Point/Counter Point: Hillary or Donald? A look at both sides in the Presidential Election

I’m With Her, and you should be too

A child is undergoing a high pressure brain surgery, and there are only two candidates who can perform the procedure.

One of the candidates promises that he can perform it. He claims that choosing him is the only way the child can live. Keep in mind, this man is not a brain surgeon, and he has never had experience in brain surgery. However, he is a man who is famous beyond words. This man is extremely educated from a prestigious program at a world renowned university, but not in the medical field. He is not the most trustworthy or respectable man, and he has terrible public image. Despite all of that, he has a plan to help the child have a better life. He’s asking for the parents to choose him to perform this life or death procedure on their child.

The second candidate has never performed this exact surgery, but she is a brain surgeon and has been for 35 years. She has studied closely first hand underneath surgeons who have performed this exact surgery successfully. However, keep in mind that this surgeon is a woman– a deciding factor for some people. She’s had a few issues with corrupt medical records, but has never been convicted of anything. The top brain surgeon in the field who has performed this procedure for the past eight years recommends her. She studied to be a brain surgeon at the top medical school in the country. She’s asking to choose her to perform this life or death procedure on the child.

Who would you choose?

American people still have a hard time choosing which presidential candidate they want, even with the candidates laid out in their most raw form.

Right now, we have an abnormal election before us. On one hand, we have an extremely qualified woman with a tainted public image based on past political decisions and on the other is a rich businessman under qualified in every way who has a new collection of scandals every week.

Hillary Clinton is the right choice for the American people. Beyond the obvious fact that she is a hardworking, relentless, qualified individual with perseverance through the roof (or ceiling), she is also what America needs. After President Obama, we need someone who can continue the progression he started, including passing the Health Care reform and spurring economic growth amid a recession, not shut it down like Donald Trump plans.

ObamaCare, as controversial as it has become, has been proven to work. By 2014, more than 15 million Americans without previous health insurance were covered. This program decreased the number of uninsured adults from 18 percent of the population to 13.4 percent. Hillary Clinton has stated that she wants to improve upon this program and make it more accessible, quality, and affordable, rather than entirely end the progression it made like Trump has suggested. It makes close to no sense for us to start over when the United States has a system set that we can continue to improve upon.

As for continuing the economic growth, Hillary too hopes to make our economy stronger than ever. An appealing aspect is her  plan to make debt free college available to every American, which would improve our economy monumentally. She has said, directly on her website:

I’m With Her, and you should be too

By 2021, families with income up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state four-year public colleges and universities. And from the beginning, every student from a family making $85,000 a year or less will be able to go to an in-state four-year public college or university without paying tuition.”

With this, all community colleges will be free. Students will have to pay room and board at any college or university they attend though, and only tuition will be covered.

At the moment, according to CNBC, we as Americans have collectively more than $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, 40 million people borrowing, and an average balance of $29,000. Creating accessible debt free college would help the US economy, decrease the amount of loans taken out, and put money back in the hands of the people.

Senator Clinton has a few more big focuses–especially on immigration reform and racial justice.

Within her first 100 days in office, Clinton wants to introduce what she calls a “comprehensive immigration reform” that includes treating immigrants with dignity, protecting our borders, upholding the laws, fixing the family visa backlog and making the economy accessible to immigrants by becoming citizens. Her first and foremost priorities are protecting our borders and protecting the families that have been affected by illegal immigration. She plans to promote naturalization and prevent the separation of families, while still putting the American people first.

As for racial justice, Hillary plans to reform our broken criminal justice system. She wants to push for the end of racial profiling by police and implement a better relationship between the community and the police, thus making it a more safe and beneficial environment for everyone. Along with this, promotes the end of the epidemic of gun violence in the United States–the number one cause of death for young African American men. To put this into action, she plans to “crack down on gun stores that flood our communities with illegal guns and deprive our children of their futures.”

President and First Lady Obama, who have left many Americans raving about their eight years together as America’s leaders, have publicly and outwardly endorsed Senator Clinton as well. They speak at rallies for her when she is somewhere else campaigning. Recently, while speaking about Hillary at an event, Michelle Obama said:

“If any of us had raised a daughter like Hillary Clinton, we would be so proud.”

Whether you like Clinton or not, you cannot deny her accomplishments. She was first lady from 1993 to 2001, has held public office since 2001, and was Secretary of State from 2009-2013. This directly correlates with First Lady Obama’s quote, implying that if someone had a daughter of such remarkable accomplishments they would be beyond proud. In a political world ruled mainly by men, (only 19.4 percent of Congress is composed of women) it is beyond impressive for Senator Clinton to be where she is at this moment.

Every parent would hope that their son or daughter can achieve their dreams. At this point in history, young women have minimal representation in the federal government, not to mention none in the presidency. Hillary Clinton, will inspire the masses of young women who need a voice in politics and “break the ceiling.”

As appealing as all of this is, some might still not be convinced.

Let’s talk e-mails, then. Here are the facts: Clinton did violate and break federal rules and State Department policy. Clinton has not been convicted of anything, yet. She has apologized publicly for her lack of judgement and has admitted she made a mistake. Clinton made a mistake, an unintentional accident.

You know what was intentional? You’ve got it–Donald Trump’s misogynistic sexually explicit comments. He not only has bragged about violating women on multiple occasions, he has been open with the fact that he feels he is superior to women, and that he can manipulate them with his power. Instead of appropriately apologizing, when asked in a formal televised debate about the situation, he simply excused it as “locker room talk” and says the past is behind him.

Is it? With his comments on women recently, calling them “pigs,” “dogs,” “disgusting animal,” “fat,” “slob” and many more, it’d be hard to say the past is behind him. (Doesn’t convince you? For a compiled list of more sexist comments he’s made over the years, look here).

When it comes down to it, character doesn’t matter as much as policy. Let’s take a look at “The Donald’s” policies.

Donald Trump is notorious for his controversial immigration plans. A common slogan of his supporters is, “Build the wall.” This is referring to the policy Trump wants to implement, in which he intends to build a wall around our southern border, thus keeping Mexico and the United States separate. He claims that he will make Mexico pay for the wall. That proposal was shut down by Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto. He said in a tweet, “Repito lo que le dije personalmente, Sr. Trump: México jamás pagaría por un muro.” That translates to, “I repeat what I told you personally, Mr. Trump: Mexico would never pay for a wall.”

If the U.S. pays for the wall, that would be a huge economic toll that counters what Donald Trump says he will do for our economy. It has recently been settled and disclosed by Donald Trump himself that the wall will cost around $10 billion.

Beyond creating a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, Donald Trump also wants to deport millions of illegal immigrants. As told to NY Times reporter Julia Preston, former secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said:

“I can’t even begin to picture how we would deport 11 million people in a few years where we don’t have a police state, where the police can’t break down your door at will and take you away without a warrant.”

His words provoke the thought that quite possibly Trump’s deportation policies just won’t work. Hmmm.

Foreign relations are a big deal for our country in this election. Donald Trump has disclosed in a public interview that when it comes to nuclear weapons he will “never, ever rule it out,” even when talking about NATO and the United Nations, our closest allies.

Another comment Trump made on NATO was: “If we are not going to be reasonably reimbursed for the tremendous cost of protecting these massive nations with tremendous wealth then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.’”

This comment goes against all rules of NATO. We have been treaty bound to protecting all countries involved in the organization since NATO began in 1949. It is policy that if one country is attacked, all countries involved are attacked. Trump’s comments do not support this treaty, which will cause our foreign relations to halt and be shakier than ever, even with our closest allies.

The support from most public officials including senators, representatives, cabinet members and the President speak for itself. Hillary’s hard work, perseverance, experience, and wisdom speaks for itself. The way she’s handled herself through the scandals and allegations speaks for itself. Donald Trump’s ignorant words, offensive comments, and sexist (not to mention racist) mindset also speaks for itself. His flawed policy plan speaks for itself.

Listen to the words. Each candidate’s attitude, campaign, policies and aura speaks for itself. What are you hearing?

By Abigail Stark


Open your eyes,  and let’s make America great again

The 2016 presidential election is the strangest election in the great history of the United States of America. The two candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, are the two most disliked candidates in history. However, when I look at the two candidates, the choice for president is clear.

The most important national issue to many Americans is the economy. Donald Trump has been one of the most successful businessmen in the last 100 years. Businesses are the foundation of the American economy, so what better person to run our country than one who knows how to start and keep a successful business? Trump plans to reduce business rates to a flat rate of 15 percent, increasing their profits, allowing more money to expand business and create more jobs. He would reduce the individual rates into three brackets specialized for the lower, middle and upper class with rates of 12, 25 and 33 percent.

Trump wants to cut taxes across the board with lower and middle class incomes receiving massive cuts, and while the upper class will receive cuts as well, it will still be the highest contributor by about eight percent. President Trump would also decrease the taxes on manufacturing businesses and labor in the United States, while raising the import taxes on companies who manufacture outside of the US and decreasing the export taxes, allowing the globalization and increased profits of American companies.

President Trump’s plan would create almost five times as many jobs in the next 10 years than Barack Obama created in his eight years; with Trump’s estimated job creation at around 25 million jobs. Now, Obama has stated repeatedly that he has created almost 15 million jobs since he took office; however, statistics have showed that number to be around six million, with a majority of those jobs coming straight from the government, which raises taxes on the American worker and drives down the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). If you take away all of the governmental jobs created, there is actually a higher rate of job loss than job growth.

A growing problem in the United States is the ever-worsening Affordable Care Act also known as Obama Care. In late 2016, early 2017, we will see premiums on health care rise on average 22 percent, with some states taking shots to the heart, like Arizona, who will see a 113 percent increase in premium prices. Trump’s first step on day one will be to repeal Obama Care and end the suffering it has created. There will be a series of reforms in place that will “follow free market principles” and “restore economic freedom and certainty” to all people of the United States. The administration will focus on passing a “patient-centered” health care system that is more cost-affordable, and allows for more choice and quality for health care.

Like the great President Reagan before him, Trump will create a foreign policy that is based on “peace through strength.” He will create a powerful military and grow America’s cyber capabilities, while working with the country’s allies in the Middle East to take out ISIS and put an end to radical Islamic terrorism. Trump also plans to repeal the defense sequester and create a new budget that allows a rebuilding of America’s depleting military. Although a growing military would mean more spending, Trump plans to pay for it by completing a full audit of the Pentagon, stopping incorrect payments, collecting unpaid taxes and reducing unnecessary programs.

Recently, Trump announced that if elected president, his pick for attorney general would be South Carolina representative Trey Gowdy, who has long been respected by both parties as a man of integrity who, no matter the issue or political party, will always do the right thing. Gowdy is a true patriot who believes in the success of America and would help to eliminate the corruption in Washington.

Probably the most talked about issue of Trump’s campaign has been his stance on immigration. Liberals will fill your head with lies, calling Trump a racist, saying he hates Mexicans and wants to deport all of them out of America. This is completely false. Trump has not at all been racist. A main point of his immigration stance includes a plan to deport any and all illegal immigrants. Trump has stated that he has nothing but respect for those who have come here legally to work, pay taxes and live out the American Dream. However, because of his plan to deport illegal immigrants, the Liberal media has incorrectly spun Trump’s stance to a racist bigot. In case you haven’t heard, Trump also plans on building a wall on the southern border of the United States and Mexico. He has stated that Mexico will pay for the wall, and although Mexico has said they will do no such thing, the future president could force them into paying for it by reducing trade and raising prices on imports to the United States.

Finally, if not for the economy, the most important issue to many Americans would the infrastructure of the U.S. Trump plans on refocusing government spending from Obama and Clinton’s global agenda and invest more on the American infrastructure, putting the U.S. on an “America First” policy that invests in transportation, clean water, a modern electric grid, telecommunications and security. Trump’s plan would give an immense amount of flexibility to the states and create thousands of jobs in construction, manufacturing and other trade sectors that will enable economic development in the US and generate more tax revenues.

Hillary Clinton’s plan for a better America leads only to an even more unstable economy, more debt, higher taxes and fewer jobs for hard-working, middle class Americans. In light of the recent emails recovered from Clinton’s private server, it has been uncovered that she and her husband Bill used the Clinton Foundation to raise tax free money for their personal use. What makes it worse is that a large amount of this money was donated by foreign dictators, enemies of the United States, terrorist groups and black market businesses around the world. Clinton concealed the origins of illegally obtained money obtained from foreign banks from the U.S. government, which is, by definition, money laundering, a crime punishable by law. She has been involved in over 30 years of shady deals that have resulted in her own personal political gain, but done nothing, and in some cases, have harmed the reputation, economy and power of the United States.

Now, comparing the two candidates to surgeons and their medical experience would be like comparing a professional basketball player’s athleticism to a professional golfer’s athleticism. There is no correlation. This has been proven because Ronald Reagan, one of the most respected, greatest leaders the world has ever known became a great governor to the state of California without any political experience, later becoming President of the United States. Like Reagan, Trump has little political experience, but that is what America has been calling for for years, a non-politician who has not been corrupted by the snakes in Washington.

Yes, Clinton has over 30 years of political experience, but she has accomplished very little and her career is filled with lies and scandals. If asking who is more qualified, one might take a glance and say Clinton has more experience, but what good is that experience when over and over she has been involved with shady deals, taking money from terrorists, and has repeatedly been in some sort of scandal, whether it be the alleged rape of several women by her husband, allowing four American soldiers to die in Benghazi when help could have been sent, or the email scandal that leaked classified information in a server that was infiltrated by several foreign governments including North Korea, Russia and China. Hillary is corrupt, but “what difference, at this point, does it make,” a quote from Hillary Clinton when asked why she did nothing to prevent or help the attacks on Americans in Benghazi from taking place.

Let’s all turn on our brains for a second. Open our eyes. It’s crystal clear that this woman is only after money and power and willing to sacrifice the lives of American soldiers to gain said power. Donald Trump’s biggest flaw? He said mean things to a woman once.

As terrible as a president that Barack Obama has been, he did get one thing right: “She’ll say anything and change nothing… It’s time to turn the page… Hillary can’t be trusted.” And Obama said that about Clinton in 2008.

Clinton’s plans for health care reform see much of the current plan, Obama Care, staying in place, which will provide healthcare to people who can neither afford it and many who are too lazy and unwilling to work for it. This skyrockets taxes on the middle class and causes them to take some of their hard earned money and practically give it to many people who do nothing all day.

As for her immigration plan, she plans to treat immigrants with dignity and respect while making it easier for them to gain citizenship. There is nothing wrong with treating our immigrants with respect and dignity. There is nothing wrong with allowing many more immigrants to gain citizenship through the proper steps. However, if a person crosses the border illegally, they are an illegal immigrant; therefore, they have no rights to anything in the United States expect proper protection from the law, but seeing as they have already broken the law, they are subject to arrest and deportation immediately. Some may call this racist, but illegal immigrants are breaking the law. They deserve to be prosecuted for it.

On topic with racial justice, there are steps that can be taken to eliminate racial injustice in the United States; however, viewing the police as an enemy is not the way to go. Yes, there are some corrupt and racist police officers in America, but 99.9 percent of the men in blue that are sent to protect and serve their citizens are there to do exactly that, protect and serve, no matter what it takes. If people want to avoid problems with the police, a smart thing to do would be to stop breaking the law, but what fun is that, right?

Donald Trump has said some harsh things that many people hold against him, but, like Hillary, he has apologized for these mistakes. Trump called one woman “fat,” “ugly,” “disgusting,” another woman was called “miss piggy,” and another was called “nasty.” Wow, I cannot believe anyone would ever call someone such an awful thing, that must have really affected their life in a huuuuge way. Sarcasm. Hillary Clinton used a private email server to transfer classified documents. She broke federal law. Donald Trump said some mean things. Clinton said her mistake was an “unintentional accident.” This “unintentional” mistake put national security at risk, but let’s go ahead and elect her as our president because national security isn’t that important anyways. Sarcasm.

The “locker room talk” thing was a big deal for some people, but for anyone who has ever played a sport ever, let’s be honest, you’ve heard much worse from people who you have the utmost respect for. Trump apologized for his actions, despite the fact that he was wrongfully recorded without knowing he was being recorded.

Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt candidate to ever run for the office of presidency. It is beyond me how ignorant some people can be, denying this fact. She has broken federal law countless amount of times and continues to buy her way to the top, with money she received ILLEGALLY. What more do I need to say for people to smarten up and look at the facts?

Because of his opponent and his thorough plans, Donald Trump is the most obvious choice for the next President of the United States that any election has ever seen, period. He will put an end to the eight years of economic terror done by the Obama administration, reestablish the United States as the greatest, most powerful nation on Earth, create massive job growth, and end the political corruption in Washington.

Please do not allow four more years of hardships on the American people, four more years of raised taxes, four more years of economic crisis, four more years of the corrupt liberal agenda in our nation’s capital. Please get out and vote on November 8, and together, let’s make America great again.

By Noah Throop

Where do you see the future of our country going with the current presidential candidates?


Cheryl Jolin

Cheryl Jolin is the adviser of The Reflection and Gull Lake High School’s yearbook publications for 16 years. In addition, she teaches English, Writing for the Press and AP Literature with a Master's in Journalism from MSU.

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