Okay so at this point you probably know as much as you need to know about the personalities of the 2016 presidential candidates, and maybe you’ve heard about some of their policies. But do you know if those policies are actually going to do what their advocates say they will do? Can Bernie actually make education free, can Hillary actually defeat ISIS and can Donald actually build that wall? Or are they all just pathological liars trying to sway gullible voters?
Trump’s huge, beautiful, immigrant-repelling wall would cover over 2000 miles of mostly desert, take at least 4 years to build and cost as much as $10 billion. Trump claims he can force Mexico to pay for the wall with coercive measures such as visa hikes, import tariffs and halting remittances. Mexico says nope, hard pass. So to make his campaign promise come true, Trump would have to negotiate major backlash from a worsening US-Mexico alliance, a divided GOP and Congressional and federal court red tape, all for a wall which won’t solve the main immigration problem of visa overstays. So in theory Trump could build the wall eventually, but the real costs might not be worth it. In the meantime he can practice on the “Trump’s Wall” game from the app store.
Sanders’ policies have been likened to unicorns, rainbows, voodoo and “magic flying puppies with winning Lotto tickets tied to their collars”. So just how does he propose to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, costing $75 billion a year? By taxing Wall Street speculative trades (think stocks, bonds etc.) to the tune of (disputed) $300 billion a year. Cue Gordon Gecko’s maniacal laugh. But this doesn’t address the problem of the rising costs of tuition (and the rising enrollments once it becomes free), it merely passes on the costs to the government. But that aside, taxing certain parts of the market could discourage trading (goodbye revenue) and encourage tax evasion, which surely goes against Sanders’ principles in the first place. It looks like this unicorn won't fly.
Clinton’s vast wealth of foreign policy experience is arguably the most convincing aspect of her candidacy. Her plan to defeat ISIS involves intensifying the US air campaign (think more drone strikes), arming and supporting local forces, pursuing diplomatic strategies with regional governments and hunting down the terrorists online. So will a policy that doesn’t include carpet bombing and torturing terrorists’ families really make an impact against such a dangerous foe? Experts say, probably mostly. But if the choice is between the Republicans’ “Hulk, smash!” approach and the Democrats’ more nuanced plan, then #ImWithHer.
Feel like your options are limited? Movie for your mood: Limitless