With the conclusion of the two major party nomination conventions, the United States is all set to welcome the country’s 45th president. The presidential elections is scheduled to take place on November 18 and at present three of the four running parties have put forth their presidential nominee.
The Republicans and Democrats are the largest political parties in the United States. While the former has elected Donald Trump as its nominee, the latter has chosen former first lady Hillary Clinton to be its face in the Presidential elections. The two other parties running for the post are the Libertarian party with Gary Johnson as its nominee and the Green party which currently has a presumptive nominee in Jill Stein.
Born in 1947 at illinois, Chicago, Hillary Rodham Clinton is the daughter of a former Republican. She decided to leave the Republican side in her college years after getting disillusioned by the party’s take on the American civil rights movement and the Vietnam war. Professionally she is a lawyer and has since her days in college ran several campaigns and initiatives on issues of child benefits and healthcare.
Clinton is the first woman in the United states to obtain the kind of political achievements she has. Apart from carrying out successful healthcare programs in Arkansas as the state’s first lady in the early 1990s, she was the first woman to be elected US senator from New York in 2000. As New York Senator, she was instrumental in reestablishing the city post the World Trade Centre attacks in 2001. In 2008, she ran for the Presidential post against Barack Obama but lost. However, on the insistence of Obama, she served the country as its secretary of state till 2013.
As part of the ongoing election cycle, Clinton is the first woman to be nominated as Presidential candidate by a major political party in the United States. Clinton has chosen Virginia senator, Tim Kaine as her running mate. Her husband and former president of the United States described her as the “best darn change maker he has ever met” and Barack Obama spoke of her as being better qualified for the Presidential post than him or Bill. However, she has been mired in several controversies including accusations of corruption, private emails and covering up for accusations against Bill Clinton. If she wins she would be creating history in giving America its first-ever woman president.
Unlike Hillary Clinton, Trump originates from a completely non-political background. He is a successful New York-based businessman and a television personality who decided to enter the Presidential race in 2015. Running alongside him for the post of Vice-President is Indiana Governor, Mike Pence.
After securing an Economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Trump went on to take over his father’s real estate and construction business. He has been listed by Forbes as one among the top 400 billionaires of the world.
Ever since he started campaigning for the Presidential elections, he has focused his attention upon enforcement of immigration laws in the United States. His announcement of building a wall along the US-Mexico border garnered a huge amount of controversy. Other issues he has taken up as presidential candidate is the opposition to trade agreements like the NAFTA and TPP.
Trump’s election campaign has received a huge amount of national and international media attention, particularly due to the kind of controversies his statements gave rise to. His speeches against Muslims have been looked down upon by countries all over the world while his statements supporting gun license in America is also something that has not been well received in the aftermath some very serious mass shooting incidents in the recent past.
American journalist and political analyst Bernard Goldberg had once mentioned that the appeal of Donald Trump lies in him being a businessman and not a politician, in his capacity of not sounding like a politician.
While the Democrats and Republicans remain the two major parties of the United States, the Libertarians constitute the third largest political party. Gary Johnson was nominated as the party’s presidential nominee in May 2016.
The Libertarians claim that they are more ‘culturally liberal’ than the Democrats and more ‘fiscally conservative’ than the Republicans. The party had nominated Johnson as their Presidential nominee in the 2012 elections as well when he managed to secure 1 percent of the general election votes against President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Johnson had joined the Libertarians in 2011. He was previously the Governor of New Mexico and a member of the Republican party. If he comes to power he plans on cutting down taxes and cutting back on military interventions. He is also aggressively mooting for legalisation of marijuana. To accompany him as running mate, he has chosen former Republican Massachusetts Governor, William Weld.
A recent opinion poll conducted by Huffington Post revealed that when Johnson was included in the choice given to voters, he managed to significantly lower the Clinton’s lead over Trump. In the past a nationwide poll had shown that 44 per cent of the voters wanted an alternative to Trump and Clinton.
The fourth largest party of the United States in the leftist Green Party and their presumptive presidential nominee is Jill Stein. The Green Party calls itself an “eco-socialist” party that supports causes of environmentalism, inclusive democracy and social justice.
Stein, still not a confirmed nominee, is a medical practitioner and activist who graduated from Harvard. As presidential candidate, she claims to be carrying ahead the work left undone by Bernie Sanders and has criticised Sanders for endorsing Clinton after losing the Democrat nominee race. She is also strongly opposed to the two-party system in America which is believes is inherently corrupt.
Economists and political analysts believe that Stein’s ideas are way too liberal to be taken seriously. She has plans of cutting down military spending by half, free college tuition and student debt cancellation among many others. For many who are unhappy with the loss of Bernie Sanders, Stein comes across as the best possible alternative. As reported by Time magazine, many in the Democratic party convention have put forth their view of voting for Stein in the absence of Sanders.
Schedule of the elections
The United States follows an indirect election pattern. Citizens of every state and territory of the country vote for delegates to represent them in their respective party conventions. The delegates then elect the presidential nominees in the conventions.
Now that the Presidential nominees are out, the four candidates would run for election on November 8, 2016. On January 6, 2017 the electoral votes would be counted and January 20, 2017 would see the 45th president of the United States being officially inaugurated into office.