Election 2020: the more you know

Abby Morado, staff writer

This year’s presidential election is unlike others in the past; with two completely opposing candidates. Representing the Democratic party is former U.S President, Joe Biden, and his partner running for Vice President, California Senator, Kamala Harris. On the Republican side, current U.S Present, Donald Trump, and Vice President, Mike Pence, will rerun for a second, consecutive term. 

Donald Trump, currently in his last year of office for his first term as President, was mostly known as a businessman and sometimes an actor on television prior to his election. There were also many books written by the President on how to become wealthier and improve a business foregoing his campaign as the Republican Presidential Candidate in 2016. His partner, Michael Pence, has a history of politics and law; serving as a congressman in the House of Representatives for over 10 years and as the Governor of Indiana before his position as the Vice President. Trump and Pence won the majority over Hillary Clinton and running mate, Tim Kaine, in the 2016 elections and have been serving in office since the 2017 Inauguration.

Democratic Presidential candidate, Joseph Biden Jr. also has political and legal experience; previously serving as an attorney, then becoming a Senator in Delaware. He was known as the fifth youngest senator and also set the record of longest-serving Senator in Delaware. In 2009 through 2017, Biden completed two full terms as Vice President beside the earlier U.S President, Barack Obama. The pair  His partner, Kamala Harris, became San Francisco’s District Attorney in 2003, later promoting to California’s Attorney General, and now serves her current position as the state’s Senator

Recently, there were two Presidential debates; one for the Presidential candidates, and the latest debate between the Vice Presidential running mates. The conversations included questions about current issues regarding citizens and how each administration plans to progress. 

When the topic of COVID-19 approached, Trump, known to have recently contracted CoronaVirus, expressed, “He [Biden] wants to shut down the country. We just went through it. We had to, because we didn’t know anything about the disease. Now we’ve found that elderly people with heart problems and diabetes and different problems are very, very vulnerable. We learned a lot. Young children aren’t, even younger people aren’t. We’ve learned a lot, but he wants to shut it down. More people will be hurt by continuing. If you look at Pennsylvania, if you look at certain states that have been shut down, they have Democrat governors, all, one of the reasons they shut down is because they want to keep it shut down until after the election on November 3rd.” 

Due to lack of time, Biden was limited to his rebuttal, yet stated, “Well, masks make a big difference. His own head of the CDC said if we just wore masks between now, if everybody wore a mask and social distance between now and January, we’d probably save up to 100,000 lives. It matters. It matters…He’s been totally irresponsible the way in which he has handled the social distancing and people wearing masks, basically encouraged them not to. He’s a fool on this.” 

During the Vice Presidential Debate, Senator Harris proclaimed, “On the issue of the economy, I think there couldn’t be a more fundamental difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Joe Biden believes you measure the health and the strength of America’s economy based on the health and the strength of the American worker and the American family. On the other hand, you have Donald Trump who measures the strength of the economy based on how rich people are doing, which is why he passed a tax bill benefiting the top one percent and the biggest corporations of America, leading to a two trillion dollar deficit that the American people are going to have to pay for. On day one, Joe Biden will repeal that tax bill, he’ll get rid of it. And what he’ll do with the money is invest it in the American people… He’ll invest in infrastructure. It’s about upgrading our roads and bridges, but also investing in clean energy and renewable energy. Joe was going to invest that money in what we need to do around innovation… Joe Biden will use that money to invest in education…That’s how Joe Biden thinks about the economy which is, it’s about investing in the people of our country. As opposed to passing a tax bill, which had the benefit of letting American corporations go off-shore to do their business.” 

When the moderator asked Pence about the recent panic involving the economy and how his party plans to fix it, he explained, “When President Trump and I took office, America had gone through the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression. It was when Joe Biden was vice president, they tried to tax and spend, and regulate, and bail our way back to a growing economy. President Trump cut taxes across the board. Despite what Senator Harris says, the average American family of four had $2,000 in savings in taxes. And with the rise in wages that occurred, most predominantly for blue collar, hard working Americans, the average household income for a family of four increased by $4,000 following President Trump’s tax cuts… I mean, right after a time where we’re going through a pandemic that lost 22 million jobs at the height, we’ve already added back 11.6 million jobs because we had a president who cut taxes, rolled back regulation, unleashed American energy, fought for free and fair trade and secured four trillion dollars from the Congress of the United States to give direct payments to families, save 50 million jobs through the Paycheck Protection Program. We literally have spared no expense to help the American people and the American worker through this.”

Beesan Salama, Joliet Central High School senior and first-year voter, voiced that it’s surreal for her to be voting this year and it hasn’t even sunk in that she’s considered an adult now.

 “Being left with the choices of Trump or Biden is disappointing to say the least, but expected,” Beesan remarked. 

The senior voiced some advice for fellow voters this year; “Voting is important; and having the privilege to vote is something we should not take for granted. There are undocumented immigrants, felons, disabled people, and many others who get no say in the election. So use the vote for the people.”