It's March and the madness is finally upon us, and I'm not talking about college basketball. The long-anticipated Super Tuesday Presidential primary results are in and have essentially finalized the list of the top four contenders left in the race: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sec. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Democratic voters decided Tuesday that Bernie Sanders is a more than credible competitor to Hillary Clinton, while the Republican electorate resoundingly announced it's intention to nominate an anti-establishment candidate. Marco Rubio's campaign will most likely founder in the coming weeks due to this voter sentiment and only serves to pull moderate republican voters away from Cruz. Once the GOP comes to this realization and rallies to defeat Trump, Rubio will be begging to get on Cruz's ticket.
Each candidate in the 2016 Political "Final Four" has a different vision for America. They are so distinct, in this regard, it has presented the American public with the clearest choice between presidential candidates in generations. No matter what your political leanings, the candidates' agendas have been proposed and their diverging paths for our nation have been brought into high-relief. It is our civic duty to decide which vision provides the greatest future for our country. I explain in detail about the specific issue-oriented differences on the Democratic side in a recent article titled Bernie or Hillary, the Difference Is YUGE, and below are some high-level overviews of each of the final four candidates' agendas to aid in your decision. Get your brackets ready!
Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Coming out of the Radical Grandpa Region of the bracket is the surging Bernie Sanders. Bernie is a self-described Democratic (by the people) Socialist (for the people), akin to FDR, JFK and Martin Luther King Jr.. His vision for America is one where the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share of taxes in order to benefit the lives of middle-class and working-class Americans. He wants to break up the "too big to fail" financial institutions. He believes public higher education and universal healthcare should be rights, not privileges. He thinks climate change is the greatest threat our nation and our world faces today and believes we have a moral responsibility to leave our planet healthy and habitable for future generations. He wants to destroy ISIS by building and supporting a coalition of Muslim nations to lead the "fight for the soul of Islam", but otherwise wants to end perpetual interventionism in the Middle East. Bernie wants to rebuild our nation's crumbling infrastructure and expand social security benefits. He supports a $15 federal minimum-wage, workers' right to unionize and wants to end disastrous trade policies that have cost millions of good paying jobs. He wants to end a corrupt campaign finance system which has allowed wealthy interests to pervert our democracy. Bernie's vision depends on building a political revolution including millions of new and disaffected voters to sweep into office politicians sympathetic to his ambitious progressive agenda.
Sec. Hillary Clinton:
The unrivaled front-runner from the bracket's Establishment Heiress Region is, you guessed it, Hillary Clinton. The all-but-anointed former First Lady has styled herself as a Third Way Democrat much like her husband Bill Clinton and, to a lesser extent, Pres. Barrack Obama. Her vision for America is one that resembles much of the current state of affairs in our country. Her main objective is to protect liberal accomplishments from being overturned by a bellicose Republican congress. She believes in slow evolution on social issues, is a neoliberal on economics and holds hawkish, neocon foreign policy positions. Hillary thinks universal, single-payer healthcare is an unrealistic goal, although she supported it in 2008. She supports an all-of-the-above energy strategy including oil, gas and renewables. She supports a $12 federal minimum-wage and wants to refinance student loan debt to current rates. She supported every U.S. trade deal until withdrawing her support for the TPP during the campaign. She says she wants to overturn Citizens United but has Super PACs that will raise upwards of $1 Billion this election. Her top campaign donors are Wall Street and Big Pharma but she says their money doesn't influence her decision-making. Hillary's vision involves working within the current establishment system to preserve the political, economic and military status quo while advocating for incremental social progress.
The biggest riches-to-riches story this year, from the bracket's Narcissistic Plutocrat Region, is real estate mogul and Trump Brand Manager Donald Trump, aka Donald Drumpf. His vision for America is that he's gonna make America so freakin' great again it'll make your head spin. Americans are gonna be so tired of winning that they're gonna elect someone else just so they can remember what losing feels like. He's gonna be the best president in the history of the world because he's so smart and knows how to make great deals, anyone who says otherwise is a loser who's just jealous of Trump's awesomeness. Joking aside, Trump cares very little, if at all, for anyone but himself. His policy proposals are thin, hard to nail down, and all over the political map at best. He wants to build a wall along the Mexican border and make the Mexicans pay for it. He wants to create a federal registry for American Muslims, reminiscent of Nazi gold stars. He thinks climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese. He is for some form of socialized healthcare and wants to lower corporate tax rates. He supports women's right to choose but opposes raising the minimum wage. One thing you can count on is that Trump's America will be very beneficial to wealthy individuals like Donald Trump (similar to Biff's Casino in the alternate reality of Back To The Future II, in case you were pondering a visual).
Sen. Ted Cruz:
Rounding out the final four, from the Sith Lord Region comes Tea Party-darling and world-domination enthusiast Ted Cruz. Surprisingly, Cruz is leading Hillary and even the Donald for the coveted title of Most Megalomaniacal Candidate. Cruz is extremely ambitious, smart (as a fox) and a world-class debater (some might say a "master-debater"). He is a pro-life, climate change-denying conservative who wants to roll back all functions of the federal government not specifically delineated by the U.S. Constitution, including Obamacare and Social Security. He is a staunch believer that the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to own any and all types of firearms. He is for stronger border and immigration enforcement, including mass deportation and construction of a wall. He wants to vastly increase military spending and immediately repeal Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal. Ted is also extremely devout to his faith and unwavering in his support for Israel, militarily and economically. Ted Cruz would ultimately like to end the separation of church and state and move America toward a quasi Christian Constitutional Theocracy while eliminating the social safety net and becoming further entrenched in Middle Eastern conflicts. It seems the Dark Side has chosen its candidate.