Focus 7

The Truth Behind the Promise

As elections roll around every four years, the potential candidate offers their views and opinions on issues, and shares their ideas on how to make the United States better. The candidates make their fair share of promises. How often these promises are kept is the question. It is no secret that the candidate simply cannot fulfill all of the promises made, but for the majority of the time, “the candidate does keep many of them” (Gitelson).

From the Washington Post, it is said “Presidents usually try to enact the policies they advocate during the campaign” (Washington), even though there have been exceptions of past presidents like George Washington. Our current President, Barack Obama, made more than 500 promises during his 2008 campaign and “in only 56 cases — about 10 percent — has Obama actually broken a promise” (Washington). For example, Obama pledged to create a national public health care, and he did through the Affordable Care Act. Often candidates fail to fulfill their promises due to concerns outside of their control, such as facing opposition from Congress, or members of the same party, or is unable to get the public to support his program. So presidents are successful in some areas not unsuccessful in others.

Whether it is a party-centered campaign or a candidate-centered campaign, there will only be one winner in the presidential race. When the topic of abortion comes into light, the answers, beliefs and views can be drastically different from one candidate to the next. The Republican platform believes that abortion should be considered illegal and oppose the ruling of  Roe v. Wade. They believe that life begins at conception and, “say the unborn child has a fundamental right to life” (Republican) and will not fund any public health organization that includes abortion coverage. They heavily support adoption instead of abortion. As for Donald Trump, “he’s pledged to defund Planned Parenthood – an effort that would effectively try to spread the Executive Council’s actions to all 50 states” (Ballot).  On the other hand, Democrats support this issue and support keeping late term abortions legal. They believe a woman has the right to choose what should be done with her body, and believe abortion should be done in a safe and legal way. They support contraceptive research, family planning and family life education. The website from Ithaca also portrays that as President, Hillary Clinton promised she would, “make sure that a woman’s right to make her own health decisions remains as permanent as all of the other values we hold dear” (Ballot).   Of all of the issues Americans fight for or against, abortion is an extremely controversial and a broad topic of argument. Retrospective voting is when individuals “base their votes on the candidates’ or parties’ past record of performance” (Gitelson 275). Hillary Clinton has had so much experience with politics; a U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and First Lady. She has dealt with countless issues such as health care and women’s rights. As for Donald Trump, he has no true political experience, but has dealt with large corporations and has spent time dealing with the political system from the local level to international. All of these issues wrestle with the same idea: we need to vote for the candidate who will best carry out the job. My issue and policy research this semester is on how clinics (including abortion) should be available to all women, in particular, Missouri. This state has only one abortion clinic for its entirety. If a president is offensive as well as rude to women and wants to defund a resource center for them, it is unclear to me how he can be looked upon as our President.  The scholarly article Local Access To A Planned Parenthood Clinic Linked To Reduced Dropout Ratesoffered statistics regarding how access to Planned Parenthood clinics affects dropout rates among young women and teens. The sample included: white Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics. Their research shows that access to Planned Parenthood is linked to the success of many individuals, and those who live close to a clinic will have a reduced school drop-out rate. So, if Trump gets elected and goes through with said promise of defunding Planned Parenthood clinics, the results will be detrimental to the overall well-being of women.  These sources have connected the dots for me, I am going to vote for Hillary Clinton because she is the best equipped to handling the job at the White House and she supports women and their decisions about their body.

From all of the sources gathered here, it is true to conclude that “although some campaign promises are not fulfilled, many are” (Gitelson 281). A president’s program can fail from a multitude of reasons, such as opposition from Congress as well as his own party. They also might have been ineffective from the start. But, it is a mere myth to state that campaign promises are not fulfilled. Overall, we must vote for the president that we determine will do the best job for our country for the next four years and who has the qualifications needed to be president.

Works Cited

“2016-Ballotpedia.” 2016 Presidential Candidates on Abortion – Ballotpedia,

Gitelson, Alan R. et al. “Chapter 8: Campaigns and Elections.” American Government: Myths and Realities.

“Presidents Keep Their Campaign Promises.” Washington Post, The Washington Post,

“Republican Party on Abortion.” Republican Party on Abortion. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2016.


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