Social Movement the 2008 Upcoming Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The perspectives presented in the first instance by the two main candidates for the Democrat nomination is essential. Their presence of the ballots raises serious questions that in the end target defining issues for the American society. On the one hand, Hilary Clinton addresses the issue of women in the society and in the political and civil arena; on the other hand, Obama underlines the existence of the African-American community, the issue of discrimination, and the need for emancipation in this sense. Although these matters have been discussed along the decades, their importance is greater at this point because these problems and issues are raised at the highest level.

The other dimension of the idea that the current electoral campaign is labeled "a social movement" is the actual electoral platforms the two candidates have. Indeed, both Clinton and Obama are running for the same nomination and one of them will have to face the Republican candidate. However, this current analysis takes into account only the Democrat candidates because it is considered that the interesting element of the presidential race is precisely the confrontation inside the Democrat party, rather than the wider campaign. This is largely due to the fact that it is considered that after the Democrat nomination, the either a woman or a Black person will have won the seat for the presidential elections, a fact which will point out, at least at the level of the Democrat electorate, the importance given to the issues related to women as opposed to those related to Black people and racial discrimination.

The major issues both of the candidates have on their agenda are related more to the domestic issues of the country, rather than the foreign policy of the United States. Indeed, the American strategy in Iraq represents a major point in the discourse of both candidates, as their initial positions on the matter differed. In this sense, Obama opposed the intervention in Iraq from the very beginning, as he considered that such kind of war would "require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undermined cost, with undetermined consequences" (Barack Obama, 2008). By comparison, the U.S. Senator of New York supported in the beginning the war, as she voted for the war. However "she has not apologized for that vote but has since said that, had she known then what she knows now, she would have acted differently" (BBC, 2007). Similar to her counter candidate, she tried to change the policy concerning the war in Iraq and " has said she would end the war if she were president. She favors the phased redeployment of troops and caps on troop numbers in Iraq" (BBC, 2007). Therefore, although in the beginning the two were on different sides of the issue, as the war in Iraq proved its limitations, they came to consider the withdrawal of troops as the most viable solution of for its resolution.

However, the social matters that both take into account concern in particular several aspects. First and foremost, one of the most important issues is related to immigration. Immigration has become one of the most stringent problems facing the U.S. society. This is largely due to the fact that more and more immigrants are being hired to do unqualified labor, which in turn determines the lowering of wages in this area throughout the country. At the same time, such a situation determines a change in the social situation of many low income families which are affected by this massive afflux of immigrants. At the same time however, there is growing demand for jobs, as the level of the economy must rise. In this sense, there are many voices which rely on the work of the immigrants (Isidore, 2007). Thus, a stronger immigration stand is taken into consideration by both candidates. However, theirs positions are rather similar. On the one hand, Hilary Clinton argues in favor of a reformation of the current immigration system by "tightening border security, tougher penalties for employers who hire undocumented workers and a system to bring the estimated 12m illegal immigrants out of the shadows" (BBC, 2007).

Similarly, Obama supports the idea of the inclusion of the immigrants in the society because of their importance for the system and for the job benefits they might bring. However, at the same time, he points out the importance of increasing the control measures at the border. In this sense, he considers that "We're going to have to secure our borders. And this past year, the Senate invested billions of dollars in improving border security. I think that's important because I think all Americans think that we should be able to regulate who comes in and out of this country in an orderly way, not only for the sake of our sovereignty, but also to avoid the hundreds of people who have been dying across the desert, the enormous costs that are placed on border states and border towns" (the New York Times, 2008). Therefore, as he considers the matter of the security of the American people, he also takes into account the social issues immigration entangles. He points out the fact that a major issue concerning illegal immigrants is also related to the fact that employers are not interested in the origin and status of their employees. In order to tackle this issue, he proposed a system of sanctions for the employers who hire illegal immigrants (the New York Times, 2008).

Another major point the two candidates consider in their campaign is the issue poverty and the way this aspect which affects a large segment of the society can be dealt with. From this point-of-view, the fact that poverty represents a matter of discussion is an important idea of the campaign and of the interests of the two candidates. Concerning Obama's strategy for dealing with poverty, his main goal is to apply the knowledge he accumulated as a community organizer to broader-based projects. In this sense, in the early years of his career "in the mid-1980s, (he spent) 4 years organizing African-American neighborhoods on Chicago's South Side." (on the issues, 2007). This experience and many other projects determined him to take a positive position on issues such as creating shelters for the homeless, taking care of the poor, and offering the young people the possibility to learn. More precisely, one of the declared aims of his presidency would be to "establish 20 Promise Neighborhoods: Obama will create 20 Promise Neighborhoods in cities across the nation that have high levels of poverty and crime and low levels of student academic achievement. The Promise Neighborhoods will be modeled after the Harlem Children's Zone, which provides a full network of services, including early childhood education, youth violence prevention efforts and after-school activities, to an entire neighborhood from birth to college" (on the issues, 2007). Therefore, from this point-of-view, the social orientation of Obama is rather clear, as he tries to discuss the issues of poverty, lack of social aid, and limited education possibilities.

On the other hand, Hilary Clinton tackles the issue of poverty from a broader perspective. In this sense, she believes that the most important measure taken to reject and decrease poverty is through a stable and efficient economy. More precisely, she pointed out that "we know we've got to attack poverty by making sure the economy works for everybody. We have to lift up the idea of good jobs with good benefits, and we know what we need to do" (on the issues, 2008). Although her response is not directly related to the issue of poverty, her explanation represents in fact a means of creating an effect that would entangle changes at all the levels of the society.

Health care is yet another issue that has been addressed by both candidates. The importance of the healthcare subject in the campaign is given by the fact that this has been an area in which little progress has been made throughout time. On the one hand, this failure is caused by plans which have either lacked consistency or initiative. On the other hand, the increased pressure of the immigrant population has put a strain on the healthcare system and the system of the hospitals and clinics. In this sense, these lack sufficient funds and cannot cover all the needs of the population, especially the poor ones.

In relation to healthcare issues, the major project of Hilary Clinton is "American Health Choices Plan" which "covers all Americans and improves health care by lowering costs and improving quality" (Hilary Clinton, 2008). More precisely, despite the fact that some of the projects she coordinated during the Clinton Administration were unsuccessful, she hopes that this plan wound determine stronger relationship with the insurance companies and better conditions for the poor.

Barack Obama on the other hand discusses in…

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