Biden versus Trump: A brief look at the candidates

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The Spoke Editorial Board voted 13-0 in favor of this editorial with one person abstaining Joe Biden was at the Georgetown AMC when he noticed a homeless man shivering on the street. Instead of ignoring the situation and walking ahead, Biden stopped and asked how the man was doing. A bystander took a photo of...

The Spoke Editorial Board voted 13-0 in favor of this editorial with one person abstaining

Joe Biden was at the Georgetown AMC when he noticed a homeless man shivering on the street. Instead of ignoring the situation and walking ahead, Biden stopped and asked how the man was doing. A bystander took a photo of the interaction, noting that Biden maintained a high moral standard even when the cameras were not watching.  

The heartwarming moment shows that the true test of character is defined by what people do when the media is away. Character is maintaining composure when faced with adversity. Most importantly, character is fighting for what is right, not just what is easy. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, Americans will vote for the presidential candidate of their choice. Depending on their opinions on various economic, political and social issues, U.S. citizens will choose one of two candidates: Donald Trump, a member of the GOP (the Republican Party) and current president of the United States,  or Joe Biden, former vice president, current nominee of the Democratic party.  Each politician’s respective running mate — Mike Pence and Kamala Harris — also have a plan of their own that they want to accomplish. Before making a decision, however, it is important for responsible voters to be informed about how the candidates’ policies differ so they can understand how national issues will affect them and the T/E community. 

Education, a valued pillar of T/E lifestyle, will suffer once again under Donald Trump’s presidency. In 2018, the current president cut $8.5 billion in the education sector, leading to elimination of more than 29 national educational programs meant to help children with special needs and low-income students. 

Where does all the money extracted from education go? Well, the president attempted to invest the money and spur productivity in the manufacturing and raw materials industry. The only people benefiting from this transaction, however, were big industrialists. According to coalage.com, the coal industry has only accelerated in its decline. In fact, it has lost almost one thousand jobs since Trump became president. 

Biden has a clear plan to reinvest money back into the education sector. His presidency will call on Congress to provide billions of dollars worth of resources for school districts to safely reopen during the pandemic. The ramifications for this initiative go beyond the education sector. Sending children back to school will allow parents to go back to work, thus paving the way to reopen the economy. Biden also plans to fund public colleges for families that make fewer than $125,000 and supports the idea of universal kindergarten.

The two candidates also differ on their views on gun control. According to thehill.org, a conservative news outlet, Trump, a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, declared firearms “critical infrastructure,” thus allowing distributors to stay open during the pandemic. Biden plans to renew a federal assault weapons ban and implement policies that require background checks on every gun purchase. Yes, Biden’s plan will make it more selective for American citizens to obtain a firearm – a natural born right, some would argue – but is this really a question of personal liberty? Or should we ask ourselves whether our teachers, students, and parents absolutely need guns to feel safe and comfortable?

Finally, one of the most pressing issues that each candidate will have to face is the COVID-19 pandemic. During the past six months, the Trump administration has done more harm than good, often lying to the press to calm the public. 

On February 19th, Trump declared in a press conference that the virus would wither come April, as the warm weather would weaken it. Even in October, the school continues to follow a predominately online model, so this claim does not hold substance. Trump also proclaimed that coronavirus deaths were steadily decreasing and the situation was under control, but as of now, more than 212,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, and 7.58 million citizens are infected. To top it all off, the current president has tried to hide this information from the public. We don’t need a president who hides information from us; we need a president who tells the truth. 

Due to the rising number of cases, the Biden campaign feels that the crisis is being mishandled. As president, Biden plans to issue a national mandate requiring everyone to wear masks, wants the country to adopt nationwide testing and promises to provide federal funding to make this feasible. After all, the Democratic candidate has experience in times of crisis – he oversaw the 2009 economic recovery after the housing market crash. 

Opponents would argue that some of the economic issues regarding COVID-19 may not have as adverse an effect on the T/E community; in fact, according to chesco.org, fewer than 2 percent of the T/E population has been infected. In the near future, we foresee ourselves resuming a normal school life. Some of these issues may not affect us directly, but what about our neighbors in Philadelphia? What about the fact that because of COVID-19, Philly schools are in $1 billion debt and are forced to make major spending cuts. While we complain about 90-minute block scheduling, more than half of students in Philadelphia don’t have the resources to participate in online school. If this isn’t enough to convince you, then look at Donald Trump’s tax policy: students living in Philadelphia won’t be learning for a long time. If funds aren’t redirected, and if taxes remain the same, then students in Philly will have to wait until after COVID-19 to fulfil their education. 

Aside from the policies, character should be the deciding factor on the day of the election. Just look at how each candidate endorses themselves: in his Democratic nomination acceptance speech, Biden focused on depicting himself as a kind, empathetic family man. At the Republican national convention on Aug. 24, Trump centered his speech on the qualities that Biden lacks.

As the world changes each day, voters should vote not as individuals, but as communities. Biden’s policies will support the T/E community economically, socially, and culturally. More importantly, his character shines brighter than his opponent’s, and he is willing to take on any challenges America may face. Biden wants to be president of all people, not just the select few. This election, vote for a leader who unites the American people, not sows the seeds of division.  

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