This essay compares and contrasts the 2016 presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. First, a comparison of these two candidates shows that they share many of the same positions on domestic and international policies. Both candidates share similarities in their respective political backgrounds. Second, a contrast between these candidates shows that there are fundamental differences between their views on voter efficacy, campaign funding, specific foreign relations policies, and overall personas as public figures.
In comparison, the main obvious similarity is that Clinton and Sanders are both Democratic candidates. Both candidates hold similar views on domestic issues and policies. Both Clinton and Sanders agree on issues that involve women’s rights. Both candidates agree that abortion is a woman’s ultimate and unrestricted right. Both candidates believe that there should be mandatory hiring quotas for women. Women should be given equal pay is a main focus of Clinton’s campaign, and Sanders also upholds the belief that women should receive equal pay for equal work. Both candidates have equally liberal views when it comes to hot button issues such as same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage has been a hot-button issue, and both Clinton and Sanders are comfortable with same-sex marriage and would promote the equality of same-sex marriages. These hiring quotas apply to minorities as well, because both candidates support the requirement for employers to employ both women and minorities. Neither candidate approves of mixing religion and public life. So, neither candidate approves of religion in public schools. When it comes to marijuana, neither candidate believes that marijuana is a gateway drug. An interesting comparison can be made between the international relation policies and beliefs of both candidates; neither candidate wish to expand free trade, neither candidate thinks that we should expand our military, and neither candidate thinks that American exceptionalism should be promoted.
In contrast, there are many obvious differences between these two candidates, with the most obvious difference being one of gender. Also, the differences in length of holding elected public office are different between Sanders and Clinton. Sanders has held elected office since 1981, and Clinton held her first elected office 20 years later in 2001. Sanders is a senator, whereas Clinton is the Secretary of State. Clinton holds a J.D. whereas Sanders has a BA. When it comes to the candidates’ ideologies, there are many differences as well. Clinton believes that the United States should not avoid foreign entanglements, whereas, Sanders believes that the Unites States should purposefully avoid foreign entanglements. Sanders has not touched on the issue of the right gun control, whereas Clinton has pledged her support that there is no absolute right to gun ownership. Sanders and Clinton have different sources of revenue for their campaign funds. Clinton has raised far more than Sanders and his funding has been citizen and individually funded. Clinton has a personal net worth of about $21 million dollars, and Sanders has a net worth of $330,000; therefore, Sanders has raised more money in comparison to his own net worth than Clinton has raised in comparison to her net worth. Additionally, Clinton relies on the PAC, whereas Sanders has raised his campaign funds himself.
Both candidates have a difference that makes them similar: Sanders has created his own momentum, however, Clinton seems to have the stamina that may be a key difference between the two candidates. These candidates are possibly more alike than dissimilar, however, in terms of public perception and persona, Sanders, although a longer standing politician is played to be the underdog to Clinton’s massive campaign, and although Clinton is well-qualified, she is played as the underdog for being female.