The presidential candidates: where each stands

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Do you know who’s seeking election as president of the United States?

I’m serious. Four candidates get most of the sound bites – Trump and Carson on the GOP side, Clinton and Sanders on the Democratic side – but they aren’t the only people seeking the highest office in the land.

The high-profile candidates are the controversial ones, the masters of the one-liner. Even the debates are little more than one-upmanship, who gets the last word, who can say the most off-the-wall thing. As a result, those four get most of the press, and often lead in the polls.

Is that truly how we will choose the most powerful leader on Earth?

What do the candidates say about issues that really matter?

Even more basic: Who’s still running? Just because John Kasich and Martin O’Malley don’t make the nightly news, does that make them less qualified to lead our country?

How do you know?

What do you know about Kasich or O’Malley? Did you know Jim Gilmore is still plugging away? Is he as irrelevant as the media think he is?

Let’s level the playing field. There still are 15 people seeking the presidency, 12 Republicans and three Democrats.

Each candidate has his or her reasons for running.

We’ve heard all the criticisms of why none of them is qualified. But each has a vision for this country, to make it better. Whether you agree with one or more of those visions is to be decided in the voting booth.

Amid all the sound bites, negativity and one-liners, what are the visions of the 15 candidates?

Glad you asked.

I spent a little time on each candidate’s campaign web site to find where he or she stands on issues important to him or her. Some have exhaustive explanations on numerous issues; some discuss only a few issues. Others offer short discourses on a few issues and lengthy tomes on issues he or she is passionate about.

Let’s spend the next two weeks or so giving each candidate his or her due. I will highlight the issues in each candidate’s own words. As the editor of this blog, I’ll condense for clarity. I’ll also provide a short bio. To get further details, I’ll provide the campaign web site for each of them.

Most of the candidates have harsh words for their opponents. For this exercise, I’m keeping that to a minimum. Tell me what your plan is. We’ve heard enough rhetoric and criticism. Tell me what you’re going to do about it.

I’ll use an old newspaper technique to remain objective when profiling multiple people: I’ll highlight them in alphabetical order. I’ll spend more time on the GOP side simply because there are far more GOP candidates than there are Democrats.

So, where does each candidate stand on the issues of our day? Let’s find out. Each candidate gets his or her day:

 

Jeb Bush (R) – Wednesday, Jan. 13

Ben Carson (R) – Thursday, Jan. 14

Chris Christie (R) – Friday, Jan. 15

Hillary Clinton (D) – Saturday, Jan. 16

Ted Cruz (R) – Monday, Jan. 18

Carly Fiorina (R) – Tuesday, Jan. 19

Jim Gilmore (R) – Wednesday, Jan. 20

Mike Huckabee (R) – Thursday, Jan. 21

John Kasich (R) – Friday, Jan. 22

Martin O’Malley (D) – Saturday, Jan. 23

Rand Paul (R) – Monday, Jan. 25

Marco Rubio (R) – Tuesday, Jan. 26

Bernie Sanders (D) – Wednesday, Jan. 27

Rick Santorum (R) – Thursday, Jan. 28

Donald Trump (R) – Friday, Jan. 29

 

The first presidential caucus is Monday, Feb. 1, in Iowa, for both parties. The caucus and primary season rolls on from there through the District of Columbia Democratic primary on Tuesday, June 14.

I have no idea who I will vote for when the time comes. I lean toward certain candidates; others make me cringe; still others I don’t know much about.

That’s the point of this project. Who, in general, supports the positions you or I support?

Don’t expect any candidate to line up perfectly with all your views. Which issues are non-negotiable for you? Hopefully you don’t have too many of those, or you may have trouble voting for anyone.

Let’s choose our Democratic and Republican candidates wisely, with a clear mind and calm heart. After all, that’s how we want our leaders to lead.

Don’t we?

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