Gray for change

Jim+Gray1

Jim Gray1

By the editorial board

While the U.S. presidential race has all the spotlight now, there are still many other important political races going on, including the race between the Kentucky U.S. Senate candidates Jim Gray and Rand Paul. 

The Kentucky Kernel is endorsing Democratic candidate Jim Gray for U.S. Senate. We feel that his opinion on policy more closely reflects our views at the Kernel and our best interests as college students than that of Republican candidate Rand Paul. 

Gray’s policy of capping interest rates of student loans is more down to earth and helpful to the average college student than Rand Paul’s policy of providing a tax deduction on tuition. This policy would not allow institutions to raise their interest over a defined cap. The only problem this policy holds is that it is vague and does not specify how high or low the cap will be.

In addition, his policy of decriminalizing marijuana seems much more progressive in comparison to that of Paul’s stance on the issue, which includes vague and inconclusive statements about the state deciding on the matter. Gray’s stance also mentions that we should first analyze the effects of legalizing marijuana on crime, addiction, etc., and not jump into this blindly. 

On the issue of Syria, the two candidates have a vaguely similar stance. They both feel it is important to intervene in the Middle East, but they differ in their preferred methods.  

Gray supports fighting terrorism through peace: regional coalitions and strengthening emerging democracies. Paul takes the stance that we should intervene militarily when we or our interests are threatened and that the president should have to ask congress to go to war as the U.S. Constitution requires. 

The Kernel finds Gray’s policy regarding climate change to be much more progressive and a step in the right direction. Climate change is a much debated issue, especially in Kentucky seeing that we are the third biggest coal state in America. 

Gray supports diversifying our economy and investing in cleaner alternatives, while attempting to preserve jobs in the coal industry. Paul takes a very aggressive stance against “the Clinton/Obama war on coal” saying that it has “devastated our state,” but poses no solution.

Another highly debated issue in our country is the minimum wage. Gray supports raising the federal minimum wage, and boasts that here in Lexington we raised the minimum wage to $10.10. Paul sides with Gov. Bevin’s decision to cut it back down. He said that it is more important to work toward improving the middle class, and that raising the minimum wage will “destroy jobs and raise the cost on those hurting most.”

These issues directly impact the people of the Commonwealth and trends that sway our entire country, and Gray’s stances, in most cases, seem to put the people, their best interests and their concerns first, which is exactly what Kentucky needs its next Senator to do.  

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