Candidates Views on Social Issues
As November 6th approaches, people all over the country are trying to figure out the best choice to be their next president. The economy, healthcare, and social security have been hot topics among people out of college, but something rarely examined are issues that college students find to be important and may sway their veto one candidate or the other.
Laws concerning topics like same sex marriage, marijuana laws, and stances on abortion are all things that hold importance to young voters.
The idea of same sex marriage is something that has been accepted in certain states, but not on a national level. While both candidates have discussed the issue, their ideas differ. According to canidatecomparisson.org Romney seems to waver on his beliefs if civil union should be allowed. While running for Senator of Massachusetts back in 1994 Romney supported the Log Cabin Club and voiced his support. More recently, he has not said he supports gay marriage, but is all for certain rights for gays, including equal rights to employment.
President Obama has also changed his views, but they seem to be the other way around. Obama he claims that when he first took office he struggled with his religious beliefs and the idea of same sex couples. He never said he did not believe in it, but his beliefs forced him to be uncertain therefore never allowing himself to say yes. Things changed for Obama and on May 9th of this year he proclaimed his support of same sex marriage.
In the interview with ABC Obama said, “I had hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient. I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word marriage was something that invokes very powerful traditions and religious belief.”
On the topic of marijuana, once again the candidates differ greatly. Obama, as said in his book “Dreams of My Father,” experimented with marijuana in his teenage years. Currently he believes that although marijuana should not be legalized for the consumption of anyone, medical marijuana would be sufficient and necessary in the United States today. In response to a DEA report that marijuana is addictive he stayed close to his original stance.
“My attitude is if the science and doctors suggest that the best palliative care, the best way to relieve pain and suffering is through medical marijuana, then that’s something I’m open to,” Obama said.
Romney on the other hand is 100 percent opposed to any legalization or decriminalization of marijuana. According to canidatecomparrison.org Romney says there are plenty of other forms of medicine for people who need the subscriptions. Romney has the age-old view that marijuana is the gateway drug into much more destructive drugs like heroine and cocaine. His opinion does not seem like it will waver anytime soon.
Intellectualtakeout.org ran a poll of college students over the course of four years starting in 2008 that polled entry level college students and students that graduated recently or over the four year span. Upon entry, only 29.6 percent believed marijuana should be legalized, but by their graduation a 14 percent increase occurred leaving 44 percent of students wanting it to be legalized. With almost half of the countries college graduates wanting the drug legalized, what should the elected candidate do?
The issue of abortion is a very complicated issue that involves personal beliefs, morals. Presidential candidate Romney is in stern belief of pro-life, meaning that unless the woman was raped or if the mother is in danger of death, an abortion should not be permitted. Up until about a decade ago Romney had supported the woman’s right to decide, but since has strongly changed his stance, claiming people’s views change over time.
To Romney’s credit he has been a huge advocate of having the baby and putting it up for adoption. Although his personal belief is pro-life, he is a realist and thinks that abortion should be a state legislated issue, not left up to the federal government.
In an interview with the Boston Globe he said, “while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.”
President Obama is known to be in support of pro-choice believing it is the woman’s right to decide. He has proclaimed he wants to be able to support the constitutional right of a woman, mandated in Roe vs Wade. In July of 2010 when changing federal funding laws, Obama chose not to include abortions as part of the Pre-Existing Conditions insurance plan unless the woman was raped, or in danger of losing their life.
November 6th is right around the corner and soon many college students will have to choose who to vote for. Whether you decide on Romney or Obama, educate yourselves in order to make a well-thought-out and individual decision.