Election 2020, presidential candidate profiles

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Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Meet the candidates ahead of Tuesday’s election. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Christina Carter)

Arianna Taylor, Reporter

  There is no doubt about it: we are closing in on one of the most important elections in recent history. Even though most students at LCHS are not able to vote, it’s time to get comfortable with politics. This president will make decisions that affect our education, healthcare, and more for the next four years. 

  Here’s something else that there is no doubt about: this year’s voting process looks different than ever before, too. Election Day is Nov. 3, but a record number of people nationwide have turned to early voting as the option to cast their ballot. So far, the U.S. Elections Project says 66 million people have voted early, smashing the total amount of early votes in the 2016 election. 

  In Virginia, early voting started on Sept. 13 and will end on Oct. 31. 

  Before voting, it is crucial to know the candidates and what they stand for from an unbiased standpoint. This year, Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee, Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, and Jo Jorgensen is running as the Libertarian candidate. Here are their stances on some of this election’s hot button issues.

 

Joe Biden

  Joe Biden is the Democratic presidential nominee for the 2020 election. Biden’s resume attests that he has been involved in politics for a long time. 

  Starting at Syracuse University, Biden earned a law degree, and following graduation, worked at a law firm in Wilmington, Delaware. At age 29, Biden became one of the youngest candidates elected to the United States Senate and served as the senator of Delaware from 1973 to 2009. This is not his first attempt at the presidency; he also ran in 1988 and 2008. 

  In 2009, Biden became inaugurated as the 47th Vice President of the United States under Barack Obama. 

  Biden has declared that one of the first actions he would complete as President would be mandating masks for everyone. Biden says he will also make the coronavirus test more accessible and free. 

  In terms of healthcare, Biden says he will work to add a public option to the Affordable Healthcare Act. However, Biden has opposed Medicare-for-All, due to high costs. 

  In regards to law enforcement officers, Biden wants more body cameras and training. To limit the number of guns stolen and fired, Biden says he plans to require manufacturers of guns to include biometric features. These features block firearms from being used if the fingerprint is not registered under that specific gun. 

  Biden supports the Green New Deal which has recently been proposed by Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This controversial legislation, even among Democrats, attacks climate change. Biden says the goal of this legislation is to reach 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050. However, critics of the Green New Deal believe that it will outlaw modes of transportation such as gas-ran cars and jobs that produce those items. 

  Biden says he plans to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, increase funding for low-income areas, create free community college courses, and cut student loan debt for those in public service work.  According to the Tax Foundation, Biden says he will “raise taxes on individuals with income above $400,000 and raise taxes on corporations by raising the corporate income tax rate.” 

  Biden’s tax plan increases maximum refundable child credits for families making $125,000 or less to $4,000, and families earning between $125,000 and $400,000 will see reduced child refundable child credits, scaling down from the maximum of $4,000. 

 Biden’s platform also supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. 

 

Donald Trump

  Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for the 2020 election, as the political outsider seeks to secure a second term. Prior to serving as the 45th President of the United States, Trump rose to fame as a well-known New York businessman, developing real estate properties such as hotels and golf courses nationwide. After a short-lived run for President in 2000 as a member of the Reform Party, Trump secured the Republican nomination in 2016, defeating challenger Hillary Clinton in the tightly contested 2016 Presidential Election. 

  The first action Trump completed as president was signing an executive order to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In replacement of the act, he donated to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency.  Although the Republican Party has not released a replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act, GOP representatives continue to assure that a plan is still in the works.

  On June 16, as legislators from both sides of the party line worked to reform law enforcement policies following the death of George Floyd, Trump signed an order that includes a tracking program that encourages localities to submit officers who have been fired or found in court to have used excessive force. The order also bans chokeholds unless the officer fears his or her life is in danger.

  Tax cuts have increased drastically for individuals and businesses during Trump’s first term. 

  According to factcheck.org, prior to the global pandemic, the unemployment rate during Trump’s presidency had fallen to its lowest point in 50 years.  

  His administration has also pushed for Education Freedom Scholarships that allows students to attend public or private schools outside of their district. 

  Trump pulled the United States out of world agreements such as the Paris Climate Accord. At the Rose Garden event, Trump said, “Compliance with the terms of the Paris Accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025, according to the National Economic Research Associates.” 

  In place of the previous agreements, the “Affordable Clean Energy Rule” was proposed, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions, promotes energy independence, and creates jobs. 

  According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as of Oct. 18, 371 miles of the wall, one of the biggest pieces of Trump’s platform, have been completed.

 

Jo Jorgensen

  Jo Jorgensen is the Libertarian presidential candidate. She was a nominee for the South Carolina District for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992.  Jorgensen ran under Harry Browne as the vice-presidential candidate in 1996.  

  Regarding healthcare, Jorgensen says she stands for removing the red tape and regulations so consumers can get treatments and tests as soon as possible. 

  She says she will get rid of the efficacy requirement of the FDA and push for more drugs to be accessed over the counter. She would push to reduce or eliminate departments and any programs that are better served by the productive, job-creating private sector. 

  According to her official campaign site, Jorgensen said she will eliminate the Federal Income Tax. Jorgensen’s plan, if seen to fruition, would make it possible for people to add 6.2% of their payroll taxes into individual accounts. She says she would audit and then end the Federal Reserve System. 

  She says she would end government shutdowns and barriers created by the government to ensure well-paying jobs will be plentiful. 

  Jorgenson says she would work to eliminate the Department of Education and return the control of education to teachers, parents, and students. 

  Regarding climate change, Jorgensen says she would appoint each cabinet secretary to have a specific spending reduction target to meet each year to end all energy subsidies.