Everyone's buzzing about Hillary Clinton — as they probably should be. In the wake of 2016 GOP campaign announcements by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the former Secretary of State's Sunday announcement comes as a welcome Democratic relief in a packed field of far-right hopefuls. It's no surprise, really, considering that Clinton has essentially been in soft-campaign mode since her tenure as first lady and her subsequent stay in the U.S. Senate. With a formal announcement in the bag, the only thing to do is figure out what the public hopes will come of a potential Hillary presidency — and whether she'll follow through on weighty campaign promises if she does happen to make it to the White House.
There are a few important topics rattling around the collective social mindset these days — namely stagnant job growth and public health — but considering Clinton's strengths, there are a handful of very specific items we'd love to see figured out as well. Of course, nothing is ever certain. Even if Clinton does win her White House bid, there's no telling what a heavily partisan Congress would do to thwart her efforts on both sides of the political aisle... but we're keeping an open mind and our itemized list at the ready, regardless (just in case).
Establish Gender Wage Equality
In terms of hot-button issues, this one is non-negotiable. Despite a highly-cited April 2014 post in The Wall Street Journal, which indicated that "once education, marital status and occupations are considered, the 'gender wage gap' all but disappears", the disparity between men and women's financial totals is still visible. "Men were almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week," they claimed. "Single women who have never married earned 96 percent of men's earnings in 2012," they added. That's great and all, but 96 percent isn't 100 percent no matter which way you slice it. The duo also insists that because women choose lower-paying fields, the overall gap makes sense. Except that it doesn't.
A 2014 tech company base salary comparison by career marketplace Glassdoor, which surveyed employees at major tech and media companies, proved that the wage gap did, in fact, exist: at computer tech corporation Oracle, for example, a senior female software engineer with over a year on her male counterparts was making over $6,000 less, despite having more experience. At telecommunications giant Qualcomm, a female software engineer with slightly more experience than her male colleague was still making over $4,000 less.
In April 2014, The Week responded to the Journal op-ed, indicating that men in traditionally female-dominated roles also made more money than their female counterparts for the same experience and job role. We can't win either way, it seems.
That's why we need a woman with power to do it for us. And with Clinton's track record in supporting women's rights, the struggle for equality may finally have a fighting chance.
Put Benghazi To Rest And Move Onto Other Pressing International Security Problems
The GOP has been beating a dead horse named Benghazi for a long time. Its recent resurgence can be partly attributed to the recent Clinton email scandal — wherein Republicans accused her of trashing important Benghazi documents on her now notorious personal server — and the fact that the run-up to an election year always needs a few juicy scandals for the media to dwell on incessantly. With the American public growing more concerned over the looming threats of ISIS, al Shabab, and Boko Haram across the globe, the right wing's insistence over what has died down into a non-issue is becoming tiresome.
Whether it comes to light, after the investigation into the some 300 emails Clinton turned over to State Department officials, that more intelligence was withheld from the public regarding the attack on the U.S. consulate or not, it's unlikely that any new information will change the public's mind on what happened on that chaotic September day. With a host of global victims crying out for attention, is it really wise to continue fixating on a situation that has already been largely dissected and dismissed?
If Clinton takes the White House next fall, it's a safe bet that she too will want to move onto more pressing concerns: with Yemen on the brink, Pakistan barred between sectarian threats on both sides and within its own borders, and talk of North Korean atrocities ramping up on a weekly basis, it's time to lay the terrible Benghazi tragedy to rest.
Support Real Talk About Women's Health
Anti-abortion legislation is on the rise across the country. Birth control bans and exemptions are being handed out like rice at a wedding. Along with the GOP resurgence has come a host of new problems for women's health and access — and if Clinton wins big in 2016, we're hoping she'll figure out a way to throw that antiquated system of governance that is so often unkind to the female population right out the window.
In states like Kansas and Oklahoma, where state lawmakers have either banned or are proposing bans on certain types of abortion (second trimester), and with the January attempt by congressional Republicans to outlaw the procedure for rape and incest victims as well, it's a scary time to be a woman. Businesses like Hobby Lobby and educational institutions like Notre Dame are lobbying for birth control coverage exemptions (even through third party providers) by using religious grounds for refusal, thereby making it even more difficult to maintain female health without breaking the bank.
Over the years, Clinton has proven that she deserves a spot in the big leagues when it comes to women's health, most recently calling the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS ruling "deeply disturbing". Here's hoping that a Clinton presidency would stamp out those sorts of inherently sexist arguments once and for all.
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