By Julio Espinoza, Staff Writer
This weekend the New York Times published two editorials: one endorsing Hillary Clinton for president and the other rejecting Donald Trump. On Monday, September 26th both candidates had the chance to debate on policy issues and personality traits. Most polls position Clinton as the winner. As a political scientist, my analytical compass is our national interest. I identify myself as non-partisan and I vote on issues, not political ideologies or charismatic leaders. During the presidential campaign, how well do we understand the United States’ national interest right now? And are we choosing the right candidate to promote our national interest, or should we reconsider our choice?
According to most pundits, the United States’ national interests include staying a strong leader of the free world and fostering global and domestic economic growth. In order to achieve the national interest, nation-states depend on rule of law and institutions. One very important institution in the U.S. is the presidency, and not everyone is endowed with the ability to understand the constituents’ mandate and lead the country in the right direction. This also raises the question of what qualities a good potential president of the U.S. should possess.
A year ago we were watching a full-fledged demonstration of political experience, leadership and lawful resources on how to make America strong, united and prosperous from GOP presidential primary candidates with experience in public office either in legislative or governing positions. Most of the GOP candidates that took part in the primaries showed a clear understanding of the current U.S. national interests and the best qualities that a White House incumbent should have. The exception is Donald Trump. I am concerned about the aggressiveness and lack of political expertise of Donald Trump, both of which translate into his failure to understand and comply with the spirit of our American institutions, such as paying taxes.
Mr. Trump has not been able to fully comply with the U.S. national and supreme interest expressed in our seal: E Pluribus Unum (“out of many, one”). The United States seal clearly supports the idea of many uniting into one. This country, in order to prevail through time and circumstances as the most benign superpower the world has witnessed, needs to be open for many waves of immigrants that keep the U.S. innovative, cosmopolitan and strong. The U.S. needs the best and brightest of every corner of the world to continue fostering peace and prosperity in the global arena as well as to boost our domestic economy.
In order for that to be accomplished, we need to fix our broken immigration system. Amnesty and path to citizenships might not be the best solution, but matching the supply and demand of the labor market with work visas is not only feasible, it even elicits consensus from both the right and the left. We do not need to endanger our strategic relationship with Mexico and Latin America by building a wall. In this regard, Mr. Trump has not expressed any articulate thought about how to fix the immigration system but has instead insulted Mexico, one of the major allies and economic partners of the United States, the 12th largest economy in the world, a major partner of Arizona and a liberal democracy in transition. The U.S. is fortunate to be surrounded by peace-loving nations such as Canada and Mexico. Instead of building a wall, I would like to ask Donald Trump, why not launch an economic recovery plan for Mexico and Latin America so that the incentives for undocumented immigration are reduced and trade and investment are increased? Creating a bilingual and bicultural border region between the U.S. and Mexico, where the costs of economic exchanges are decreased to almost zero and mutual trust prevails in most of the transactions, would be a much more rational initiative than isolating the U.S. by promising to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border of about 2000 miles.
Donald Trump has not been willing to comply with the basic assumption that minorities in this country are to be respected and supported regardless of their gender or ethnicity. This is a clear violation of the spirit of the U.S. Constitution that protects the civil rights of every human being on U.S. soil. I deeply regret Mr. Trump’s assumptions and comments regarding women and immigrants–two groups who have been crucial in forging the success of the United States. When we went to WWII, some sectors of the economy heavily depended on women and immigrants. Our minorities not only work hard, they also serve the nation in the armed forces. Donald Trump has also disrespected our members of the armed forces by expressing his shallow opinion of a POW and war hero, which again stresses his lack of understanding of our historical struggle for a better world.
Donald Trump not only lacks a clear understanding of our Constitution and commitment to our institutions, but he also lacks basic analytical and leadership skills. A presidential candidate that alienates the American political elite of both sides of the spectrum, including former living presidents like the Bushes, is clearly not the best candidate. We need a President of the United States that can envision a strong place for the U.S. in the world and unite us to come back stronger after the latest economic recession of 2008. We need a President of the United States that acknowledges that our country is cosmopolitan and that there are generational, demographic and macroeconomic changes that will reshape the face of the U.S. over the next 35 years. We need a President of the United States that can reach out to our allies and enemies and be able to engage with the full support of the international community to deter threats and build a sustainable international system.
I will continue to encourage you to cast your own opinion by voting for the best qualified candidate that can make America grow stronger and more beautiful, because America has never stopped being great. I invite you to choose a critically thinking and compassionate leader for the free world in the upcoming November elections. Regardless of being disappointed by our political class and current presidential candidates, you must register and vote.