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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley has a respectful approach to politics

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX News Channel, Aug. 23, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Regardless of which side of the political line you land on, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley was the only one who made sense during the Republican primary debate. 

The debate opened with a discussion on government spending, prompted by the controversial song “Rich Men North of Richmond,” by Oliver Anthony. 

Many of the candidates began sharing plans to cut government spending and blaming President Joe Biden for the debt of the nation. Candidate Haley was quick not to defend Biden, but to point out the fact that the other candidates seemed to be overlooking. 

Haley expressed that it is not Biden alone who has added to the national debt, but the Republicans too. After all, it was a Republican president who signed a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief stimulus bill which was approved in March, 2020. 

The goal of the bill was to help those struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic by expanding unemployment benefits, issuing one-time checks, supporting small businesses, grants and more, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. 

The COVID-19 stimulus bill was needed for those who were forced to stay home from work during such an unprecedented time and needed help. However, it still should be acknowledged that it was a Republican president who chose to add to the national debt, regardless of the reason. 

“No one has told you how to fix it. I’ll tell you how to fix it. They (government officials) need to stop the spending, they need to stop the borrowing, they need to eliminate the earmarks that Republicans brought back in, and they need to understand that these are taxpayer dollars, not their dollars,” Haley said during the primary debate. “And while they’re all saying this, you have Ron DeSantis, you’ve got Tim Scott, you’ve got Mike Pence, they all voted to raise the debt (limit). And Donald Trump added $8 trillion to our debt. And our kids are never going to forgive us for this.” 

Haley went on to mention the 2024 proposed budgets where Republicans asked for $7.4 billion in earmarks and Democrats asked for $2.8 billion. 

Presidential candidate Haley did not shy away from being honest with her audience, even if it painted her own party in a negative light. Frankly, Haley’s bluntness and honesty are a welcome change. 

When the stage erupted with bickering about climate change, Haley interrupted the chaos by quoting former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. 

“If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman,” Haley said. 

Haley’s choice to quote Thatcher is to show that while the men were bickering on stage about climate change, she was ready to take action.

Unfortunately, the action she wants to take is placing blame on other countries – China and India – instead of dealing with the hand the U.S. plays in climate change. 

“If you want to go and really change the environment, then we need to start telling China and India that they have to lower their emissions, that’s where our problem is,” Haley said. 

The U.S. and China are the world’s largest producers of greenhouse gasses with India coming in third, according to Climate Trade.

Should China and India do their part in combating climate change? Yes. Is it their problem alone? No. 

Climate change is a global issue, not a problem to push off for other countries to deal with.  

Additionally, when the topic of a federal abortion ban was brought into the debate, Haley decided to take a respectful approach. 

“We need to stop demonizing this issue. This is talking about the fact that unelected justices didn’t need to decide something this personal, because it’s personal for every woman and man, ” Haley said. “Now it’s been put in the hands of the people, that’s great.” 

Haley explains that to have a federal abortion ban be put in place it will take 60 Senate votes and a majority vote from the House of Representatives, such a consensus would be extremely challenging to achieve. 

Knowing how hard it can be to get the Senate and House of Representatives to agree on a topic enough to pass a bill, Haley urges the people to look for common ground. 

“Can’t we all agree that we should ban late-term abortion? Can’t we all agree that we should encourage adoptions? Can’t we all agree that doctors and nurses who don’t believe in abortion shouldn’t have to perform?” Haley said. “Can’t we all agree that contraception should be available? And can’t we all agree that we are not going to put a woman in jail or give her the death penalty if she gets an abortion?” 

Democrats were never fighting for the right to a late-term abortion, there is no such thing as a “late-term abortion.” The term is completely made up to be used as a form of propaganda intended to confuse individuals about when an abortion would take place, according to Planned Parenthood

A full-term pregnancy is 39-40 weeks, and a pregnancy isn’t considered “late-term” until 41 weeks. Furthermore, most abortions take place in the first 20 weeks, so the idea of a “late-term” abortion is only used to spread misinformation about women’s healthcare. 

Haley’s approach to a federal abortion ban is a thoughtful one — as she agrees that the people should have the right to vote on the issue themselves — and calls for respect in the debate. 

“Let’s treat this like the respectful issue that it is and humanize the situation and stop demonizing the situation,” Haley said. 

Additionally, when it comes to taking a stance on the war in Ukraine, Haley chooses a moral point of view. 

“The American president needs to have moral clarity, they need to know the difference between right and wrong. They need to know the difference between good and evil,” Haley said. “When you look at the situation with Russia and Ukraine, here you have a pro-American country that was invaded by a thug.” 

Haley goes on to point out that less than 4% of the U.S. defense budget has been given to Ukraine, and many other countries have contributed more than the U.S. 

“You have the backs of your friends, Ukraine is the front line of defense. Putin has said, once Russia takes Ukraine, Poland and the Baltics are next,” Haley said. 

If Russia moves on to invading Poland, a NATO member, then Putin will have started a world war. Candidate Haley wants to prevent such an event by helping to protect Ukraine and its people. 

Republican candidate Haley’s reverent approach to her politics is surprising for the Republican Party – for any party really – and it is quite refreshing. 

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