As the 2016 U.S. presidential election draws nearer, millennials across the nation are coming to terms with the fact that Bernie Sanders' nomination just isn't likely. With the free-thinking, progressive-minded Sanders all but out of the picture at this point, it's time to consider the important issues of the Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton presidential race.
To put it bluntly, there simply is no contest when comparing the actual political experience of Clinton and Trump. With a total of eight years already spent as an elected official, Hillary wins this one by a landslide. In fact, she's held no less than four official titles thus far, including United States Secretary of State, Senator, and First Lady of both the state of Arkansas as well as the United States of America. Clinton was also a presidential candidate in 2008.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, has never held an elected position. While he does serve as the chairman of Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, as well as the founder, chairman, president, and CEO of The Trump Organization, which has been in continuous operation since 1975, he has yet to be tested under any kind of governmental scrutiny or pressure.
Military, Defense, and International Issues
Although 60% of millennials are in favor of U.S. forces fighting against the Islamic State, it's still a highly contested topic. While Mr. Trump supports military expansion, he is strongly against the expansion of free trade. Conversely, Hillary Clinton disagrees with both military and free trade expansion.
Viewpoints on Environmental Protection
Millennials have a reputation of caring more about the environment than any other generation to date, and for good reason.
With recent studies stating that 57.5% of all millennials between the ages of 21 and 35 are specifically worried about losing access to natural resources in the near future, our presidential nominees could do themselves a lot of good by making a commitment to environmental protection.
Trump and Clinton definitely maintain opposing viewpoints when it comes to this topic. For example, Hillary is in favor of granting tax credits to companies in the sustainable energy sector. Trump is against the practice.
Despite their disagreements or plans for the future, our nation's demand for oil continues to grow. As such, there are plenty of opportunities when it comes to investing in U.S.-based natural resources, including oil and natural gas that we should be exploring.
Achieving Equality in Pay
Perhaps more than anything else, millennial workers of today crave pay equality. Not only do they want equal salaries for both men and women, but they also want to see an increase to the federal minimum wage. While this may be surprising to some, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton not only agree with each other on these issues, but they agree with the millennials' point of view too.
However, a recent report from the Boston Globe shows that female staff members of Trump's presidential campaign are currently receiving approximately one-third less than what their male counterparts receive. Clinton, according to the same report, provides an equal salary to both men and women working on her campaign.
The Topic of Immigration
Generally speaking, millennials tend to be more open-minded and accepting when it comes to the issue of immigration. However, Clinton and Trump have differing opinions on the matter.
Clinton believes the United States should stick with current border and immigration policies. She is also in favor of offering financial assistance and scholarships to illegal immigrants. Moreover, she doesn't think that immigrants should be required to learn the English language.
Trump disagrees with nearly all of Clinton's viewpoints on immigration. Not only does Trump want to see increased border security and protection, but he also wants to decrease the current amount of temporary work visas that are granted to skilled immigrant workers.
Embracing the Next President of the U.S.A.
Regardless of whether you side with Clinton or Trump, one of these two individuals will likely be chosen to represent the United States as our next president. With that in mind, it's best to keep an open mind, remain optimistic, and educate yourself heading into our next election.
After all, we all have to live with the results of this election for the next four years at least.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore