I’m not much of a political person. When it came to choosing a party when I first registered, I went with “Independent” because I don’t feel comfortable with a bi-partisan system and prefer to think outside the box. In the election I’ve voted in thus far (I’m only 27, so the 2008 election was my first), I read the stances of the candidates in each category, compared them to my personal thoughts and ways of living, and chose the candidate that matched me the best. In watching the 2016 campaign, I’m finding that I’m paying closer attention to the candidates’ views on agriculture for the first time; an issue that will impact my entire career if mishandled.
The debate this week did little to influence my thoughts on either candidate, at least in the scope of agriculture. As always, Trump’s plans to evict immigrant workers poses a very serious threat to agriculture, though his interest in reducing government regulation of farms (and, by extension, vineyards) is something that could likely benefit us. Clinton’s plan is a tad harder to criticize, since she makes no moves towards denying local farms and vineyards access to their primary workforce. Instead, Clinton plans to make it easier for young farms and vineyards to grow by making it simpler to get a federal loan, amongst other regulations that pertain to farms, but not necessarily to vineyards.
And for all you Libertarians out there, Gary Johnson has a plan that actually works best in my mind, allowing all undocumented workers to obtain work visas. He also supports the government providing grants to help with environmental issues pertaining to farms and vineyards, including drought relief (a boon that would affect California, certainly).
The decision is a tough one, certainly, and cannot be decided based on these simple facts. What we can do, though, is to continue enjoying our lifestyles and pushing for a better tomorrow.
May I humbly suggest drinking wine to cope with the overwhelming feeling of defeat Americans are facing this election?