The Student Voice of Holy Innocents' Episcopal School

On the Issues

A comprehensive guide to the 2016 Presidential elections

April 27, 2015

With the 2016 Presidential primaries encroaching, many seniors are growing excited to finally be able to exercise their legal right to vote. However, a number of new-voter generations have come to realize that the world of politics is as vast as it is complex and a world with which we are very unfamiliar. Decisions aren’t as cut and dry as they can appear to the untrained eye and yes, oftentimes our views and values don’t mirror those of our parents. This realization comes as a shock to many – how can we possibly navigate the political world and make a contribution to our democracy that we can firmly stand by?

The question of how to run our nation that Presidential candidates take a wide variety of stances on can be boiled down to two categories: economic and social. In order to simplify these massive categories, I have compiled a list of issues below for you to consider when thinking about what you are looking for in our future President.


  • Abortion is a women’s unrestricted right: Whether you agree or disagree with the previous statement indicates if you consider yourself to be pro-choice or pro-life. Those who agree believe the right to abortion empowers women and is an important part of women’s health rights and women’s reproductive freedom. Those who disagree believe that abortion is immoral as it kills a human being, and thus should never be tolerated.
  • Comfortable with same-sex marriage: Those who support this concept do not believe in giving the government a say in whom we can and cannot marry. However, those who disagree value the biblical definition of marriage and/or believe gay marriage is immoral.
  • Keep God in the public sphere: Those who value the previous statement believe in the Judeo-Christian values that our country was founded on. Those who disagree believe in the separation between church and state and recognize the existence of several other religions our country embraces.
  • No ‘rights’ to clean air and water: Those who support believe that the earth is mankind’s domain to do with as we see fit. Those who oppose believe nature has inherent rights.
  • More enforcement of the right to vote: Those who support this concept believe our current voter ID laws are racist and are intent on suppressing votes of minorities. However, those who oppose are more cautious of voter fraud.
  • Stricter punishment reduces crime: Those who are for stricter punishment stand by the ‘Three Strikes’ law and support the death penalty. Those who disagree with the ‘Three Strikes’ law are very wary of the death penalty, if not outright against it.
  • Never legalize marijuana: This issue questions the morality of drug use versus individual freedoms.
  • Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens: Those who support believe that immigration restrictions are inherently racist as they keep out Hispanics and other non-whites. They believe we should reform US immigration laws and use them to increase our diversity and cultural tolerance. Those who disagree believe in strictly enforcing our current immigration laws as illegal aliens are a danger to our country and legal citizens.
  • Stay out of Iran: Those who oppose inferring in Iran believe we should avoid repeating history with any mistakes made in Iraq.
  • Expand the military: Is increasing the military worth the expenses?


  • Legally require hiring more women and minorities: Those who support value affirmative action will proportionally represent minorities in today’s work force. Those who oppose disapprove of government interference in hiring and consider affirmative action to be reverse discrimination.
  • Absolute right to gun ownership: Those who support this statement believe strongly in respecting the Constitutional right to bear arms and the principle of self-defense. Those who oppose believe the second amendment does not necessarily guarantee an unlimited right to firearms and believe absolute right to gun ownership is dangerous.
  • Expand ObamaCare: Those who support believe the government should allow more complete coverage with regard to healthcare while those who oppose do not support nationalized healthcare.
  • Vouchers for school choice: Those who support believe state-funded vouchers should pay for schooling of your parent’s choice. Those who oppose strongly value public schooling and desire government involvement in improving public schooling systems.
  • Prioritize green energy: Those who support fear the overuse of fossil fuels and its effect on the environment and thus believe we should take action by means of research and policies. Those who oppose do not believe in global warming and the problem is not as severe as some believe.
  • Stimulus better than market-led recovery: Those who support believe that following the Great Recession, the government should inject more funding to recuperate from this economical hit. Those who oppose believe the government caused the Great Recession and should therefore stay out of it.
  • Higher taxes on the wealthy: Those who support believe the wealthy should contribute proportionally as they have a higher income than the less wealthy and therefore have more to provide. Those who disagree find this unfair and would ideally have the income tax abolished.
  • Privatize Social Security: Those who agree do not wish to entrust their retirement funds to the government and believe they should be able to do with it what they please when they please. Those who oppose believe retirement funds should remain under government control to ensure a secure retirement.
  • Support and Expand Free Trade: Those who support believe open global trade would benefit our nation and believe the government has no right to restrict whom we trade with. Those who disagree believe buying from only other Americans would be more beneficial as it creates more American jobs.
  • Maintain US sovereignty from UN: Those who support believe the UN currently has too much power and thus, the US should withdraw. Those who disagree believe the opinions of other nations should be considered as well as our own.


Plug your answers in this quiz and you will be matched with candidates that take similar stances on the issues above.

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