Loading...

Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. A comparison in the run for presidency in the United States in 2016

Scientific Essay 2017 40 Pages

Politics - International Politics - Region: USA

Excerpt

Inhalt

INTRODUCTION

The political system in the United States

The role of the president in the United States

Political parties and presidential elections in the United States

HILLARY CLINTON: THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE 9

Biography

Political goals during the campaign

Economy

Healthcare

National security

Immigration

Environment

Gun control

Foreign policy

Issues addressed only by Clinton

The campaign

Popularity

In the Democratic Party

In the United States

Worldwide

DONALD TRUMP: THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE 18

Biography

Political goals during the campaign

Economy

Healthcare

National security

Immigration

Environment

Gun control

Foreign policy

Issues addressed only by Trump

The campaign

Popularity

In the Republican Party

In the United States

Worldwide

COMPARISON 28

Biography

Political goals during the campaign

Economy

Healthcare

National security

Immigration

The environment

Gun control

Foreign policy

Issues addressed by only one of the candidates

The campaign

Popularity

In their respective party

In the United States

Worldwide

CONCLUSION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Literature

News Articles

Online Sources

INTRODUCTION

On November 8th, 2016, the 45th President of the United States of America was elected. The Republicans nominated billionaire and business man Donald Trump while the Democrats were counting on Hillary Clinton as the first female presidential candidate in the history of the United States. Clinton and Trump have both been public figures for decades – Clinton as a livelong politician and Trump as an unconventional billionaire. The contrast between the two candidates could not have been bigger.

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll from May 2016, the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was a competition between two candidates viewed unfavorably by a majority of the electorate. The voters’ motivation was mostly to vote against the candidate they dislike rather than voting in favor of the person they wanted to lead them (Balz, Clement2016).

Throughout its history the foreign policy of the United States has been continually shifting between isolation from the other countries and the missionary urge to improve the world (Braml 2013, p. 4). America’s involvement in world affairs has allowed it to become the world’s superpower. A superpower is by definition an extremely powerful nation that is capable of influencing international events and the acts and policies of less powerful nations. Not only are the United States the world’s largest democracy with the oldest national constitution, it also holds the strongest military and has one of the strongest economies worldwide. Over 80% of the world’s financial transactions are conducted in dollars. The U.S. spends 37% of the world’s military spendings, which is four times as much as China, the second biggest military spender. With 45 million foreign-born people living in the U.S. in 2015, it is also one of the most attractive countries for immigration worldwide (Bremmer 2015). As the leader of a country that has the ability to shape the world, the American president can be named the most powerful person on the planet. Therefore, the presidential elections do not only affect the United States itself but also a fair amount, if not every other country in the world.

In this paper analysis of the candidates of the 2016 presidential elections in the United States will be performed. Firstly, an outline the political system in the United States and how the presidential elections take place will be created. Then their respective biographies, opinions and goals on 2016’s key issues, campaigns and popularity will be taken into account, followed by a comparison of the two candidates based on the previous findings, and a conclusion.

The political system in the United States

The United States of America is a presidential and federal republic. Driven to get away from the concept of a State Church as it is common in Europe, the settlers in the New World wanted not God, but the people to have the power. The American political system is based on its constitution written in 1787-1791, which makes it the oldest democratic constitution worldwide. The constitution’s durability is mostly due to the fact that it is fairly open for interpretation and can be adjusted to current developments so the necessity to change it has not occurred yet (Asmut 2008). The most important civil liberties are guaranteed by the first Ten Amendments of the American Constitution, which are also called the Bill of Rights (Braml 2013, S. 4). A system of checks and balances with several dimensions of control prevents an abuse of power by any branch of the government. The horizontal three branches of government consist of the legislative (Congress), executive (the president), and judicial branch (Supreme Court) who are constantly competing and controlling each other. While the president checks Congress through his power to veto bills, Congress may override any veto by a two-thirds majority in each house. In the case of Congress being unable to agree on a date to postpone to, the president is allowed to settle the conflict. The Supreme Court checks both the president and Congress through judicial review and interprets the constitution. The Vice President is president of the Senate but is only allowed to vote in order to break a tie (Braml 2012, S. 8 ff.). The vertical system, also called federal system, is characterized by the integration of a national level into a system of single states. The representation of the people and their states is being granted by centralization and simultaneous decentralization of politics (Braml 2013, p. 4).

The role of the president in the United States

According to the constitution the president of the United States is the executive of the American regime. On the one hand, as the head of state, he has to impartially represent different interests. On the other hand, as leader of the government, he tries to pursue his own interests as a politician. As Chief Diplomat and Commander-in-Chief, he has a central role in foreign and national security politics. The president always needs Congress’ approval to make decisions. Therefore, the president and Congress are constantly correlating and depend on each other. Despite this, the president is not only the most visible but also the most dominant figure in the country. The American constitution is very open and describes the president’s power only vaguely. So the amount of power the president also depends on his personality and the historical context. Since the U.S. has become an international superpower with global interests that started the beginning of the 20th century, the intervention in two world wars and the end of military invulnerability which led to a rise of importance of foreign affairs and defense against terrorist attacks, the president has gained more power in the country. He is expected to solve economic and social crises on a long-term basis which the congress is not able to do because of its structure.He can, however, also raise public recognition for certain topics by using his instruments, such as the media. Furthermore, the president has the right of veto, which enables him to prevent laws that he disapproves. Between 1789 and 2005 only 107 out of 2,552 vetoes were overcome by Congress. The modern media has helped the president gain more power by putting him directly into the people’s living rooms and gives him the opportunity to promote his goals. Lastly, he is seen as the representative of the nation as a whole and a symbol of national unity and, since the 19th century, the presidential elections have become a popular and exciting race in which the whole nation takes part.

The president and congress have to cooperate. However, confrontations between the two severely slow down the political system of the United States. The president draws most of his power from current developments and the support of the American people (Shell 2008, S. 94ff).

Political parties and presidential elections in the United States

The U.S. can be viewed as the origin of the modern party system. However, the two party system is very different from the European multiparty systems. In the U.S., the Republican and the Democratic party, who are fairly close in their ideologies, have been competing for power in the country since its establishment in 1776. In the past, there have been periods of realignment caused by new issues, in which one party lost power while the other party gained power. Despite the domination of the Republicans and Democrats there are also the so-called “third parties.” No third party in the history of the country has been able to mobilize enough support to put a candidate into the White House or into Congress. However, they raise awareness for new issues and force the established parties to take on new positions in order to keep the people’s support and stay in power. In the U.S., being a member of a party means to support the ideals and ideas it represents, regularly voting for its candidates in the elections and to occasionally donate to the party. Traditionally, political parties are not as important in the U.S. as in Germany. During the elections, the candidates and not their parties obtain most of the attention. The responsibility of the parties lies in the organization of the elections by providing the necessary network and collecting donations. They get the most attention at the National Presidential Conventions during which they nominate their candidates for the elections. The National Conventions have grown significantly in the last 50 years. While 1000 Democrats and 1100 Republicans came together in 1940, there were 4049 delegates at the National Democratic Convention and 2380 at the National Republican Convention in 2016 (Eilfort, Wasser 2008, S. 237 ff.)

The people elect their president every four years. The president can only be re-elected once which means he cannot be in office for longer than eight years. Candidates have to be at least 35 years old and have to be born in the U.S. (Korte2008). Everyone who is over 18 years old and is living in the USA is eligible to vote. Overall, approximately 200 million Americans are allowed to vote. The United States are a representative democracy. This means that the people do not vote for their president directly but elect representatives to vote for them.

The elections can be divided into three phases. Firstly, the Republicans and Democrats chose their candidate. This takes place in the primaries on which the people vote for delegates in their respective states. The delegates then vote for the candidates on the National Convention of the respective party. The candidate with more than half of the delegate votes wins and will run for presidency against the candidate of the other party. On voting day the people vote for the electors which make up the Electoral College. The amount of electors in the single states depend on the population. Therefore, California has 55, Delaware only 3 electors. Overall, there are 538 electors. They vote 41 days after the election day for one of the presidential candidates and the Vice President. At the beginning of January, Congress counts the votes and announces the overall winner of the election. At the end of January, the winner is officially put into office at the White House.The principle of the election day is “the winner takes it all.” If a party wins in a state, all electors have to vote for the respective candidate. This can lead to a win of a candidate without the majority of votes. That is why so-called Swing States, in which none of the major parties have a general lead, can play a major role in the outcome of the elections (Kurfer, Oelker 2016).

The campaigns are usually paid by limited public funds. However, candidates who decline this money are not limited to a certain amount they get to spend for their campaigns. This has led to a permanent rise of the costs that end up being astronomically large most of the times. The parties mostly depend on donations by the people. If a candidate is not able to acquire enough money for his or her campaign, chances for a victory are very low (Kurfer, Oelker 2016). Around 30 percent of the money is spent on media campaigns that are designed to attract certain small target groups that are within the almost 320 million people in America. 21 percent of the money is spent for fundraising while the rest is invested for administration and the wages for the staff. The presidential elections in 2012 were the most expensive in history of the United States. Democratic candidate Obama’s party and his supporters spent almost 1,1 billion dollars to ensure his victory. His rival Mitt Romney spent 1,2 billion dollars (Braml 2008b, S. 39).

Nowadays, the campaigns are mostly happening online. Through negative campaigning the candidates intend to harm the image of the rival while trying to contain their good image and making as little mistakes as possible at the same time (Korte 2008).Despite the big media coverage only every other eligible person votes in the presidential elections. This is due to the fact that voters first have to overcome the hurdle of registering in order to vote (Braml 2008b, S. 33).

HILLARY CLINTON: THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE

Biography

Hillary Diane Rodham was born on October 26, 1947 in Chicago as the oldest of three children. Her parents, Hugh Rodham and Dorothy Rodham, had worked their way from the working class to the middle class (Hahn 2016, p. 9 f.). Always encouraged by her mother, Hillary believed that anything was possible for her to accomplish. She started being interested in politics at a young age and attempted to become student representative in her high school (Hahn 2016, p. 18 f.). As a 13-year-old she wrote a letter to NASA and asked where she could apply to become an astronaut. However, NASA answered that they did not want girls. Clinton later named this a key event in her life (Hahn, p. 20). The Rodhams wereproud members of the Republican party (Hahn 2016, p. 12). As a 16-year-old Clinton campaigned for the Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. During Clinton’s college years there were racial conflicts in many American cities and the Vietnam war escalated. Nineteen sixty eight (1968) was the United States’ deadliest year in Vietnam with 45 American soldiers losing their lives every day. By the time she graduated from anelite college, Wellesley, in 1969 she had become a Democrat. This was not unusual in the 1960s as a whole generation was turning away from the government and current politics.(Hahn, 2016, p. 27). Unlike the Republicans, Clinton did not like racial segregation and the Vietnam war. Instead, she counted on change through compromises, rather than revolution (Hahn 2016, p. 34). In Wellesley, she joined the Republican club and soon became their leader in her second year. In her third year, she was elected representative of the whole student body (Hahn 2016, S. 31). In the fall of 1969 she started to study law in Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, aiming for a political career. In Yale she met Bill Clinton (Hahn 2016, S. 42 ff.).To support him with his goal to become governor of Arkansas, she moved from Washington, D.C., to Fayetteville, Arkansas. Following the pressure through their parents, they got married on 11 October, 1975 (Hahn 2016, p. 70) and had their daughter Chelsea in 1980 (Hahn 2016, p 85). At the end of 1975 Bill Clinton became minister of justice and in November 1978 he became governor of Arkansas with Hillary as the First Lady. The Clintons ended up staying in Arkansas for almost 20 years, during which Bill Clinton ran for governor six times, won the elections five times and was governor for 12 years overall. In the mean time, Hillary worked as an attorney for the law firm Rose and was a member of the supervisory board of Wal-Mart, a retail corporation in the United States that is known for its anti-union position and low wage policy.During the 2016 election, the Wal-Mart corporation was part of the inner circle of Clinton supporters (Hahn 2016, p. 91 f. ).

In 1993 Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd president of the United States making Hillary Clinton First Lady of America. He won the elections as the first Democrat in 12 years, promising “two for the price of one“ andto „make America great again“, a promise that Reagan had made previously and that became Trump’s main slogan during the presidential elections in 2016 (Hahn 2016, p. 96). He would stay in office for eight years (Hahn 2016, p. 133). Bill Clinton’s goal as president was to fix the economy and to make health insurance possible for everyone (Hahn 2016, S. 96 ff.). Hillary Clinton was the first First Lady in US history that had the same educational level as her husband and had her own political career and ambitions (Hahn 2016, S. 102). In 2000 she ran for Senate in New York and won with a 55% majority (Hahn 2016, p. 147). She was re-elected in 2006. In 2007 she announced that she would run for nomination by the Democrats in the next presidential elections. However, despite having the biggest network of financial sponsors and the most political experience, she was defeated by the young and charismatic Barrack Obama in the primaries (Hahn 2016, p. 161 ff.). After becoming President of the United States, Obama offered Clinton the job as Secretary of State which she accepted. As Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 she declared global women’s rights a matter of national security and broke records traveling more than any Secretary of State had ever travelled (Hahn 2016, S. 175). In 2016 she ran for president for the second time, beating her strongest opponent within the Democratic party, Bernie Sanders in the primary elections and became the first woman to be nominated for U.S. presidency by a major party (Hahn 2016, S. 234).

Political goals during the campaign

Economy

She called for an “economy that works for everyone” by raising the living standards of working middle class families. She wanted to reach better working conditions in infrastructure, manufacturing, research and technology, clean energy, and small businesses. Furthermore, she wanted to motivate companies to share profits with their employees by rewarding those who do. She also wanted to raise the minimum wage and fight for equal pay and paid leave (Hillary for America 2016b).

Healthcare

In healthcare, Clinton wanted to achieve “universal, quality, affordable health care for everyone in America.” Her plan included to expand the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and Medicaid and to reduce the cost of prescription drugs (Hillary for America 2016m). Her goal was to protect women’s access to reproductive healthcare, including contraception and safe, legal abortion(Smith 2016). She wanted to build on President Obama’s national HIV and AIDS strategy, invest in research, and expand HIV prevention with adequate and accessible medication in order to fight HIV and AIDS (Hillary for America 2016j). She wanted to be able to prevent Alzheimer’s disease by 2025 and make it easier for families and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease to get the care they need. Medicare should cover comprehensive Alzheimer’s care-planning sessions and the cost of properly documenting every diagnosis and care plan (Hillary for America 2016k). Clinton also wanted to expand insurance coverage for autism services, invest in the research concerning autism, and support individuals with autism in school and employment (Hillary for America 2016l). Last but not least, se wanted to fight addiction substance through improved treatment, prevention, and training (Hillary for America 2016o).

National security

When it comes to national security she wanted to end the high amount of incarceration by actions like cutting minimum sentences and focusing on violent crimes, rather than simple ones like marijuana possession. She also wanted to invest in so-called re-entry job programs for formerly incarcerated individuals (Hillary for America 2016p). Furthermore, her goal was to end the “era of mass incarceration,“reform mandatory minimum sentences, and end private prisons. In terms of formerly incarcerated people, her aim was for them to re-enter society successfully. She supported the use of strategies such as police body cameras and wanted to end racial profiling in order to rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities. However, she supported the death penalty for “particularly heinous crimes” (Smith 2016).

Immigration

For Clinton, America is “a nation of immigrants” calling for dignity and respect towards the immigrants. In case of a victory she was planning on giving a chance to everyone who is not a threat. Among others, she wanted to expand health care to everyone, regardless of their immigration status and increase outreach and education to them (Hillary for America 2016r). She defended Obama’s executive actions in order to provide deportation relief for Dreamers and parents of Americans and lawful residents. She wanted to end family detention and close immigrant detention centers (Smith 2016).

Environment

During the campaign, Clinton called climate change “an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time” which she wanted to tackle by making America the “world’s clean energy superpower“. She was going to achieve this by installing half a billion solar panelsby the end of her first term and reducing energy waste and oil consumption in America. Her goal was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent in 2025 and by more than 80 percent by 2050relative to 2005 levels (Hillary for America 2016g). Furthermore, she promoted animal welfare and animal rights. One of her goals was to shut down the U.S. market for illegal wildlife products and combating international animal trafficking and poaching, another one to protect farm animals from bad treatment (Hillary for America 2016h). She also promised to protect family farms and to encourage them to use sustainable energy (Hillary for America 2016i).

Gun control

In order to prevent gun violence Clinton wanted to expand background checks to gun sales and introduce stricter laws when it comes to buying guns. Her goal was to keep guns away from terrorists, domestic abusers, other violent criminals and the severely mentally ill (Hillary for America 2016n).

Foreign policy

In her election program she named NATO one of the best investments the US has ever made and wanted to support Israels ability to defend itself. In foreign politics she wanted to strengthen the ties with America’s allies and build new relationships with countries all over the world. She was going to support NATO and to keep supporting Israel. Furthermore, she wanted to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and criticizes Iran’s “bad behavior” as they threaten Israel. Clinton also supported President Obama’s initiative to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. Towards China and Russia she was going to be “strong but smart.“She called Russia and China America’s “rivals” who often “work against” the U.S. She wanted to stand up to and prevent further Russian “aggression” in Europe and “increase the costs to Putin for his actions.” Furthermore, she was going to only work together with China if they “play by the rules.” Her goal was to defeat ISIS by working together with America’s allies and to strengthen the defense in the country against terrorism (Hillary for America 2016a). Despite the fact that she helped negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership during her time as secretary of state, Clinton spoke out against it during her campaign, declaring that it did not meet her standards for new American jobs and higher wages (Smith 2016).

Issues addressed only by Clinton

Education was an important issue for Clinton. She wanted every 4-year-old in America to attend preschool and was looking to increase child care investments so that no family had to pay more than 10 percent of its income for child care and award scholarships to support student parents. Additionally, she wanted to raise wages of the workers in child care (Hillary for America 2016c). Another one of Hillary Clinton’s goals in education was to improve public schools by elevating and modernizing the teaching profession, paying teachers higher wages, and rebuilding and modernizing school buildings (Hillary for America 2016e). Furthermore, she promised to make debt-free college available for everyone and help those with existing student debt. Among others, she was planning on offering free tuition at community colleges and in-state four-year public colleges or universities. Additionally, she wanted to cut interests rates for college student loans so the governments would never profit from them (Hillary for America 2016d). Finally, she wanted to provide training programs for workers and people who are looking for work. Among others, she wanted to implement a tax credit for businesses that hire apprentices (Hillary for America 2016f).

Clinton also called for more rights for minority groups like people affected by disability, women and LGBT and wanted to work towards racial justice in the whole nation (Hillary for America 2016q).

[...]

Details

Pages
40
Year
2017
ISBN (eBook)
9783668659155
ISBN (Book)
9783668659162
File size
478 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v415872
Institution / College
Academy for Design Cologne
Grade
1,3
Tags
USA Wahlkampf Trump Clinton

Author

Share

Previous

Title: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton. A comparison in the run for presidency in the United States in 2016