As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump helm the Democratic and Republican parties at full speed, a brief look is given at recent events and their policies.
Election day in the USA is on the 8th of November, two months away. Before that, three nationally televised presidential debates will be aired (dates can change) on Monday September 26, Sunday October 9 and Wednesday October 19. A debate for vice-president contenders will also be held on Tuesday, 4th of October.
These debates are the “Super Bowl finals” of US politics. Televised debates shaped election history every since September 26, 1960, when Kennedy faced off Nixon.
Mexican president Enrique Nieto has invited both Trump and Hillary last week on the 26th of August. Trump took Nieto on the invite and met with him this Thursday 1st of September. Trump and Nieto had a private meeting and then a conference.
Nieto avoided confrontation on Trump’s immigration policy and provocative remarks about Mexicans. This angered the Mexican population even more, with Nieto’s popularity at a record low, for validating Donald Trump and squandering an opportunity to defend their pride. Trump has never held elective office.
Trump mentioned that “We didn’t discuss payment of the wall” meant to bar illegal immigrants on the south US-Mexico border. Trump plans to “make Mexico pay for it” by discounting on trade, travel fees and aid given by the US. “That’ll be for a later date. This was a very preliminary meeting.”, he said. He is currently trying to move to a more conservative position in his opinion polls.
He asserted just that in following rallies and Twitter just after his Mexico visit, to which Nieto answered in denial, further muddying the waters for both politicians’ reputations.
Repito lo que le dije personalmente, Sr. Trump: México jamás pagaría por un muro. https://t.co/IJNVe0XepY
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) 1 September 2016
Hillary criticised Trump’s visit. “People have to get to know that they can count on you, that you won’t say one thing one day and something totally different the next…” “And it certainly takes more than trying to make up for a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on our neighbours for a few hours and then flying home again.”
Between mishandling official government emails without a secure .gov account and questions about funding, Hillary’s campaign is not perfect either. She has been consistently ahead of Trump in the polls, if only slightly at times – 46.1% vs 42% at the time of writing. Hillary also commands the odds on betting sites on becoming the US’s first female president.
Hillary advocates easier integration with new immigration rules and is against Trump’s proposal of forced deportation of illegal immigrants that could affect 11 million people.
Overall, opposition has been reactionary to Trump, giving him free publicity. Centering on the immigrant issue and amplifying it is a classic political move for getting attention with precedents as early in memory as the EU referendum vote campaigns in the UK.
The media has failed recently in capturing the complete picture of voters (or voters who are not vocal in social media), as seen in the British general elections of 2010 and more recently, the referendum vote. Trump supporters are hoping the same happens on the way to the White House, in the same way Trump has beaten the odds to the republican nomination.
Here follows a short list with the main policy differences of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
|Policy||Hillary Clinton||Donald Trump|
|Right to Abortion||Strongly Agrees||Disagrees|
|Same sex marriage||Strongly Agrees||Disagrees|
|Environmental regulations too restrictive||Strongly Disagrees||Strongly Agrees|
|Climate change should be legislated for||Strongly Agrees||Disagrees|
|Absolute right to gun ownership||Strongly Disagrees||Strongly Agrees|
|Prioritise green energy||Strongly Agrees||Strongly Disagrees|
|Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens||Strongly Agrees||Strongly Disagrees|
|Expand Obamacare||Strongly Agrees||Disagrees|
|Expand the military||Disagrees||Agrees|