Gracie’s take on the 2016 presidential candidates

In 1963, Bernie Sanders was arrested while protesting racial segregation in Chicago – Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune
In 1963, Bernie Sanders was arrested while protesting racial segregation in Chicago – Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

Note: Content in the Editorial page represents the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Ka ‘Ohana or its staff.

The 2016 presidential election has been one of hot debate. The country wants serious change from someone not in cahoots with harmful political agendas. Both Republican and Democratic parties have come up with two very different solutions: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Donald Trump is taking his recognizability and people’s anger and harnessing them to gain support. In doing so, he has exacerbated our country’s racism and sexism by making people think it’s normal to be like him.

Because of how hateful he is on television, people aren’t ashamed to think things like banning an entire religious group from entering our country or building a wall (I wonder to keep Mexicans out or to keep us in?) to even sexualizing their daughters are solid ideas.

If you do not know what I’m talking about on that last one, do a YouTube search for “Trump and daughter” to endure some of the most awkward clips I have ever forced myself to sit through.

If or when the majority of people realize Trump is better off a reality TV star and not our president, the real issue lies in his runner up.

Ted Cruz has been waiting patiently on the sidelines for everyone to realize that electing the overly proud owner of the Miss Universe and America pageants is maybe not the best idea. Then there Cruz will be, as gloriously hateful as Trump but who talks prettier and has actual experience as a senator.

This is frightening because although Cruz may seem more balanced, he is just as maniacal and stands politically for everything that Trump does.

Under either of these two men we are going to get a real expensive wall, make a reputation for ourselves as a racist and sexist country yet again,and stay involved in foreign affairs under the guise of trying to help. And inside the country, we will have even more privatized prisons (which profit from keeping beds full), raise the incarceration rate even higher and increase minimum sentences for offenders, which will disproportionately affect our darker skinned brothers and sisters.

At the heart of right wing outrage culture, you will see people who are angry because their lives didn’t turn out how they wanted.Those middle aged white men who listen to Rush Limbaugh and don’t hold as much power as they thought they would by now.

Banning abortion doesn’t mean that abortions stop happening. It simply means more women will run to Mexico for a normally safe procedure that will be dangerous to do there. Or they’ll die trying to do it themselves because they are trapped inside the U.S. by this wall that conservatives want so bad.

Maybe there are ulterior motives in building a wall that’s making conservatives so keen on this, for say example if modern day martial law is enforced or to keep us from fleeing the country in crisis. Because news flash: “The Mexicans” aren’t taking our jobs. They’re doing all the jobs that Americans are too lazy to do, like growing the food we need to live.

And conservatives want to ban all “the muslims?” That’s not constitutional or even screenable. Turning away Middle Easterners seeking refuge is an ironic conservative talking point though considering the Christmas story.

While we could write a book about the flaws of the right wing agenda, I will say that as a Christian woman, I would rather display my faith by promoting love and peace. Set an example of what Jesus would do; don’t think that forcing Christian laws on our country will make us any more of a “saved nation.”

Then there’s the left wing, and we have someone who tells it like it is even more than Trump ever could. Yes, Bernie Sanders is not sexy nor the easiest to sell by any means, but he’s like an awesome uncle, one who has been fighting for womenʻs rights since his early career and was literally arrested marching with Martin Luther King Jr. for civil rights.

A lot of people are starting to “feel the bern.” Some of his stances may be more middle leaning, but what’s great about this is the compromise and logic behind taking the good ideas from all parties and combining them. The activist at heart can’t be bought, and to see a reasonable independent run for the Democratic nomination is refreshing, because he is not bound to only one sides point of view.

For example, he wants to work on fixing the mental health system and closing gun purchasing loopholes and enforcing background checks. But he also won’t ban guns all together because he believes in our right to defend ourselves.

He has bad hair days, but shouldn’t we all be a little suspicious of those who look just a little too put together and presented carefully to us by the media? Sure he doesn’t have a team of people making sure he looks perfect at all times, but he has proven himself to be ethically sound and to speak from conviction.

It’s humorous that conservatives say Bernie supporters just want a bunch of “free stuff,” when these are the same supporters who donated $40 million to Bernie’s campaign with $250 being the maximum donation allowed.

While Bernie has been funded by the American people, Hillary Clinton is funded by super PACs and groups like Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, 21st Century Fox, JP Morgan and Time Warner to name a few. While Clinton has claimed “our campaign depends on small donations for the majority of our support,” only 19 percent of Clinton’s funds are from individual donations.

The establishments that do fund Clinton unfortunately lead to big money and corporations (which controls a lot of what is fed to us through media), giving Hillary preferential treatment and in the beginning of the race even censored Bernie’s existence–until he was too big to ignore.

Hillary’s blatant compulsive lying makes a lot of people recoil because between lying to Congress and the American people about her emails to making up “big fish” stories like that she came under sniper fire on a trip in Bosnia, it’s understandable most don’t find her trustworthy.

Nonetheless, she may still win the Democratic nomination even if she does not win the popular vote. Superdelegates are not required to vote with the majority of the people they represent, which may spell trouble for Bernie because Hillary has amassed a rather large superdelegate following that we can expect she will use to her advantage.

“He’s a socialist,” you may hear a Republican retort reflexively when asked about Bernie. Democratic socialism believes that social and economic decisions should be made by those whom they affect. Right wingers treat socialism like it’s a bad word, because to them, it means true democracy would be calling the shots instead of corporate bureaucracies.

All they care about is making money and making sure America keeps producing consumers. And isn’t it odd how intensely conservatives want babies to be born, but don’t care what happens to them after?

We are the only developed country that does not have guaranteed paid maternity leave. Bernie thinks women should make the choice of whether or not to have a baby and is proposing 12 weeks paid maternity leave to those who decide they do.

And while baby boomer feminists are hoping Hillary will win so they can tell their granddaughter that they could one day be president, millennial feminists are hoping Bernie will win so that maybe one day they can afford to have children at all.

Bernie doesn’t just care about the people alive now and their children, he cares about what happens long-term and understands how dire our environmental situation is. When the Democratic candidates were asked what the biggest threat to national security was, Bernie was wise in acknowledging that humankind is in danger and that it is unacceptable to ignore science and doom future generations in order to accumulate more wealth in the present. We need a leader who will not be swayed by bribery and will not ignore facts and science.

The Republicans certainly do rip on his tax plans, but let’s first consider that we are in trillions of dollars of debt. We need taxes, and we need to make sure the top 1 percent don’t keep getting away with not paying taxes, considering they own more wealth than the bottom 90% percent of us put together.

Bernie supports peace, and if you’re wondering how he’s going to pay for social programs like paid maternal leave, look no further than military cuts. Why are we putting 27 percent of our taxes into sending our troops to fight in other people’s wars when we can’t take care of the veterans we have now?

This is clearly just my opinion, and if you feel differently that’s okay because we aren’t under a dictatorship (yet). But I propose that Hawai’i separates from the U.S. if Trump wins.

Luckily, that shouldn’t be too difficult as most Trump supporters don’t know that Hawai’i is an American state.

by Gracie Berkley, Ka ‘Ohana Editor In Chief