By: Renata Chusid
In the 2020 Presidential Election race, we are constantly being reminded that our vote matters and that this year is the most pivotal voting year yet. President Donald Trump is going up against Former Vice President Joe Biden in the fight for who will be the next president of the U.S. for the next four years. While the presidential race is constantly being broadcasted to Americans on the news everyday, many Americans who are planning to vote are not completely familiar with President Trump’s and former V.P Biden’s political policies. It is crucial for the American people to know and understand these candidates and their political values because these policies decide tomorrow’s newest reforms and laws.
Starting off with criminal justice policies, Trump has continually shown his support in law enforcement. This support can be seen in his creation of the First Step Act. “The 2018 bipartisan bill was significant, and reformed laws at the federal level, giving judges more discretion during sentencing as well as strengthening prisoner rehabilitation efforts” (BBC News). Meanwhile, Biden shows his support in planning to abolish capital punishment and the death penalty in the U.S. He is in agreement with ending cash bail reform, eliminating mandatory minimum sentence reform, and abolishing private prisons.
In terms of our finances, Trump is currently campaigning the idea of bringing back the pandemic-battered economical state our country is currently in, as well as tax cuts for working Americans, lowering corporate taxes, and promoting American manufacturing by reducing our dependence on China. According to The New York Times, in order to lower our dependency on China, Trump plans on creating a 45% tariff on Chinese exports. Biden wishes to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. “There’s broad support among Democratic presidential candidates, such as former Vice President Joe Biden, for doubling the hourly minimum from $7.25 to $15, and then allowing it to rise automatically with inflation, as proposed by House Democrats in the Raise the Wage Act” (Politico). Biden also supports paid family and sick leave for Americans as he has spoken about it in his previous campaign rallies.
Turning to American foreign policies, Trump is a firm believer in the ‘America First’ mindset and reasserting U.S sovereignty. He wants to ensure security and prosperity for all Americans. He has also negotiated a deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations. Biden, in terms of trade with other countries, believes that America should not be focusing so much on China. He believes the USMCA should be revised and that America should not be using tariffs as a tactic to pressure or threaten other countries.
In response to the current COVID-19 Pandemic that is plaguing our country and affecting our world and way of life right now, President Trump’s COVID-19 plan of action was deemed historic on all news fronts. White House Reports state that Trump “took early action to cut off travel to China, built the world’s leading test system from nothing, enacted mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID, mobilized public and private sectors to secure needed supplies, provided support to workers and businesses, paved the way for reopening, surged resources to hot spots as they arose, and confronted China as the origin of the virus” (White House Fact Sheets). Among Trump’s campaign promises, he also plans to release a vaccine for this pandemic sometime this year. Biden, in terms of what he would do if he were elected as president, states he would call for “restoring trust, credibility, and a common purpose” (joebiden.com) among the American people during these unprecedented times. He also wants to eliminate any cost barriers for prevention and care for the virus and pursue economic measures to help workers, families, and small businesses that were hit hard by this pandemic. In this way, he wants to lay the foundation for the future.
Overall, America has two incredibly dynamic candidates who share opposing views on a myriad of topics, only some of which are covered within this article alone. Regardless of which party you identify yourself with, who you support, and what you stand for, it is crucial that you, as an American citizen, take the time to go out and vote in our most important election year yet.