By Debbie Gregory.
This November, Americans will take to the polls to elect a new president. Many of us have watched news coverage of the candidates’ campaign efforts and tuned in for one of the many presidential primary debates . But the question remains: who would make the best president as far as our military troops and their families are concerned?
First and foremost, it is important to remember that in addition to electing a president, we are also electing a new Commander in Chief. As a collective unit, servicemembers and their families have a voice. They need to support the candidate they feel will best look out for this interests.
The next president will have the final say on important issues, like sequestration, foreign policy, and servicemember’s earned benefits. The next President will also make the call on whether we will deploy troops in support of continued war.
Historically, those who serve tend to be conservative, which could give the Republican party an edge. However, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have issues that are dogging them in their race for the White House.
Trump has weathered a series of scandals, including his ridiculing of Sen. John McCain for his capture by enemy soldiers during Vietnam, his dismissal of policies protecting the Post-9/11 GI Bill, his policy remarks, and the revelation in late 2015 that he “always felt like he was in the military” because he had attended a military-themed prep school. And most recently, there is the issue of Trump’s supposed donations to veterans’ organizations.
Hillary Clinton has no clear military ties. She also has a record tainted in the minds of many conservatives due to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 while she was secretary of state.
While Bernie Sanders hasn’t made as many fumbles as his opponents, he is clearly in favor of cutting the defense budget, most likely resulting in troop reduction.