With the endless buzz over the 2016 presidential election, an increase in terrorism and gun violence, and a potluck of political scandals, 2015 was no dull year in the world of politics. The list of important events, treaties, debates, and controversies is extensive. These top five, however, seem to have garnered the most attention this past year:
- Donald Trump runs for president
Not only is he running, he is currently the frontrunner for the Republican Party, especially having now won the New Hampshire primary. Yes, he has managed to top polls and lure crowds in with his unique demeanor, but it is no secret this political candidate is chock-full of controversy. His divisive comments regarding Mexican immigrants, senators, news anchors, women and Hillary Clinton alike, along with his proposed temporary ban of Muslims coming to America, have lit a spark under the American public. It seems like no matter how much Trump runs his mouth and stirs the pot, he still has a good shot at earning the Republican spot for the 2016 election.
- The Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage
After the 5-4 ruling in June, the Supreme Court struck down state bans and statutes that placed limits on or prohibited gay marriage. Now, same-sex couples all over the nation have the right to get married legally. While many states and legislations implemented this transition smoothly, there were still issues regarding the opposition of same-sex marriage in states such as Kentucky, where marriage clerk Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. On the other hand, the general public is becoming more tolerant and accepting of the LGBTQ community, as it becomes more and more prominent and outspoken. Furthermore, this landmark decision has sparked movements that allow people to see that love has no gender, no race, and no religion.
- U.S and Iran Nuclear Deal
After over a decade, Iranian and American diplomats came to a consensus that would limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities. In turn, the United States agreed to lift economic sanctions on the country of Iran. The United Nations Security Council and the Obama Administration applauded this deal, as it was viewed as a significant historical achievement and advancement in diplomatic ties with the volatile Middle Eastern nation. It minimized the potential of military conflict with Iran, along with nullifying the petrifying dangers that come along with nuclear weapons and bombs. However, the deal faced strong opposition from Republicans in Congress, whose demurs persist.
- Hillary Clinton Controversy
Against the backdrop of her political campaign the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s name swirled around with plenty of controversy. It was reported that during her time in office, Hillary Clinton allegedly used a private email server to send official government emails. Additionally, the 2016 presidential candidate was grilled on her refusal to bolster security to preemptively halt the attack on the U.S embassy in Benghazi, Libya in a daylong Senate hearing. While she is the democratic frontrunner and these scandals appear to be in Hillary’s rearview mirror, her controversial behavior and questionable trustworthiness isn’t something that Hillary dissenters are laying to rest anytime soon.
- Mass Shootings in America Become an Increasing Issue
Violence has erupted throughout the world due to various terrorist organizations, especially ISIS. However, America is facing major violent issue right on its home turf as gun violence permeates the country. Gun control has been a heated debate all year long and the arguments on both sides each have meaningful and fair points. This is not an issue exclusive to 2015, but it has never been more prominent as the incidents have unequivocally picked up. Between the San Bernardino Shooting, a shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado, and one at a local church in Charleston, along with over 300 other mass shootings, it is clear to see the issue has become more overbearing and will attract more attention from legislation this coming year. In fact, President Obama signed an executive order, on January 5th, revamping the current system of obtaining firearms.