Democratic candidates

Story by: Sydney Shurman

As the 2016 election draws nearer, the American people begin to hear more and more about about the candidates in the running. The Republicans have not wasted any time in sharing their opinions, but the Democrats are now taking the stage after the recent debate.

In the running currently are Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley. Joe Biden has yet to announce whether or not he will run, but he may not be a strong candidate.

I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America, but it doesn’t mean I won’t run,” Biden said.

Any president should be fully committed to a cause, and it should not just be something they simply feel like doing. Biden does not seem fully prepared to be president, especially considering his previous election success, or lack thereof. In the 1988 election, he dropped out after being exposed for plagiarizing other politicians’ speeches. Then, in 2008, he only acquired support from 1% of Iowa caucus delegates.

Hillary Clinton initially seemed like one of the worst choices, but during the debate she held her own and stuck to her beliefs. Between the Benghazi scandal and now her recent email mistake, Clinton seemed inept and unapologetic. But during the debate, Bernie Sanders made an interesting comment.

“Enough of the emails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America,” he said as the crowd burst into applause.

While the emails should not necessarily be overlooked, Sanders is right. Hillary Clinton proved that she could be capable of making changes to how this country is run. Ultimately, her ideas about workplace reform, changing the income gap, and giving hard-working immigrants opportunities for citizenship–to name a few–are far more important to the American people.

Bernie Sanders also has some new and refreshing ideas that could possibly be just what America needs. He supports socialized medicine as well as reasonably priced higher education, which are policies that successful European countries like Germany, Sweden, and Belgium have in place. Also, he is in favor of being isolationist and only getting involved when there is a threat to America or its allies. This means that countless dollars and lives could be saved in an effort to avoid unnecessary wars.

Sanders and Clinton have definitely proven themselves to be the forerunners in this election. While Webb, O’Malley, and Chafee were present at the debate, none seemed to stand out nearly as much as Clinton or Sanders, despite having similar views. Voters seem to have similar opinions considering the appearance of the polls. Clinton is in an obvious lead despite some of her negative actions in the past.

“Hillary Clinton will probably win because she has so much name recognition as well as the fact that she was a former first lady, Senator from New York, and a Secretary of State,” said Mrs. Terrel, history teacher. “So people know who she is and they’ll feel more comfortable with the idea of choosing someone if they know how they would act in a position of power.”

While Sanders has great ideas, they could be simply that: ideas. Some of the people closest to Sanders are supporting Clinton, which shows that he may not have the capability to act on his words. In addition, Sanders considers himself a socialist, which can be a major red flag to many people due to its connotation. Unfortunately, his views may just be too radical for the majority of people who would prefer a more moderate president who can compromise when necessary.

The American people will have to wait and see, but this is proving to be an extremely important election, and all of the Democrats have policies that might actually reform this country.

John Oliver takes people to church

Story by: Jenna Jones, Opinions Editor

In August, John Oliver focused on the issues regarding televangelists, preachers who make appearances on television to appeal to the public for funds, on his show “Last Week Tonight.”

Oliver’s aim in the episode was to point out how fraudulent and manipulative televangelists can be when asking for money. After citing multiple examples of preachers who had used the funds intended for religious prosperity for personal uses, Oliver went on to announce the establishment of his own church, Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption.

The church is named this as a way to emphasize the ease with which churches can receive tax exemptions. Any organization, such as Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption, that can verify itself as a religious one is exempt from taxes, .

“And that is when I realized, the message Robert Tilton was sending me was that I should set up my own church to test the legal and financial limits of what religious entities are able to do. So, that is what we have done,” Oliver stated.

Surprisingly enough, his church was flooded donations from people all over the world in just one week. In his next episode, he displayed the thousands of letters that contained various amounts of money, totaling thousands of dollars.

Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption has a donation page that states all assets the church has acquired will “be distributed to Doctors Without Borders.” Doctors Without Borders is an organization that works to send medical aid to areas where it is severely needed, in order to better improve the lives of people around the world.

Alexie Evans, 12, “I think that’s amazing. That makes me really happy. It’s nice to know that they’re actually donating to a good cause, unlike some churches who use the donations for personal reasons.”