St. Olaf Institute for Freedom and Community

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Oles on the Election

Your Personal Debate Prep

By Rinnah Becker October 19, 2016

Originally published on the Star Tribune Blog.

As discussion about the election continues, I wish we’d talk more about one person: Hillary Clinton.

I think I just lost some readers. You’re likely saying, “Really? I feel like I hear about her all day long.” However, in spite of all the election coverage, we aren’t paying enough attention to the vast majority of the information about her: her policies, her experience. The information she has begged us to read.

Political conversation has intensified in the last weeks. The exposure of Trump’s sexist video and the allegations against him of aggression and assault have changed the playing field unequivocally: focus has shifted to sexual violence and women’s rights. On my college campus, Michelle Obama’s sentiment that this political climate isn’t “normal” echoes through virtually any political conversation. Liberals reject Trump increasingly vehemently, and conservatives lament that both of our options are corrupt and deceitful.

At the same time, one thing about the discourse has barely changed. People know they don’t want Trump – that they’ll pick another option by default – but the discussion ends there. To many, our voting situation seems like a black hole of bad options.

Our choices are Hillary Clinton or a third party candidate. Given that a third party candidate will lose, it seems like we should be talking about Hillary Clinton’s plans for a presidency. But we never do.

For that reason, I’m going to devote the last bit of this post to a few points from Hillary’s policy – just my personal highlights from the detailed policy plans I’ve read on her campaign website. The composition of Congress will undoubtedly shape the ways her policies can be implemented, but why not know what she has in mind?

Bring her policies to your casual conversations or your heated debates. As we discuss serious issues in society, why not consider how our most likely future president will address them? And to those voters who strongly disagree with one of her policies, I urge you to take a look at the rest. I think you might even see that she has some quality ideas to offer.

Here’s your 1-minute scoop.

(Disclaimer – These are just a few of her many policies on each of these issues accurate as of October 15th, 2016 on her campaign website:


— According to Clinton’s policies, families with income up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state four-year public colleges and universities by 2021.

— Clinton says college debt should be forgiven after 20 years.

— Under a Clinton presidency, community college would be free.

— “As First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary helped establish the…Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters…program to promote early childhood education, which now operates in 21 states and the District of Columbia.”


— Clinton will protect DACA and DAPA, President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

— She will “end family detention and close private immigration detention centers.”

— “Hillary will create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs, support affordable integration services through $15 million in new grant funding for community navigators and similar organizations, and significantly increase federal resources for adult English language education and citizenship education.”


— Clinton promotes a 10 billion dollar “Make It in America” plan, which supports manufacturing jobs within the United States.

— “Hillary will reiterate her call for the “Buffett Rule,” which ensures that those making more than $1 million per year pay at least an effective tax rate of 30 percent.”

— Clinton advocates for the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that “[gives] women the tools they need to fight discrimination in the workforce.”

About the Author

Rinnah Becker is a St. Olaf senior from Port Townsend, WA majoring in Spanish and Music.