America: 2015 in recap

Political Recap of 2015 in the United States

The year of 2015 went down as one of the most chaotic years in the United States’ politics – the usual rules of politics did not seem to apply, especially in the presidential primaries. This year, despite all the controversy, has been the year of Donald Trump, an American business magnate. Today, Mr. Trump is one of the candidates for Presidency of the United States representing the Republican party. His critics wrote him off soon after his weak entrance into the race. However, that was just the beginning and after fiery remarks that were perceived as racist and sexist, Trump is still surging as a highly prospective Republican candidate. One of his counterparts in the Republican party for the presidency of the United States, Jeb Bush, is struggling in the billionaire’s shadow and is seen as this election’s outsider. Candidates like Ben Carson who is a candidate for the Republican nomination for presidency and a representative and candidate of Democratic party Bernie Sanders, both self-described socialists, are attracting voters who are fed up with Washington. The question now, can they actually turn that passion on the trial into actual votes?

Donald Trump has campaigned in few states promising his working-class voters and voters with no college education certain goals. Those promises include tax reform, U.S.- China trade reform, veterans administration reforms, second amendment rights, and immigration reform. For example, he wants to take back the oil hubs that ISIS controls in Iraq and Syria, to call for stronger border security to stop illegal immigration, to build up the military, to take care of veterans, and to repeal and replace the Obamacare. He is still a front-runner by far. And, yes, Republican candidate Ted Cruz and other candidates are coming up on the inside, but they are going into 2016 with Donald Trump still having to prove that he can get votes in other states and do the traditional caucus. For now Mr. Trump is leading the pack amongst the candidates for the 2016 Republican Party nomination with average 35 percent support among Republicans leaving behind Mr. Cruz with average 19.5 percent.

Donald-Trump-2016

Photo credit: CNN

Meanwhile, the democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, is entering the new year solidly on top. According to RealClearPolitics, she is leading in the Presidential Democratic nomination with an average 53.8 percent of support, while her competitors – Sanders and O’Malley have 31.2 percent and 4.6 percent respectively. So far, she has been mostly dealing with the controversies over her e-mails. In other words, she has used her personal email address rather than a government email during her secretary of President Barack Obama. This fact was used against her by Republicans to blow up the scandal around her. However, she is getting a big boost from the current Vice President, Joe Biden, who decided to stay out from the race. In an interview with Stephen Colbert’s show Mr. Biden noted that he is going to close his window for the White House due to the limited time-frame for mounting a campaign highlighting his family’s grief over the loss of his son, Beau Biden. His decision removes the competition directly with Hillary Clinton for support of voters. And while a number of candidates in both parties have already dropped out, for the ones who remain, the race for the white house is just about to have higher stakes. It is worth noting that the front-runners will face some challenges in the new year. For example, Ted Cruz has beaten Trump in Iowa. Also Bernie Sanders was giving Hillary Clinton a race in New Hampshire. Now it is time for the voters to have their say.

Dem 2016 Clinton Ad

Photo source: Gaston De Cardenas AP

As we end 2015 and begin 2016, it is important to highlight the power couple of the year: the president of the U.S. Barack Obama and the current speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan. The fact that Paul Ryan and Barack Obama could talk, negotiate, and work out some compromises this year is the evidence for that. Mr. Obama has reached the following main accomplishments in 2015:

  • Businesses have added 13.7 million new jobs over 69-months;
  • more American citizens have got health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare legislation);
  • Global leadership of the U.S. on climate change agenda, organizing the meeting at the Paris COP21 climate talks in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • The reopening of the American embassy in Cuba, normalizing relationship between the two countries;
  • A nuclear deal between Iran and the six powers;
  • A legacy-defining trade deal was sealed in order to cut barriers, protect environmental and labor interests, and ensure intellectual property rights

Obama-Cuba

Photo source: egaliteetreconciliation.fr

If they can work together in 2016, perhaps they will find answers to unresolved issues such as gun control, funding of Planned Parenthood, Obama’s climate change regulations, criminal justice reform, and the Affordable Care Act.

Written by Arman Mussin

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