During the 2016 US presidential election I voted for Donald Trump. It was partly an anti-Hillary Clinton vote because I didn’t trust her and partly a pro-Trump vote because I could respect someone who talked honestly about what they believed, even if I didn’t always agree with it.
To say the least, Trump’s time in office hasn’t turned out like I hoped. I’m strongly leaning toward voting for Joe Biden this time round, but there are some things I’d like to see from him that would secure my vote. For me and, if the recent polls are any indication for most Americans, this election is coming down to the candidates’ responses to Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter protests.
I’m an entrepreneur with a patent. I’ve been working side jobs to save enough money to start my business. I was just about to make the transition when the pandemic hit. My hours at work have been reduced but obviously my bills haven’t. I worry about bills and back-logged payments. Meanwhile, I already invested my savings for the roll-out of my business. I’m on the hook for a lot of money, to put it bluntly, and I fear not being able to catch up.
President Trump has failed to get unemployment benefits passed through Congress. I understand his position – I don’t like it either when the Government runs up the national debt, but I need money now to get back on my feet. I would rather pay higher taxes tomorrow than go bankrupt today.
Biden says he wants to continue stimulus payments for individuals and the Payment Protection Program for small businesses. His ideas are fine, but they are only ideas. In fact, President Trump supports these same ideas. But who can get the job done? Trump has failed to get Congress to pass a bill. I would like to see Biden talk about how he intends to mediate between Republicans and Democrats in Congress. He needs to show me how he intends to make his ideas a reality.
I also have concerns about the virus itself. Around 1,000 people per day are still dying. There are rumors that Trump is trying to push through a vaccine before the election, although this has been denied by his advisor. I am skeptical of media gossip, but at the same time, Trump has made questionable suggestions before. Whether it’s hydroxychloroquine, plasma treatments, or new testing procedures, Trump prematurely forces his ideas into existence because he thinks it will help his favorability rating.
I shouldn’t need to fear a new vaccine, but with Trump at the helm, I feel like I have to. I want a president I can trust. It’s comforting that Biden insists on listening to scientists, but I really hope we don’t have to shut down the economy. It wouldn’t feel good to sit at home knowing I’m young, healthy, and ready to work.
Turning to the protests, one particular thing Trump did has stuck in my mind. In response to George Floyd’s killing, Trump suggested Floyd would be looking down from heaven with happiness because, it sounded to me, people were getting their jobs back. As a Hispanic, Indian American, it sickened me. I care about the economy, too, but that was so terribly wrong!
I want to see police reform. Police should be trained better so they use de-escalation tactics instead of their guns. There needs to be accountability, not just for officers but the system as a whole. We shouldn’t have to wait for a police officer to shoot someone in the back on camera before there are consequences.
I want to know Biden will control the Democrats’ legislative agenda, not the fringe politicians who speak the loudest or go viral on Twitter the most.
At the same time, it would be a disaster if we literally got rid of police departments, like some on the left want. And as a prospective business owner, I can’t help but sympathise with those who are helpless to stop looters who destroy their life’s work. Radicals on one side condone looting and radicals on the other condone shooting.
It disgusts me that Trump won’t stand against the supporters who cause havoc while literally flying his flag. In contrast, Biden has taken a stand against looters. But I would be more comfortable if Biden were to directly address the far-left politicians and activists in his party to say he won’t support their ideas. I want to know he will control the Democrats’ legislative agenda, not the fringe politicians who speak the loudest or go viral on Twitter the most.
With all that said, I am heavily leaning towards Biden because I believe he wants the same things I want. But he needs to do two things: stand up for what he (and not anyone else) believes and have a plausible plan for getting it done. Not every swing voter is an inventor or a multiracial man or a swing-state voter like me, but Covid-19 and unrest affect all of us. I think Biden can win swing voters on these issues. He certainly can win me.