In the last two weeks, America has seen two quite polarizing ends of the political spectrum. We've seen the fear-driven Republican National Convention, and we've seen the optimistic Democratic National Convention. These two very different views of America are what we will see manifest on the ballots this November. Trump versus Clinton. It is sure to be a battle that will go down in the books forever. In this article, I will highlight the drastic differences in the two conventions in these three issues: criminal justice reform, economy, and the future of America.
The Republican National Convention was the week before the Democratic National Convention, and I imagine the DNC was grateful for that. In the first night, we saw plagiarism from Melania Trump. Though that dominated the news cycle for the first night, Ted Cruz and his gangster move at the RNC commanded the news for the rest of the week, and even overshadowed Mike Pence, Donald Trump's vice presidential pick. Mike Pence made a speech about sticking with our NATO allies just hours after Donald Trump said he would neglect them if they didn't pay us. The whole thing was a spectacle that excited half of America, yet devastated the other half. It was official, Donald Trump could truly be President of the United States of America.
But beyond these incidents, the RNC spoke a lot about law and order. When we hear those three words, we're not talking about the famous TV empire, we're talking about the criminal justice system. Republicans have been very quiet on the issue of black people being killed by the police, but have been very loud about respecting the dignity of officers who killed those people. Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, for example, mentioned that the country should celebrate because a lieutenant had been acquitted of all charges in the Freddie Gray case. The crowd began shouting, "Blue lives matter," and as I watched it happen, surrounded by black people who are terrified of the police, I was flabbergasted. Celebrating what is, essentially, a cover-up for murder was the one thing I noticed that didn't receive as much cable media attention as I would have liked to see. But who are we kidding, it was expected at the RNC.
The DNC, however, was different. The Mothers of the Movement, consisting of Sandra Bland's mother, Jordan Davis's mother, and Trayvon Martin's mother, spoke about gun violence and police violence in America. Other DNC speakers talked about criminal justice reform and systemic racism, and what their nominee planned to do about it. The Democratic nominee did not use the phrase Black Lives Matter like activists expected, but Secretary Clinton did mention the disconnect between police and the communities they are policing, which was far more than what Donald Trump had to say.
The economy is a huge issue heading into the 2016 election on both sides, as it is in every election cycle. Donald Trump suggested that deporting undocumented immigrants would grow our economy because Americans could be put back to work. The way Mr. Trump speaks about undocumented immigrants is troubling to say the least. He even said they were being "released" and "roaming free" as if they are stray dogs rather than people searching for a better life in a country that claims to be the land of opportunity. The entire speech was problematic. The following week, when Secretary Clinton addressed the DNC, she mentioned that undocumented immigrants are actually growing the economy, and laid out a promise for comprehensive immigration reform. The Secretary also spoke about her promise to invest in small business, while Donald Trump, a member of the party who largely supports small businesses, failed to mention such a plan. Trump did mention that he does not support the TPP, a Republican backed trade agreement from President Obama, and instead said that businesses would pay for outsourcing jobs. His mention of outsourcing jobs was a hypocritical one, considering most Trump merchandise is made in countries around the world, instead of being manufactured right in the U.S. Hillary Clinton spoke about the "rust belt" and hiring people in clean energy and technology so the economy will grow. Both parties have visions of expanding the economy, though they will go about it in two different ways.
The future played a large roll in both conventions. Donald Trump insisted that if America continued down the path of the Obama legacy, a legacy promising economic and educational expansion, diversifying American politics, and creating social justice, we would end up in a dark and gloomy place. In fact, his entire speech was dark and gloomy. It was unlike any other convention speech on either side of party lines, which Trump's candidacy has proven to be. He spoke about ways to "make America great again," ways that would disenfranchise the middle class and small business owners, and create a larger racial gap than what already exists. Hillary Clinton's view of the state of America was drastically unlike Mr. Trump's. Secretary Clinton spoke about optimism and our greatness. As Michelle Obama expertly said, "America is already great." The democrats were able to eloquently and expertly lay out police and a platform that is sure to transform America for the better.
Election day is November 8, 2016, and in this election, everyone must vote. It is imperative for the future of America to elect Hillary Clinton for the Presidency of the United States. To catch up on political news, please visit the Huffington Post and the Washington Post.