With US Presidential Elections dominating every international column at top and national news still being cramped by the JNU row and intolerance issues, its good that we read something different, interesting and ‘logical’!

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties, its counter part being the Republican Party, in USA.

Before the twentieth century, Democrats advocated for a free, unregulated market and they were even pro-slavery. But today, the Democrats are seen as the party of social support and justice.  So, what exactly do Democrats believe ?

Well, the modern democratic party traces its roots to progressive President Franklin D. Roosevelt. At the height of great depression, Roosevelt created social security and other big government programs meant to protect the poor and unemployed. Through government sponsored public works project, he created jobs and opportunities for those suffering from stock market crash.

Today, the Democrats still believe in the power of the government to provide a just and equal society. Democrats advocate stricter government regulation on big business, and larger participation in the social safety net. In March 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, thereby increasing access to healthcare via government subsidies, and decreasing the power of private insurers. He has also increased government subsidies for low income families and even rolled out a program providing free internet. The party also champions the middle class and has generally supported the labour movements and unions. They do this by promoting progressive tax plan by which wealthier members of the society pay a higher percentage than the middle and lower income groups. However, this isn’t always the case. President Obama recently signed the trans-pacific partnership into law, which democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has said will likely undercut US workers.

On social issues, the Democrats are often seen as being open to societal change, often helping those who face discrimination and poverty. Although they generally oppose undocumented immigration, they believe that the government should help those who want to immigrate while focusing on deporting dangerous criminals. The Democratic Party considers itself an ally for the LGBT causes, citing the president’s support for same sex marriage. In addition, they believe in a proper separation of church and state, along with stricter gun-control laws. While both Republicans and Democrats have advocated for a strong military in particular prefer diplomatic cooperation and collaboration over military force.  The party platform emphasizes on restoring America’s image by restoring a relationship with its allies.

There are wide varieties of views within the Democratic party evident from the differences between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. But generally democrats tend to take a left leaning position, advocating equal opportunity through government regulation and oversight.

Speaking of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

On April 29, 2015, the Democratic –socialist, junior senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, announced that he was running for President with his campaign slogan “A FUTURE TO BELIEVE IN” . Despite being the longest standing independent in congress, many people had never heard of this far-left candidate. So lets contemplate upon who is Bernie Sanders?

Well, despite his sixteen year tenure as Vermont’s only house representative, followed by his current eight years as US Senator, Sanders is still considered somewhat of an outcast in Washington. His long standing voting records has regularly been at odds with the dominating political climate. He had voted against the 2002 Iraq war Resolution, the PATRIOT ACT, the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy, and the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. In turn, he sponsored the Global warming and Pollution Reduction Act, pushed for an audit of the Federal Reserve, and has repeatedly supported Medical Marijuana Legislation.

The 73 year old, is also a self-admitted socialist, and has pointed to the high quality of Scandinavian Social System as an example of effective policy. As a candidate, Sanders has outlined a number of initiatives he would tackle. Among them are efforts to break up the “too big to fail” banks, raising minimum wage, expanding union power, and promoting a single payer health care system. However, Sanders has been criticized on his voting record against the implementation of the child abduction AMBER alert system, as well as his views on gun rights.

And, despite his progressive track records and policy ideas, Sanders will be competing with political heavyweight Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Many political analysts, including those who support him, have suggested that he is unlikely to win the primary. Still, some say that by officially entering the Presidential arena, his progressive stance could force Clinton to revise some of her more moderate positions to the left. This is particularly relevant as a look at their top donors would suggest that Clinton and Sanders have distinctly separate priorities. Clinton’s top donors are primarily banks like CITI group and JP Morgan Chase, along with media conglomerates Time Warner and Cablevision.  On Sanders’ side, nearly all of his top donors are comprised of auto, teaching, and labour unions. Additionally, 61% of Sanders’ donations are made up of individual contributions of less than $200, compared to Hillary’s 28% during her 2008 run for candidacy.

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So, who is Bernie Sanders? Clearly, he is a man of the people, but his Socialist-Democratic policies may turn many traditional voters off.

On other hand we have Hillary Clinton, her announcement that she would be running for President surprised nobody and marked the countdown to the 2016 election. Now, off course we all know who Hillary Clinton is. We have been hearing about her since 1993.

Hillary Clinton speaks in Washington

Well, Hillary originally rose to prominence as President Bill Clinton’s wife, and the first lady of both Arkansas and the White House. Besides an embarrassing side-role in her husband’s alleged affairs, she played a very active role in the Clinton Administration as an advisor and unofficial diplomat. She also pushed for healthcare reforms, dubbed “Hillary Care” by conservatives and championed the rights of minority women. Immediately after her stint as the first lady, she won a seat in the New York senate in 2000. During her time in office she supported military action in both Iraq and Afghanistan and initially voted in favour of the PATRIOT ACT. However she also voted against two massive tax cuts (Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000), and ultimately opposed the 2007 troop surge in Iraq, calling for a slow withdrawal. One of her final acts as senator was voting for the 2008 Bank Bailout.

In 2008, Hillary campaigned to be the Democratic Presidential candidate, but lost out to Barack Obama after a heated and financially record breaking run for both. Despite competition between the two during the campaign, President Obama appointed Clinton as his Secretary of State for his first term. She continued to champion women’s rights and gay rights as global issues. She also played a significant role in the US’s actions during the Arab Spring, as well as the killing of Osama Bin Laden. However, her biggest challenge was the following terror attacks on US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya that ended in the deaths of four Americans. Clinton was widely criticized after assuming responsibility for denying additional security to the embassy before the attacks.

In 2012, Hillary resigned as secretary of state, as she had been planning to since 2010. For the first time since 1979, she became a private citizen. Although, that lapse in service clearly hasn’t lasted too long. So far she has already been criticized in her current campaign for using a private e-mail address during her stint as the Secretary of State. But we know one thing about Hillary Clinton, it’s that she has been dodging public controversy for the past 36 years, and will be no stranger to the coming fight for Presidency.

So for now it is BERNIE SANDERS v. HILLARY CLINTON for the Democratic nomination.

Author: Nived Sharma ( pursuing BA., LL.B.- 3rd year, from Hidayathullah National Law University, Raipur)

Author can be reached at: nived93.sharma@gmail.com

REFERENCES :

The 2012 Democratic Party Platform
https://www.democrats.org/party-platform
“What follows is our 2012 platform – a declaration of how we plan to move America forward during President Obama’s second term. Our next platform will be released in the summer of 2016.”

New Deal
http://www.history.com/topics/new-deal
“When President Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933, he acted swiftly to try and stabilize the economy and provide jobs and relief to those who were suffering.”

Why Obama says TPP is historic for workers – and why US labor unions hate it
http://www.vox.com/2015/11/12/9716400…
“First, they say, the labor protections are similar to those in previous trade agreements, rather than truly game changing. And second, they argue that though the commitments sound nice on paper, they may not make much of a difference in the real world.”

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Is a Bad Deal for American Workers
http://time.com/4065267/trans-pacific…
“But nothing we know now about the TPP gives me any confidence that workers will end up with the good jobs and protections they deserve.”

Who Is Running for President?
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/20…
“More than a dozen Republicans and a handful of Democrats have announced they are running for their party’s 2016 presidential nomination.”

The Socialist Senator
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/21/mag…
“When Bernie Sanders visits a high-school class, as he does regularly, students don’t hear a speech, a focus-grouped polemic, a campaign pitch or, heaven forbid, practiced one-liners.”

Analysis: Bernie Sanders Won’t Win. But His Ideas Might.
http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press…
“Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has almost no chance of winning the Democratic nomination, but he is likely to delight party activists as he takes unabashedly liberal stances and tries to push Hillary Clinton to adopt them.”

Bernie Sanders On the issues
http://www.ontheissues.org/Bernie_San…

Biography: Hillary Rodham Clinton
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexper…
“A tough and pragmatic leader, outspoken advocate for social justice and women’s rights, and resilient and intelligent politician, Hillary Rodham Clinton has achieved many “firsts” in her roles as First Lady of the United States, U.S. Senator, presidential candidate, and Secretary of State.”

Speech on Women’s Rights: Remarks by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton
http://clinton2.nara.gov/WH/EOP/First…
“We are pleased to celebrate today that more women and girls are learning to read and write and, often for the first time, nations and families are investing in girls’ education. We’re also pleased that women are living longer and healthier lives and that more of us are surviving childbirth as we gain greater access to health care and reproductive services.”

New Hope For Afghanistan’s Women
http://content.time.com/time/nation/a…
“‘We can start by including women in the rebuilding process in Afghanistan. And just as the Clinton Administration withheld recognition of the Taliban government and condemned its treatment of women, we must not recognize any successor government until women have the right to determine what role they will play in 21st century Afghanistan.’”

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