Three things you should consider before voting, but probably haven’t

Three things you should consider before voting, but probably haven’t

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Three things you should consider before voting, but probably haven’t
February 25
00:21 2016

Harrison Long | Opinion Editor

@HarrisonGLong

1. Tensions with Russia

Whether the current state of diplomacy between the United States and Russia could be determined a “Cold War” is irrelevant – the fact of the matter is the two states with the highest proliferation of nuclear arms in the world have had a drastic increase in tension the last few years, with the situation actively getting worse.

Russia, in addition to the seizure of Crimea in Ukraine, has begun to back the Assad regime in Syria. Our new commander-in-chief will be directly responsible for taking charge in curbing these realities, and their strategy for dealing with such will be a large factor in the overall outcome.

The potential disaster of the Cuban Missile Crisis was avoided directly because clearer heads prevailed – if the United States were to find itself in a situation of a similar nature, whose finger would you want on the trigger?

2. The Middle East

If you looked up the definition of the word “quagmire” in Webster’s dictionary, you’d find a perfect description of the current fight for stability in the Middle East.

Currently, the public support for armed theatres of war against the Islamic State is rising, but as these things normally go, the ability of the United States citizens to remain committed once fighting begins is the real question. There is also the matter of reducing the increasing number of refugees fleeing the area, but this is nearly impossible as long the “rock and hard place” that is the Assad regime and the Islamic State’s de facto caliphate remain in place.

Maintaining relations with Turkey while also asking the Kurds to assist in the fight against Islamic State will prove difficult as the two are sworn rivals. There is also the consideration of not engaging Russian troops ¬— whether of proxy relation or with direct ties to the Kremlin — and not further escalating the conflict beyond the border of the region. The next president should understand the risks associated with taking on any of these endeavors and be willing to see it through so the United States doesn’t just plunge itself into Iraq: Round 3.

3. Immigration

It is economically and logistically impossible, as well as morally reprehensible, to deport 11 million people from the United States. It would devastate the economy, and create far more problems than it could ever (even in theory) fix.

Overall, the greatest impact of an influx of new waves of immigrants into the United States is on those who have emigrated previously. Newer immigrants tend to possess many of the same skills of those who preceded them, and are often drawn to work in the same jobs and live in the same areas as their predecessors. Temporary foreign workers don’t have the legal right to change employers, so their bargaining power as an employee is greatly diminished, as is the case with undocumented workers. They often find themselves in the position to be forced to accept less-than-ideal work environments, minimized wages or lack of benefits – all stemming from the threat of deportation. Since this is unequivocally not the case for those born here, the presence of immigrants has little economic impact on U.S. citizens.

The only way an immigrant can receive aid from the federal government in the form of welfare, unemployment insurance and food stamps would be through a permanent resident or natural born citizen. They disqualify for these benefits and thus, by and large, do not receive them. The truth is that immigrants contribute far more to the economy through the purchase of goods and services than they receive, despite claims to the contrary.

This is important to remember, as the rhetoric against those entering our country will no doubt be riled up again in the coming months. Real immigration reform is needed, and there has never been a better time than the next four years to get this done.

Of course, there are far more issues to take into account, yet these three matters are far too often overlooked. Hopefully, as the campaign season progresses, many of the problems we face that are lesser-spoken of will come to light, and he or she who is up to the task of leading us will swear into office next January.

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