include other developing countries (Washingtonpost. com). In responding to the unemployment brought about by the relocation of the operations of U. S. companies to the third world, providing further education and training would give the laid-off workers the opportunity to hold jobs related to trade (America. gov). Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton is the current senator from New York.
She served as first lady to her husband Bill Clinton, who was a former governor of Arkansas and a two-term president beginning in 1993 (America. gov). She is also an attorney, an alumna of Yale Law School and a writer of many books. She is an advocate of many issues such as tax-cuts for the middle class, a universal health insurance program, reform of immigration laws and the safeguarding of our foodstuffs from the threats of bioterrorism (America. gov).
When elected, Clinton would call for the withdrawal of U. S. roops in Iraq believing that a globally coordinated effort towards diplomacy, as opposed to force, will work best in establishing democracy in that country (Washingtonpost. com). This is underscored when she stated that she favors creating alliances to counteract threats than moving alone and using military might. She proposes limiting the access of nuclear facilities to uranium to eliminate the possibility of their use for terrorist activities. In the same manner, global alliances are the best way to deal with issues related to the environment, poverty and disease and the U. S. should work to provide the necessary leadership (Washingtonpost. com).
With regards to trade, Clinton calls for an evaluation of the effects that major trade agreements such as the NAFTA have caused to the workers in America. She does not propose revocation of these agreements but rather to reform them so that the rights and welfare of American workers are taken into consideration (America. gov). She will move to further enhance the capacity of the Trade Adjustment Assistance in helping the workers who lost their jobs because of the relocation of their companies (America. ov).
She also recognized the lack of competent teachers in public schools, high drop out rates of high school ethnic minorities and that many Americans can not afford university education. As such, she would institute tax credits for those enrolled in university and to generate scholarship programs. To help reduce the current health problem, she will focus on promoting health information and in directing the health services sector to further develop preventive measures against diseases (America. gov). Barack Obama
Barack Obama entered politics in 2004 as Illinois senator after working in the state senate for eight years (America. gov). He has traveled a lot and held a career as an organizer and civil rights lawyer in Chicago, having graduated from Harvard Law School. He is also active in the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, partly responsible for the welfare of American soldiers from overseas. Obama has long criticized the occupation of U. S. troops in Iraq and like Clinton, would see that the Defense Department will begin the withdrawal of American troops in the Middle-Eastern country (Washingtonpost. om).
He attributes the incapacity of the Iraqi government to dependence on U. S. initiatives so that withdrawal of troops would compel them to fulfill their leadership responsibilities. U. S. support should be in the form of humanitarian assistance and in involving Iraq’s neighbors in the over-all effort to promote peace and stability in that country (America. gov). He is in favor of expanding the current number of the army and marines towards better protecting the U. S. rom nuclear attacks which is the most serious threat to national security at the moment (America. gov). Therefore, he will initiate a world-wide endeavor to regulate the use of nuclear resources and weaponry and ensure that these are not availed of by terrorist organizations and rouge states.
Obama has so far taken the most liberal position in terms of international relations as he stated that the U. S. should be open to establish communication with as many countries as possible regardless of their style of government (America. ov). He emphasized the responsibility of the U. S. in alleviating poverty world-wide through the efforts of well-trained civilian aid groups and the military (American. gov). He will also focus on developing relations with Asian states, especially China, to challenge them to adhere to international policies. In the field of education, he will also work towards employing more teachers and for education system to increase knowledge levels in the areas of mathematics and science (America. gov).
He proposes tax credits to university students, additional funding for education programs including skills training for employment and giving scholarships to students committed to building careers in teaching (Washingtonpost. com). Further, Obama would also like to see tax cuts for the working class and in removing the income taxes of those with the lowest income (American. gov). He would also institute a health insurance for children, for employers to shoulder a portion of their workers’ expenses for health insurance and for health care providers to be transparent regarding their expenditures.
Finally, Obama is also interested in and has taken steps towards the enactment of a law permitting the American public to access information regarding how revenue is allocated. He would also institute a system of validating immigrant status prior to employment and that illegal immigrants with no criminal records in the U. S. should be fined if they wish to stay in the country (America. gov). He is against the involvement of the U. S. in trade organizations because of human rights, environment and worker related issues. The Republican and Democrat Position
The main differences between Republican and Democrat candidates are in their political and economic paradigms – free trade as against a little government regulation of the economy, diplomacy and global coalitions versus military aggression, funding high tech military and defense system or funding healthcare and education. The Republican John McCain’s stand on issues is largely derived from his background in the military and with continuing the policies of the current administration of a fellow Republican. A major theme in his platform is with regards to national security, threats from rogue states and the prominent role of the military.
He is also an advocate of Bush’s foreign policy of free trade. Democrats Clinton and Obama are in favor of diplomacy and the formation of global coalitions instead of primarily using military force in addressing national security and other global issues. They believe in global nuclear weapons regulation but not in enhancing U. S. weapons and military capacity. They call for the evaluation of U. S. involvement in free trade organizations and they also propose a review of U. S. foreign trade policies in order to pursue the protection of workers’ jobs in the U. S. They also seek to provide more funding for health care and education.