Students speak out about election issues



     Despite everything that has happened in 2020, the presidential election is an inevitable event that has been taking place over the whole year. Every four years, the U.S. holds an election to determine who will be their next president. A handful of people believe they would be a good fit for the job, so debates are held in order to narrow down the group to a final two. The final two presidential candidates for 2020 are Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The two candidates have been battling out the fight for presidency since September 29, 2020, and the result will come to fruition November 3, 2020. 

     Among all the issues present in the election, some stood out more among students than others. Both Katie Benson (12) and Zach Bowman (10) mentioned that COVID is a very serious issue in 2020. “COVID is causing many deaths, and the president has a big role in finding a cure,” Bowman said. Benson added,  “The economy is crippled right now because we have been out for so long, and smaller businesses are having trouble keeping up with the funding.” 

     Along with COVID-19, an issue of propaganda, environmental issues, and racial injustices were brought to attention. Lydia Hill (11) said, “So much propaganda and false information is being spoon fed to the public and younger voters, which causes them to have an inaccurate view of who they vote for.” Hill then added that people’s opinions are being tampered with, and it becomes more important than any virus. Subsequently, Caitlyn Martin (10) said, “Among the topics of racial injustice, it is important that with the protests and riots, we know what we are doing with that. With the environment, I feel that it will always be important. We can’t leave it messed up for our future generations.” Martin also stated that there are so many places in Asia in which you  have to wear masks due to the factory’s omission and bad air quality.

     Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have their own ideas on how they will go about resolving issues that are present. However, their ideas are mostly polar opposites. While Trump wants to immediately re-open the country and states that the U.S. economy will rebound and take off like a rocket ship in 2021, Biden wants to order a mask mandate and will spend whatever it takes to meet public health needs and deal with the mounting economic consequences. In addition to this, Biden has a plan called Build Back Better in which there will be an economy where African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American workers and families are welcomed as full participants.

      Unlike Biden, Trump has not outlined a broad policy plan to address racial inequality. While he has no public plan considering racial justice, Trump said he would refocus the EPA, which focuses mainly on topics pertaining to air, land and cleanup, pesticides, etc., to solely protect clean air and clean water. Biden’s environmental plan would lay out $2 trillion over 4 years towards clean energy and growth, which he says will create millions of jobs and move the U.S. closer to a carbon-free future.

     While some have no insight to what either side truly stands for and end up siding with one based on their past beliefs, many students are clued into what each candidate represents. “I stand more with Trump because he seems to want people to use their voice and speak their mind and not have the media tell them what to believe,” Hill said. Preceding this, Martin said, “For racial injustice to stop, we need to look at less qualified immunity, so I side with Biden here.”

       Martin then added, “I don’t think that, because of recent things, you don’t hear much about the environment. However, it is one of those things that the left take more on, so I feel Biden will do more for the environment as well.”

       Benson stated, “I know Trump wants to open up the country and get things running again.” Following this, Benson stated that she wasn’t exactly sure where Biden stood on this, but thought that he would want to wait longer to open up the country in order to protect the people.

     Often media and propaganda surrounds the subject of Trump and this puts attention onto him, which he uses to get more votes. On another topic, Biden believes qualified immunity needs to be significantly reined in. He believes that abuses of power should not be covered by qualified immunity. Along with this, Biden is on the side that believes in climate changes and he said he will take action on it. 

     Both candidates have their own ideas on how to best run the country. Martin’s response was, “I feel the country is split on this. How can Obama win two terms and then Trump win the following?”  She then added, “I feel that since they are so different, they will have different ways of approaching these issues; however, I feel Biden is doing a bit better.” Martin’s reasoning for this is that Biden is doing well on the issues that she brought to attention. She feels that he is addressing the environment well, and when Trump addresses it, he often says things that the people don’t want to hear.

     Biden plans to combat climate change by pushing the United States on a path toward net-zero carbon by 2050, with a goal of ridding the power sector of carbon pollution by 2035. 

     There is a debate on whether or not ideas from both sides could come together in order to resolve issues. Benson said, “I don’t think they could because their ideas are polar opposites, and I don’t believe there should be compromise between the two.” Martin disagreed with Benson saying, “Absolutely, because there is truth to both sides.”

     She later went on to say that there will always be a left and right view, but she believes the answer will always be somewhere in the middle.

     Every important topic in the election is brought to attention in ways that may or may not be favorable to the public. “I didn’t agree with it at first,” Benson said. “We shut down the entire country; however, I agree with what they did now because nobody knew what to do with a new virus.”  Hill went on to say, “I have some issues with how it came to attention. It is really sad to see my friends and family talking about their sides without knowing exactly what they are talking about.”

     Following the first wave of COVID-19 in March, the U.S. shut down and kept citizens under quarantine. During this time, many businesses were unoccupied which ultimately led to a crash in the economy. Along with this, the media spread throughout the world and carried information both praising and criticizing the work of Trump, and frankly it is unsure whether or not this information is true. However, people have chosen to believe what they hear.

     As stated above, the candidates have their own ideas on how to run the country. They also have their own idea on how to handle COVID. Bowman’s response was, “I think we should keep testing possible cures and also open up the country more or else the economy will go downhill.” Bowman later said that the reason this is an issue, is because there are a lot of unknown factors in the virus we don’t understand yet., Hill then said, “I suppose I would like the candidate to take a more honest appeal when talking about issues, rather than preaching their views onto people.” Hill then said that this issue is present because the way the media and candidates usually go about spreading lies about the other party in order to get votes.

     Once the virus subsides, it is uncertain what will happen with the U.S.. Both Trump and Biden have their own views on how to best handle issues, and only time will tell where we go from here.