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Ability to impact future of our country drives me to vote in 2016

To The Daily Sun,

Will it be the the bold businessman or the commanding female frontrunner? Will it be the former neurosurgeon or the wispy-haired senator?
With a few Democrats and an entire field of Republicans, there is a lot of competition regarding who will become the next president in 2016.
Prior to this election cycle, politics and elections were far from my mind and were not something that I concerned myself with at all. However, over the past year, the issues have become more relevant to me, and the ability to impact a presidential election has become sacred. I am excited to vote for a candidate who is committed to reducing college tuition rates, mitigating climate change, and fighting for women's rights and equality, in order to better America for future generations.
In this country, thousands of highly qualified students graduate college and enter the workforce with crippling student loan debts. This debt haunts them for years, while they attempt to create a family or purchase a home. As a high school senior applying to college, I am terrified that I will be thousands of dollars in debt by the time I have completed my undergraduate degree.
By making public colleges and universities tuition free, more students will believe that attending college is an attainable goal, thus improving the general education level in the U.S. With an overall higher education level comes more doctors, engineers, and scientists who strive to improve the U.S. for future generations. These people will no longer be worried about paying off their student loans and instead will be working to develop successful projects that change the world.
This election cycle is a pivotal moment for the college tuition controversy, as there are supremely different views regarding whether offering colleges with no tuition would be feasible at all.
Affordable college educations will allow more motivated students to tackle the global climate change crisis that we are facing. Clear-cutting is happening throughout the world, children are struggling to find clean water, fossil fuel supplies are being depleted, and the global temperature is steadily rising. Transitions need to be made away from fossil fuels toward sustainable energy processes.
There are several presidential candidates who strongly advocate and educate others regarding climate change, but there are also candidates who deny the existence of global warming and harmful effects of fossil fuel use. We must move forward out of the era of environmental domination and into an era of environmental conservation. Electing a candidate who refuses to secede personal opinions to scientific fact would not only be detrimental to this country, but to the entire world and future generations.
Environmental conservation is something that impacts everyone on this planet, as is women's rights and equality. In America, women are still paid less than men for the exact same work. Protests are still occurring outside of Planned Parenthood facilities because of abortions that make up merely 3 percent of the services offered to women. Sexual harassment and abuse is prevalent in the U.S., but still it is women who are blamed for the attacks.
Our next president has the opportunity to further develop laws that provide women with equal pay, privacy regarding sexual health and protection from physical attacks. The elected candidate in 2016 will set the tone that will cause the people to either move forward and help women or take a giant leap backwards and cause severe harm to the women of this country.
In conclusion, it is the ability to impact the future of this country that drives me to vote in 2016. The potential to make public colleges' tuition free, slow the impacts of global warming and increase the fight for women are the issues that will impact me in the near future. These are the issues that the next president should be fighting to improve, and it is vital that we continue to move forward and remedy these issues before our country is severely harmed.

Eleanor Eaton

Student, Moultonborough Academy

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Bob Meade - Who can meet the challenge?

How well will your presidential selection address these issues upon being sworn into office?

Some domestic issues:

— The economy has been and is, anemic. Jobs are at a premium. The current 5 percent "unemployment rate" is a sham and should be abolished in favor of the more accurate "labor participation rate," which is at 62.7 percent of the eligible working population — the lowest since the days of the Carter presidency in 1978. Will the new president remove the government-imposed uncertainty that has plagued the business community?
— Our federal income tax rates on businesses are the highest in the world, and basically incentivize our business community to seek more favorable tax havens in other countries.
— Our national debt has increased by 82 percent in the last seven years, and exceeds $19 trillion. It is expected to reach $22.4 trillion in four years.
— The Federal bureaucracies are huge and growing, are out of control, oppressive, and essentially "fireproof." These departments issue excessive regulations that have the force of law without the congress ever having a vote on them . . . we are being ruled by the non-elected.
— The founders envisioned that our politicians would be citizens who would volunteer to serve their country and then return to their farms or businesses. The Constitution originally provided that there would be two senators from each state, "appointed by the Legislatures thereof." The 17th Amendment, providing for the direct election of Senators, was enacted in 1913. That ushered in "professional politicians," as every one of the longest serving senators in our nation's history has served since that amendment was passed.
— Health care costs cannot be fixed without addressing the need for tort reform; the legal system. Selling health insurance "across state lines," as many politicians are asking for, presents two significant problems. The first is that it allows the federal government to usurp another "state's right" by taking away each state's ability to exert some control over those companies that want to sell insurance in their state. The second problem is that it penalizes citizens in states with lower malpractice premiums, forcing them to share the costs of those states with higher premiums (mainly the more litigious states).

Existing and potential international problems:

— The Middle East is in the middle of a civil/holy war with the Sunni and Shia fighting for dominance and leadership of Islam. Various radical terrorist groups with their own agendas are spreading like a virus, complicating the vision of the future. In any event, all sides agree on a common objective: to destroy Israel and the West.
— China is growing its military and is rapidly modernizing its Navy. (http://www.reuters.com/investigates/china-military/) It has been aggressively building an island in the South China Sea and appears to want to isolate and claim territorial rights to the entire area. The United States has a treaty with Taiwan to come to its aid and defend it if and when China attempts to invade it and/or reclaim it as a part of China. China holds U.S. Treasury notes values at over $1.2 trillion. China's military openly speaks about its aggressive military options towards the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan, with one Chinese colonel referring to those nations as "running dogs of the United States." How well will the president plan for dealing with these contingencies? Will we honor our treaties to defend our allies?
— Russia has many serious issues. It has the largest land mass in the world but has a relatively small population of only 134 million people. Its population numbers are continuing to shrink as their birth rates hover around on 1.3 births per family. In order to add to its human resources, it appears that Russia will attempt to reconstitute a new Soviet Union by annexing smaller neighboring countries, as they did with Crimea. Its push into the Ukraine is complicated in a number of ways . . . Russia's primary salable resource, oil, is routed through the Ukraine to get to Europe. During the Clinton administration, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weaponry and missiles in an agreement with Russia, the United States, and Britain . . . all of whom agreed to provide "security" for the Ukraine. Will we honor our commitment to the Ukraine? Will Russia have a free hand in annexing other countries?
— The United States had committed to placing a battery of defensive missiles in Poland, a NATO ally. President Obama cancelled that commitment because Russia opposed it. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/world/europe/with-eye-on-north-korea-us-cancels-missile-defense-russia-opposed.html?_r=0) Analysts have stated the Poland had hoped that the military presence of the United States in that country would serve as a deterrent to Russian aggression. Will our foreign policy be based on our interests?

These are but a few of the issues that our president will have to plan for and manage if we are to restore our country to its role as the greatest and most powerful nation in the world. Please vote for the candidate that is best equipped to meet the challenges that exist.

(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)

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