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Op-Ed: Making the Case for Biden and Trump in the 2020 Election

November 2, 2020

Guest writers Olivia Martin-Johnson and Natalia Lopez are the co-owners of a new political blog, Shots Fired. As Election Day begins, Martin-Johnson and Lopez explain their differing political views and make the best case they can for why voters should choose each of the two candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden (D) and President Donald Trump (R.) Most importantly: if you are eligible, please go vote!

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Olivia Martin-Johnson

Junior Olivia Martin-Johnson makes the case for Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

Because I Love My Country: Why I Support Joe Biden

I support Joe Biden because I support a man with integrity, with moral standards, with intelligence, with family values, with ethics, with honesty, with honor, with empathy towards his fellow man, with morality to not lie for his personal benefit, with transparency, and with a plan for a safer country. 

President Donald Trump has set himself apart. According to The Washington Post, FactCheck.org, The Guardian, The Seattle Times, Politifact, The Conversation, and other publications, Trump has made approximately 25,000 false statements during his time in office, averaging 50 misclaims a day. I believe Trump has been anything but a leading figure in this nation. He is the reason for the controversy and the division we are currently experiencing as a country. Hence, I support Biden, a man who is the antithesis of Trump. 

There are many in which Trump’s ignorance prevails. The following are just a few examples of Trump’s ineptness in simple history and geography, perhaps due to his lack of reading as he so strongly claims, or the reality that he is not a “​stable genius.”​ During a ​conversation with Prime Minister Modi of India, whereby the prime minister was speaking of the threat China posed to his country, Trump said,“It’s not like you’ve got China on your border,” which India does in fact border. Or when Trump asserted that Andrew ​Jackson might have been able to prevent the Civil War​ by making a “deal” with the South, yet Andrew Jackson died 20 years prior to the Civil War. Hence, I support Biden, a man with intelligence and knowledge of our nation’s history.

As a historic effort to remediate some of Trump’s ignorance, the Pentagon held a meeting with the president on July 20, 2017. Trump’s highest staff officials were present, including the Joint Chiefs of staff and heads of all branches of the armed services. A meeting to inform Trump regarding America’s interests abroad consisted of presentations, with charts, graphs and speeches by Tillerson, Mattis and others. Trump was said to be restless and kept interrupting. Eventually he insisted that the U.S. should be making a profit from all its troops stationed around the globe. In a rage, he told the military heads “you’re all losers… You don’t know how to win any more,” and stated “I wouldn’t go to war with you people! You’re a bunch of dopes and babies!” Hence, I support Biden, a man who ensures a safe future for the country.

Trump claims that “U.S. is experiencing the best economy ever.” However, according to Forbes, President Trump’s best year of job growth was in 2018 with 2.314 million, falling short of any of President Obama’s last three years in office (2.006 million in 2014, 2.729 million in 2015, and 2.318 million in 2016.) On average, Biden and Obama created ​43,000 more jobs​ per month than Trump over a three-year period.

Trump claims to be “a common man”, a narrative publicized by right wing commentators to normalize Trump’s racism. After Trump’s negative comments about Haiti and Africa, Fox commentator Tucker Carlson defended Trump, stating that  “president Trump said something that almost every single person in America actually agrees with.” Although not true, Carlson’s argument represents a larger trend: the normalization of Trump’s racism by assuming his widespread support from the common man.

Despite Trump’s claims to represent “the common man,” in reality, Trump was born with a silver spoon. Joe Biden is the common man in this race and understands the problems faced by ordinary Americans, having grown up in a traditional, middle-class family and with a severe handicap. Biden, having lost his wife, daughter, and son, understands resilience and fortitude during hard times; and throughout all of these experiences, he maintained his seat in the Senate. Biden ​rode the Amtrak train every day for 36 years​ as he commuted to D.C., alongside the common working man, again demonstrating his integrity as a person and rejecting the need to constantly embellish his image and ego.  

Hundreds of Trump’s staff members and co-workers have publicized their fear if Trump were to win the election, and since 2016, ​more than 1,200 ​books have been written about him, compared to around 500 books on President Barack Obama, according to NPD BookScan. Many of these authors are Trump’s former co workers who are now speaking about his lack of morality and work ethic. Consider, too, that during the eight years Biden served with Obama, there was not a single official in their administration indicted for criminal activity. The list of officials associated with Trump who have been indicted and convicted is record-breaking, most of them having been Republican officials hired by Trump himself.  

On Wednesday, June 17, Trump claimed that the pandemic was “fading away.” Trump made this claim at his rally in Tulsa, when the country was seeing at least 20,000 new daily cases. In contrast, Biden supports science: Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history, but this year they support Biden because of his adherences to statistics, and his fact-based plan to protect our health, economy, and environment. Scientific American states that Trump’s approach to the pandemic and the lack of encouragement to wear masks, follow CDC guidelines, and trust scientific statistics is why they want him out. Biden has a list of green accomplishments that set him apart from our current administration. He co-sponsored proposed legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions in 2007, he called for American participation in UN climate negotiations in 2005, he introduced one of the Senate’s first climate change bills in 1986 leading to the creation of a task force on global warming, and he oversaw disbursement of $90 billion for clean energy as part of the 2009 Recovery Act which increased solar power 20x between the years 2008 and 2016. Hence, I support Biden, a man who does not lie for his personal benefit.

Visit Trump’s campaign website. You will see no tab for specific plans. But visit his Twitter page, and find a barrage of criticisms, foul and baseless statements, childish and bullying posts, and hurtful racist language. Is a president not supposed to have decorum and strive for bipartisanship through cooperation? Biden has lists of long analysis on his plans, ranging from women’s rights to COVID-19 defence. Biden has a plan for ending gun violence, fighting climate change, strengthening education, fixing our foreign policy, closing the gender gap, and more. Therefore, I support Biden, a man with integrity, and the better candidate in the election.

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Natalia Lopez

Junior Natalia Lopez makes the case for Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

A President that Serves for You: Why I Support Donald Trump

I support Donald Trump because he has the courage to say what other people don’t want to hear. Considering the direction that this nation would have headed towards in 2016, we needed a president that was not afraid to deliver the truth, and to me, Trump is that person.

As a conservative, I support the notion that if you work hard enough, it will translate into some level of success. Although this should not just be a conservative value, Trump is the only candidate that fully supports this ideal. Trump appeals to the American people as a regular person: one who states it as it is and makes promises that will be followed through. There are a multitude of reasons why I support him, but to keep it brief, here are the top three.

First, throughout his term, Trump has proven that he is committed to the economic health of our nation and to helping minorities. Trump immediately cut taxes for middle class and lower class Americans and regulations for businesses. The lowest 25% of the working class saw their wages rise by 4.5% in November of 2019, which outpaces the 2.9% growth for the top 25% wage earners. Trump actually made it easier for Americans to start businesses, one of the reasons why America produced over 7.1 million jobs in 2018, and— after one of the worst economic downturns America has ever seen— 2.5 million jobs were added solely in the month of May. Contrary to popular belief, Trump has focused a heavy amount of his economic agenda on helping minorities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Latino unemployment rate dropped to 4.1%, meanwhile the black unemployment rate dropped to its all-time low of 5.4%. Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a family of four earning the median annual income of $73,000 received a cut in federal income taxes of more than $2,000. The American economy is soaring, something we haven’t seen in nearly half a century.

Biden’s economy, meanwhile, proposes distorting labor incentives, decreasing productivity, and killing jobs, according to an economic study led by Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. The study analyzes Biden’s proposals to increase taxes, reinstate and expand a host of regulations, and create new subsidies for healthcare and renewable energy. It states that Biden’s “policy agenda would, by 2030, lead to 4.9 million fewer jobs and the economy shrinking by $2.6 trillion… The study projects that consumption would be $1.5 trillion lower in 2030 and families would see a $6,500 drop in median household income compared to a neutral scenario.” Why wouldn’t I support a president that wants to see our economy prosper, rather than one who with plans that may reduce the incentive to work and invest?

Secondly, similar to the economy, Trump has put America and its people first. He is upfront with his policies, and has made sure we are not wasting our time with other nations, specifically our enemy nations, before we have solved our domestic problems first. This was evident with his diplomacy in China, which set a precedent for his policy on tariffs with other nations. Prior to his policy on tariffs, the U.S. was fostering an environment that would require too much regulation on our businesses, therefore causing a massive exodus of our manufacturing sector to other nations, such as China. Trump held China accountable for the trade deficits they created, and although no one believed the tariffs would work, they did, according to CNBC economist Jim Cramer. Trump has restored a level of reciprocity between the U.S. and China and has turned a unilateral trade relationship into a fair trade agreement, ensuring the U.S. economy the opportunity to redevelop, once again, a strong manufacturing sector. 

Thirdly, I support President Trump because of his actions in the Middle East. As promised, Trump cracked down on terrorism significantly throughout his term. He launched drone strikes in Iraq and Syria, and was able to successfully obtain 98% of land from ISIS, crushing them. Following his aggression in the Middle East, Trump led the offensives which killed Qasam Solemnani, an Iranian military general responsible for the attacks in Syria and Iraq, and ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, significantly quelling terrorism in the Middle East. In terms of trade, Trump successfully withdrew America from the Iran Nuclear Deal, one that was invigorating Iran’s military ambitions and was allowing them to fund state terrorism.

Most importantly, and most ignored by the media, Trump reached a historic peace deal with Israel and three other nations with the intent of creating “stability, security, and prosperity” and a comprehensive alliance against Iran. This deal, considering decades of violence, has provided an outlet of communication between these countries and the Western world, has opened up greater possibilities with the Arab nations for trade and investments in technology, energy, and security, and has remained true to its intent: creating peace in the Middle East. The deal represents what it is like to take a non “anti-Israel” approach, a bias which served as the basis for past administrations’ attempts to create a deal with Israel.

Bottom line, Joe Biden is a career politician. He represents the bureaucracy, in which our priorities are not his priorities. Biden is constantly “evolving” with his domestic views as soon as those views become disagreeable. For example, Biden has flipped on the death penalty, criminalization of marijuana, drug enforcement, school busing, and abortion. Biden even told Ronald Raegan he was not doing enough on drug enforcement, but by 2020, Biden can be seen apologizing for his past views, especially on his support for the 1994 Crime Bill. Similarly to his flip-flop with domestic policies, Biden has done the same with his foreign policy, in addition to holding one of the worst foreign policy records of any politician. Biden voted against the 1991 Gulf War but in favor of the 2003 Iraq War, and has openly admitted he regrets both of those decisions. Furthermore, he said that the 2010 withdrawal of American troops in Iraq would be a “great Obama achievement,” which ultimately ended with the rise of ISIS and many more problems for the U.S. in the Middle East. Biden was then the only person in the cabinet to oppose Obama’s Afghanistan surge and later the raid to kill Osama Bin-Laden. How can you trust a politician who shifts on all of his views just because the establishment of his party is shifting? We entrust our lives to our representatives, and one who has played the longest game of hot potato with his stances cannot be trusted with my welfare.

In the last four years, America has become a nation where we can be proud of the progress we have made. Americans have been put first and that is ultimately what is important. Despite media censorship and the rise of intolerance in this nation, we, the American people, have prevailed. This election boils down to two candidates: one who tells me what to think, and one who makes me think. My support will always go to the one who makes me think.

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