Special Note: This article is a collaborative effort by writers of The Havok Journal.
The purpose of 3-up, 3-down is twofold. First, to provide you with a basic overview of candidate positions on various issues prior to the first presidential debate. Second, to provoke critical thinking and debate. You may not like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but we bet you can find at least one policy of theirs you can agree with…or at least tolerate.
Donald J. Trump
Up: His policy on 6-weeks maternity leave for new mothers. Here is the important part: the leave is paid. Federal law only covers 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Emergency Leave Act. A list of companies with generous leave policies is here, but the U.S. is woefully behind Europe on this issue. Individual companies can and should be creative with their maternity & parental leave policies but a minimum amount of paid leave guaranteed by federal law should be a standard. 12 weeks away from work is nice and over the course of a multi-year career, it is a drop in the bucket (well done U.S. Army). Stressing out over replacing 12 weeks of lost income is something no employee should have to worry about due to their decision to have progeny. American workers deserve better.
Up: Veterans Administration healthcare reforms. The VA is a mess by many accounts at the national, state, and local levels. Perceived or real, positive change must occur quickly. The military has been at war since late 2001. People forget we invaded Iraq in 2003 without tourniquets. Thankfully, that policy changed rapidly, but other what-seem-like-common-sense policies lag behind. 20% of our veterans will be women by 2043, yet a third of VA facilities don’t have a gynecologist on staff. Unacceptable. That is one issue of many with the VA. Whoever gets elected needs to make a positive step-change
Up: Billionaire Donald Trump has skillfully coopted a major political party, defeating established politicians like Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Marco Rubio. He has proven the hypocrisy at the center of modern conservative politics and there is a decent chance he will have birthed a better conservative movement if he is defeated.
Down: Support for stop-and-frisk. We are law-abiding Americans and no police officer should stop and frisk us solely for lawfully carrying a firearm openly or concealed. The National Rifle Association’s silence on this issue is damning. 2nd Amendment support is a core Republican issue. Let’s take race out it. You cannot support 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms and support stop-and-frisk. To quote the late Charlton Heston, “From of my cold-dead hands.”
Down: Donald Trump has an “honesty” problem; an open relationship with the truth and he has been proven dishonest on more points than most modern politicians. The time for telling every audience and potential voting block that they’re the prettiest has come and gone. At this point in the game, we need honesty and candor regarding all things Trump.
Down: The moratorium/ban on ALL Muslim immigrants. Does that mean the Special Immigrant Visa program gets killed because those applying as former linguists and interpreters are Muslim? The Havok Journal supports the Save Dave campaign and we believe our Afghan and Iraqi interpreters earned their shot at the American Dream. This ban would do to our Afghan and Iraqi comrades what Vietnam did to our Hmong and South Vietnamese counterparts: leave them out in the cold. – The Havok Journal Staff
The views expressed here are the views of the individual writers. They do not denote the official positions of The Havok Journal, the Department of Defense, or any public or private organization associated with the writers.