As we transition into the summer, it’s important to look forward to the fall and the impending 2016 presidential election. This election is sure to be a contentious one, considering the uniqueness of the presidential candidates. Bernie Sanders, if elected, would be our first Jewish president and is certainly the first candidate to make “socialism” a buzzword with positive associations in our country. Hillary Clinton‘s identity as a woman would provide her with a special place in history if elected. Some sites have indicated that Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, was the “most scandalous human of 2015” and an election for Trump would certainly have unprecedented implications. And lastly, candidate Ted Cruz has professed his affinity for Nickelback on multiple occasions, an unpopular opinion for any candidate to hold. For these reasons and more, it’s important to keep an eye on this campaign!
While it’s important for us to try and follow the election, I know how hard it is to keep track of candidates’ various positions on issues. I’d like to use today’s post to offer our readers a handy guide to the candidates’ positions on some of the key feminist-related issues of this election!
Abortion rights is a hot topic in politics and in general right now. With bills such as Texas’ HB2 proposal, it’s more important than ever to protect a woman’s right to choose.
- Bernie Sanders: “We are not going back to the days when women had to risk their lives to end an unwanted pregnancy. The decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman and her doctor to make, not the government.” Additionally, he is opposed to the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
- Hillary Clinton: Clinton insists that she will “defend women’s health and reproductive rights against attacks.” She also stands with Planned Parenthood.
- Donald Trump: “As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, I’m pro-life. I’m totally against abortion, having to do with Planned Parenthood….I would defund it because of the abortion factor, which they say is 3 percent. I don’t know what percentage it is. They say it’s 3%. But I would defund it, because I’m pro-life. But millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood.” Trump’s opinions are ever-changing and largely unclear.
- Ted Cruz: While it’s difficult to find an exact response to his stance on abortion specifically, he is vehemently opposed to Planned Parenthood.
Paid Family Leave effects both men and women. Starting and raising a family is a difficult endeavor and we need candidates that understand the responsibility that new parents have.
- Bernie Sanders: Sanders supports 12 weeks of paid family leave to new parents.
- Hillary Clinton: Clinton wants to guarantee 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave.
- Donald Trump: “Well, it’s something that’s being discussed. I think we have to keep our country very competitive so you have to be careful of it, but certainly there are a lot of people discussing it.”
- Ted Cruz: “I think maternity leave and paternity leave are wonderful things. I support them personally, but I don’t think the federal government should be in the business of mandating them.”
LGBT+ Rights: This is a non-negotiable issue for many feminist voters, and with good reason.
- Bernie Sanders: His website notes his sustained support for LGBT rights, including his support for New York City’s first pride parade and his vote against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
- Hillary Clinton: “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans deserve to live their lives free from discrimination.”
- Donald Trump: Recently he expressed support for the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) which would expose LGBT people to more discrimination.
- Ted Cruz: He is largely opposed to marriage equality and refuses to support nondiscrimination protections to LGBT Americans.
Gender Equality: There are so many issues relevant to gender equality, and the lack of equal pay is a major one.
- Bernie Sanders: According to Sanders’ website, he wants to fight pay inequality and expand and protect reproductive rights for women.
- Hillary Clinton: Clinton wants to close the pay gap by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act—a bill she introduced as a senator.
- Donald Trump: According to Trump, “You’re gonna make the same if you do as good a job.”
- Ted Cruz: Cruz insists that equal pay has been enacted for years.
It’s important to do your own research about the issues that matter most to you, but I hope this article has provided a helpful starting off point! Go forth and vote!!!