Crash Course to the American Election

Eleanor Hogan summarises the upcoming American election.

A lot of things seem to happen every four years: the Olympics, the World Cup, Adele’s new album – the list goes on. But for Americans, every four years, the usually uninteresting political news cycle ramps up, and suddenly every one of your Facebook friends has become a political commentator and is more than happy to yell at you over the internet.

American presidential elections tend to be a multi-year, multi-million dollar, and multi-step ordeal. Candidates typically begin running the spring of the year preceding the election and they will campaign for their party’s nomination until the summer of the election year. This time last year, the field of nominees was much wider. Some, like Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, were serious contenders up until the conventions. Others were mere side shows to the more vocal candidates. When it comes down to it, all that really matters are the names that appear on the ballot come the 8th of November: Hillary Rodham Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine; Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence.

This year’s election is rather historic, as it the first time that a major party have nominated a woman as their nominee. And as such, were Secretary Clinton to be elected president, she would be the first female president in American history.

Photo: BBC
Photo: BBC

As election day approaches, Americans find themselves torn. Truly, it is a challenging decision, which many view as selecting the lesser of two evils. There is no clear frontrunner as of now, with Secretary Clinton only ahead by a few points. As it currently stands, Secretary Clinton is just slightly edging out Mr. Trump, but there are still 39 days and two debates to go before Americans cast their vote.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

  • Education: Wellesley College; Yale Law School
  • Worked as a lawyer, law professor, and advocate for children
  • Served as first lady of Arkansas (1983-1992); First Lady of the United States (1993-2001)
  • Elected as New York State Senator in 2001, serving until 2009
  • Served as Secretary of State under President Obama from 2009-2013
  • Platform: education reform at the college level; immigration reform for immigrant workers and families; equal pay; increase in federal infrastructure

Donald J. Trump

  • Education: Fordham University; University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School of Finance and Commerce
  • Chairman of the Trump Foundation 
  • Involved in large building projects in Manhattan, particularly hotels
  • Also known for his highly rated television programs, The Apprentice, and The Celebrity Apprentice
  • Platform: stricter immigration reform; lower corporate tax; bring jobs back to America from overseas; defeat ISIS and their ideology through international cooperation   

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