The pre-election nomination craze — can the candidates deliver?

Conor O'Bryon

Many candidates. Two nominations. One president. The 2016 election craze is already here. Political ads have already gone on air. The media is extensively covering people who have declared they are running. It sounds like it must be the spring of 2016. Except it’s not. It is the spring of 2015. America just had midterm elections. Obama has just over 18 months left in office. Yet others are already looking for donations to kick-start their campaigns. It all seems slightly ridiculous. Attention is turning from issues like the Iran nuclear deal and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine to something almost a year-and-a-half away.

Many Republicans, and a few Democrats, are vying for the coveted nomination of their respective parties. Anyone can run, and some seem to be taking that to heart, such as Carly Fiorina, ex-CEO of Hewlett-Packard, who was fired from her old job. Most of these candidates are not going to receive a large number of votes. That is probably a good thing. These people may be smart, but to be a good president you need to have an understanding of the basics — international relations and the ins-and-outs of politics in America, as well as financial sense. Not all that can be gained from being a pediatric neurosurgeon or an entrepreneur. These people may have good skills but sometimes not the skills needed for the most powerful office in the world.

America needs a breath of fresh air. The current president has only taken small steps towards a host of big problems. Under his foreign policy, America has lessened its world presence. The problem is, when you show someone you are not willing to do certain things (such as following through when someone crosses a “red line”), they stop listening to you. This can be very difficult to resolve. The Iran nuclear deal, for example, has everyone in the Middle East on edge, and with good reason. A state that sponsors terrorism doesn’t sound very trustworthy, yet the U.S. is putting complete faith in Iran with such a deal. The President has also not done very well with fiscal responsibility. The national debt has almost doubled under his administration. While the President has proposed a 2016 budget that reduces the deficit, it still adds almost $500 billion to the debt. Unless America balances its budget, or even manages to get a surplus, the $18 trillion debt will not go away. The deficit needs to be eradicated, not reduced.

The 2016 nominations will be quite interesting. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker seem to be favored for the Republican Party’s nomination, but their field is crowded. Unfortunately, some of these candidates running in 2016 do not sound so promising. Ted Cruz has spoken at rallies about taking down the IRS. Quick reality check: who’s going to collect the taxes? Hmm. Apparently that memo was lost.The Democratic party’s frontrunner and likely nominee is Hillary Clinton, who has been battling scandal after scandal, first on her use of personal email whilst Secretary of State, then on how the Clinton Foundation took donations from people and countries, representing potential conflicts of interest. A president should be trustworthy. Hillary Clinton hasn’t come clean and has done nothing to regain our trust, yet many Democrats don’t seem to mind.

Hopefully the battles between the candidates will be enlightening and encouraging, not depressing. America needs strong, united leadership. Only time will tell who comes out on top, and whether they can deliver.