Editorial: The Maneater endorses Sen. Claire McCaskill for Senate this midterm election

McCaskill shows that she stands with students.
Senator Claire McCaskill speaking to McDonnell Scholars from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Courtesy of Flickr

CORRECTION: A previous version of this headline said Sen. Claire McCaskill is running for State Senate. She is running for U.S. Senate. The Maneater regrets this error.

In a red state, Columbia may be the blue light at the end of the tunnel for the Democratic Party. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has been in the Senate for almost 12 years and kept the blue light shining for Missouri. During a time when party ties have become ever so important, The Maneater Editorial Board endorses McCaskill in the upcoming midterm elections.

Republican challenger Josh Hawley, current attorney general and two-time Ivy-league graduate, criticized the higher education system for “giving students worthless degrees and indoctrinating them in far-left thinking,” according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. Hawley also criticized the massive student debt crisis.

This is simply not true. Colleges and universities are not conspiring in a secret tunnel on all the ways they can manipulate their students into radical liberalism. On another note, four-year college degrees are not useless. If Hawley were to follow his own logic, than he would not have attended Stanford University, Yale University or taught law at MU.

If Hawley is against the money spent on higher education, will he work to reduce the already limited funding public Missouri universities and colleges receive? A decrease in government funding will ultimately lead to an increase in tuition and room and board rates, which doesn’t excite students.

However, the rising student debt is concerning. On this issue, McCaskill stands clear. She is in support of Elizabeth Warren’s student loan proposal, which plans to allow those with remaining student loans to refinance their loan at the interest rate offered to federal borrowers in the 2016-17 school year. McCaskill is also in favor of increasing Pell grants, which would benefit lower income students the most.

While McCaskill is clear with her stance on the issue, what remains unclear is what she has done to fix the problem. It seems for now, she has been all talk – holding meetings and discussions with concerned parents and frustrated students. Hopefully, if she is reelected, McCaskill will use what she learned on the campaign trail to foster initiatives to tackle this problem.

McCaskill has proved effective at spearheading initiatives that have affected the nation in the past, such as reforming military sexual assault cases and recovery plans for American personnel who are prisoners of war or missing in action.

However, in her nearly 12 years as senator it is unclear that she has done as much as she could to improve the lives of her constituents. This isn’t saying much, considering Congress has not been extremely effective in the past couple years. Although this doesn’t mean that Hawley is the next-best choice for Missouri – especially for female residents.

Hawley regarded Roe v. Wade as “one of the most unjust decisions” in U.S. judicial history. Hawley does not provide reasoning for why he believes this, but if he follows the standard Republican reasoning, than it’s because abortion does not align with his religious views. In addition to this view, Hawley does not believe that taxes should fund Planned Parenthood – contraceptives and abortion procedures, specifically.

McCaskill supports Planned Parenthood, government funding of contraceptives and abortions. Contraceptives, like birth control and condoms, are what will help decrease abortions. Having contraceptives funded by the government can ensure that they will be cheap enough and accessible to those who need it. If a couple can’t afford to buy birth control, what makes Hawley believe that couples can afford to raise a child?

While Hawley is younger, his ideals are old-fashioned, outdated and in some cases unclear. Neither candidate has a clear stance on climate change or Environmental Protection Agency regulations. McCaskill claims she is in favor of some EPA regulations, but has not supported key regulations that, if implemented, would largely and positively affect the environment.

Another important issue on the November ballot is the potential minimum wage increase. McCaskill stands clear, where Hawley stays silent – once again. Increasing the minimum wage is worth it, but it has its pitfalls. Smaller businesses could be negatively affected, as could Missouri’s employment rate. Now that employers will be paying more for their employees, they will probably be more selective during their hiring process and reduce the number of employees they hire. Also, the timing is not ideal. The Federal Reserve is looking to increase interest rates, which will slow down an already slower economy if the minimum wage is increased.

The midterm election is on Nov. 6. Read our past editorial on the importance of voting.

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