The following editorial was originally published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Sunday, November 1, 2020 as part of the "Raise Your Hand" column in the Insights section. This article is paired with “Trump: Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”
By: Christine Dong
Punahou School, Class of 2022
It may seem like a battle between two evils, but the verdict is clear: Joe Biden needs to win this election. Under the demanding circumstances of this year, it is crucial to elect an executive that is, at the minimum, capable of making decisions in the interest of the majority. A vote for Mr. Biden is the only way to ensure the safety of our democracy, as it is solely from a place on the moral high ground that the overwhelming political rage of our nation may be soothed.
Mr. Trump’s lack of respect is testament enough to why he is unfit to lead. Nothing he says or does can justify his child-like actions. He showed up to the recent presidential debate prepared with his usual fluff, claiming that he has done more for African-Americans than any president since Mr. Abraham Lincoln. (So just disregard all previous outrageous statements he has made about race.) The debates all but showcase the exact process of our country’s democracy unraveling. Of course, Mr. Biden offered his fair share of comments that lacked professionalism, including his now-infamous line from the first debate, “Oh, shut up, man.” The fight is between a three-year-old and a seven-year-old—but at least the latter can tell his left from his right.
If Mr. Trump’s absolute lack of dexterity is not enough to sway your vote for Mr. Biden, perhaps we should examine the ethics and morals behind their campaigns. Mr. Biden will, at the very least, address pressing issues like climate change and the lack of health care, concerns that the current president has displayed his blatant dismissal to. Even the plans he does have contradict the meaning of “for the greater good.” Mr. Trump claims that his proposed tax cut supports small businesses, but the reality is that 68 percent of the tax cut goes to millionaires, while a mere 0.8 percent goes to households with incomes less than $200,000 per fiscal year. As unemployment rates increase and international relations erode, the volatile, elite-oriented nature of Trump’s economy will not hold for much longer.
While Mr. Biden’s plans are also flawed—his plan to raise corporate taxes from 21 to 28 percent will result in pay cuts within large companies and discourage investments—he at least ensures that taxes on households with less than $400,000 annual incomes will not be increased. This plan definitely does not remedy the astounding wealth gap, but it certainly is a step in the right direction, one Mr. Trump has made clear he is unwilling to take.
Last month, former President Barack Obama gave a somber speech at the Democratic National Convention, warning that Mr. Trump and his supporters were “counting on your cynicism…to make it as hard as possible for you to vote and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.” But you don’t have to listen to Mr. Obama’s warning; the declining health of the democracy can be picked up from the looming trepidation of the nearing election. Significant individuals of the non-partisan world have been voicing similar concerns. Will the root of the democracy be able to withstand the ongoing civil rights movement, the pandemic crisis, and a president insistent on retaining power at any price?
No longer is it a race to triumph at the finish line; rather, it is a race to find the candidate who will do the least damage to our country. What our government and economy desperately need is stability. Don’t give in to apathy and silence. Now is the time to jump on the bandwagon and vote for Joe Biden.
"At its core, education is a variable of location. This is why the problems people face with education are so varied; no two schools work the same or are of the exact same quality. Some people are lucky enough to go to great schools, while others have to fight to get into one of the few good schools around."