The Election: America's Next President By Michael Shtrom

Photo courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

No one could have predicted that the 2020 election would be so roiled by complications and unexpected events, such as the coronavirus and the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With the added complexity of voting by mail or attempting to vote in person during a pandemic, average American citizens may find it tempting to ignore their ballots to relieve themselves of what they believe is a heavy burden. However, many might feel more incentivized to voice their opinion in this critical election if they learned more about the candidates’ beliefs and values regarding certain political issues, such as abortion, national security, and taxes, which shall in this article be discussed, and the direction that, if elected, they would steer this country in for the following four years.

One topic that has been heatedly debated recently, especially with the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, is abortion. Current Republican President and 2020 presidential candidate Donald Trump, in the final 2016 Presidential Debate, said that he is pro-life, which means that he opposes abortion and euthanasia. Democratic candidate Joe Biden has stated that he is pro-choice, meaning that he believes women should hold the right to seek and obtain abortions.

“It's a woman's right to [have an abortion]. Period,” Biden said in a Democratic Primary debate. He also announced plans to pass legislation to assert Roe v. Wade, a 1973 Supreme Court case that permitted women to have abortions without excessive government restrictions, as a law, should it get overturned.

Another issue that the 2020 presidential candidates have expressed their positions on is the issue of national security.

According to NPR, plans that Trump has laid out for his second term for national security include “[continuing to bring] American troops home from ‘endless wars’” and “[combating] international terrorism.”

Biden has similarly stated that his plans for national security will include “[taking] ‘immediate steps’ to restore alliances… [reforming] the U.S. military presence in the Middle East… [taking] a greater international role in fighting climate change,” according to NPR.

Finally, an issue that is constantly on the minds of American citizens (other than the pandemic) is taxes. According to CNN and Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris, Biden has pledged not to raise income taxes on any citizen who makes less than $400,000 a year. Biden has also proposed raising the corporate tax rates, or how much businesses have to pay in taxes, by 7 percent. While few details about Trump’s tax plans for his second term are available, the Trump Campaign's official website states that his goal is to “cut taxes to boost take-home pay and keep jobs in America.” He also expressed that he plans to expand opportunity zones, which, according to the IRS, is a tool for investing in distressed areas in the U.S. so as to generate economic growth in these areas.

The 2020 election is perceived as a highly consequential one for the future of America, making the differences and ideas of these two candidates all the more impactful.