Recently, President Trump’s reelection campaign ran an ad envisioning a potential presidency under Joe Biden. The video, called “You Won’t Be Safe in Joe Biden’s America,” begins with Biden saying “Yes, absolutely, yes,” with the overlaid text “DEFUND THE POLICE?” A mother and son call 911, only to hear an automated voice say “You have reached 911. Due to budget cuts and increased criminal activity, our agents are busy assisting other callers.” While this scene plays out, onscreen text reads “POLICE HAVE FEWER RESOURCES IN JOE BIDEN’S AMERICA,” and an ominous figure lurks in the doorway.
The abundance of misinformation surrounding this election has been exploited on more than one occasion and Biden’s campaign is fairly inactive in the media. This article is an attempt to highlight the accurate policies on both sides in regards to issues that can be easily misrepresented.
The clip of Biden at the beginning of that campaign ad comes from an interview with progressive activist Ady Barkan, published by NowThis News on July 11, 2020. Barkan asked, “But do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding?” To which Biden answered, “Yes. Absolutely.” While similar, the question was not explicitly about defunding the police, contrary to what Trump’s ad implies.
Both Trump and Biden want infrastructure bills worth more than $1 trillion. Biden focuses on climate change as well. Trump wants to extend the 2017 tax overhaul for individuals. 75% of Biden's tax hike will be paid for by the top 1% of the income bracket. Trump’s budget proposes spending cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Biden opposed “Medicare for All,” instead wanting to create a public option and bring down the Medicare age of eligibility to 60.
For student debt, Trump wants to scrap loan subsidies and forgiveness for public service. He wants to create a single, income-driven repayment program. Biden proposes forgiving student debt for many public-college graduates, public-sector workers and fraud victims.
On racial inequity and police reform, the Trump administration has no specific policy proposals to address police brutality, and his top advisers do not believe systemic racism is a problem in law enforcement. Most Americans disagree, shown by a public opinion poll. The Biden administration has actively taken steps to bridge the racial divide by electing Kamala Harris to represent marginalized communities as vice president. He has also discussed exploring the possibility of redirecting funds for the education and empowerment of underrepresented communities. Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president, is a known adversary to the LGBT community.
On immigration, the Trump administration recently held a naturalization ceremony for five foreign legal immigrants during the Republican National Convention. However, the Trump administration has also actively tried to repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, and is currently completing Trump’s border wall. Biden, on the other hand, will undo some of these policies and take in more refugees. Both these administrations are trying to contain jobs within America, but Trump focuses on corporate America while Biden focuses on the middle class.
Trump and Biden’s America look radically different, and this is a polarizing election where this country’s priorities are being tested. It will also shape the world for the next decade. As America’s college students entering the job market right now, we will have to live with the economic and humanitarian policies resulting from this election for longer than almost any other demographic known.
For the age old question, are college students really an important constituency? Youth engagement cannot win an election by itself, but it can deliver the credibility needed to drive the public discussion. Students who want to find out more information should visit NC State’s Pack the Polls website, where university students are offered voter resources.
In addition to voting, NC State students can participate in various political campus organizations, such as College Democrats,College Republicans and more. Taking a stand now as a student is important. It’s time for the NC State student body to start discussions, hold rallies and turn out and vote in the upcoming cycle. It’s our responsibility as the future of our nation to create the future we want for ourselves, and that means eliminating political disengagement.
Ugly campaign strategies should not be our deciding factor. The democratic process gives us power and responsibility but also requires us to do our own research and remain well informed.