Students Weigh-in On 2020 Election

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Students Weigh-in On 2020 Election

Junior Amanda Bendis admires Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.

Junior Amanda Bendis admires Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.

Joe Spero

Junior Amanda Bendis admires Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.

Joe Spero

Joe Spero

Junior Amanda Bendis admires Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.

Although the 2020 election is over a year away, many students are already engaged in the process.

“There is a really great field [of candidates]” sophomore Greg Perryman said. 

“There are a lot of talented people whom I can see as our president,” he added. “It’s really exciting because they all have a lot of great ideas, but their ideas are all unique.”

Perryman believes the Senate election in 2020 is just as important as the Presidential election. 

“If the Senate is not flipped to the Democratic side [of the aisle], we’ve seen what Mitch McConnell does with the Senate,” he said. “He makes it immobile. Nothing can happen in this country, no change can happen unless the Senate is flipped.”

Perryman is one of many students who have been watching the Democratic debates.

There are a lot of talented people whom I can see as our president. It’s really exciting because they all have a lot of great ideas, but their ideas are all unique.”

— Sophomore Greg Perryman

The debates do not only interest Democrats. People on all sides of the political spectrum are watching, as one of the people on stage could become the next Commander-in-Chief. 

Senior Tal Yankevich identifies as a “moderate conservative,” but is very critical of President Donald Trump’s rhetoric. 

“A lot of the things that Trump says and does… I can not tolerate,” he said.

Yankevich appreciates Pete Buttigieg.

“He is very professional and presidential,” Yankevich said. 

Buttigieg, the 38-year-old mayor from South Bend, Indiana is admired by many BHS students, as he is a US veteran, a millennial, openly gay and a polyglot who speaks English, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic, Dari Persian, and French.

Several Republicans have announced challenges to Trump’s nomination, including former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. According to Harris Interactives Polls, Donald Trump is supported by 76.0% of Republican respondents. 

Senior James Flowers, who is a Republican, says his views have evolved since the 2016 election. 

“The 2020 Election is very different than the 2016 election for many different reasons, and my views are very different… now,” Flowers said.

“Donald Trump has not done anything bad for this country yet, but some of the comments that he has made have been very unpresidential,” he said.

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” he added. “It seems like the Democratic candidates all argue over who hates Donald Trump more. And it seems like some of them want the country to fail, just to prove that President Trump is bad.” 

Flowers believes that it is important to always have a commander-in-chief who is a veteran. 

“I think all presidents should have some sort of experience [in the military],” he said.

It seems like the Democratic candidates all argue over who hates Donald Trump more. And it seems like some of them want the country to fail, just to prove that President Trump is bad.”

— Senior James Flowers

That’s why, if he had to pick a Democratic candidate, Flowers would pick Mayor Pete Buttigieg. For Flowers, it will be a choice between Buttiigieg and Trump. 

Freshman Joshua Jones had some thoughts on President Donald Trump.

“I don’t agree with his beliefs,” Jones said. “Some people call him racist towards African Americans, but he is towards other cultures as well, and that’s why he should not be President of the United States.” 

“Trump drops a lot of stereotypes towards different cultures, and people are obviously going to listen to him, being the president with such high power.” He added. “Our country’s diversity is shown with all these people running against Trump in 2020.”  

Junior Amanda Bendis likes Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. 

“[Based on the interviews I have seen, Harris seems very personable, and she is very educated,” Bendis said. “I also like that she has a legal background.” 

Bendis is impressed by Harris’ background as District Attorney of San Francisco and Attorney General of California.

Bendis also admires Senator Warren. 

“She is consistent with her policies, and she has a plan for everything,” she said.

This is a historic election because there are more women in the race than ever before. Bendis finds this very inspiring. 

She is particularly pleased that women candidates are being judged based on their policies, as opposed to their gender.

Many conservative BHS students do not feel comfortable openly voicing their opinions. They feel that the majority liberal opinion at BHS is constricting to their free expression.

Junior Josh Kaplan feels that students should be more open-minded to hearing conservative points of view. 

“[Trump] says a lot of controversial things, but the good things about Trump are not displayed on social media,” Kaplan said. “Americans should look at both sides of the political spectrum and not just watch CNN but also watch channels like FOX News.”  

Kaplan and others feel that there is a stigma against the president at BHS because the majority of the student body is predominantly on the left side of the political spectrum.

One senior who wants to remain anonymous understands how Trump’s rhetoric could be harmful, but also feels that the president is not treated fairly by the media.

“Trump is a mean dude,” he said. “He is not a nice person by any means. He speaks his mind and is incredibly honest and sometimes that’s viewed very negatively, which is completely understandable.” 

“But, every single news outlet that covers him takes what he says out of context,” he continued. “People don’t like a mean person at the top, because we live in a very progressive society. But honestly, news outlets are being unfair to the president.” 

Liberal students have a variety of candidates to choose from, but one stands out to Junior Avery McShepard: former Vice President Joe Biden. 

“He might not be perfect, but when he was Vice President to Barack Obama, I was like ‘he should run for President and keep this moderate Democrat vibe moving forward.’” McShepard said.

Freshman Emily Clar believes that Trump should not be re-elected.

“I don’t agree with a lot of the things Trump has done with immigration.” 

As a Freshman, Clar is not able to vote in the next election, but she thinks it is very important for young people who can vote to go out and do so. 

“It’s very important because we also live in America,” Clar continued. “Obviously we can’t vote, but I also feel like the younger kids should have more of a say. I have an opinion and it matters.”

As the field narrows, no doubt Beachwood students will become even more excited about the next election.

 


Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden at a rally in Philadelphia in May. Photo by Michael Stokes via Wikimedia Commons.

Dems Debate in Houston

The top 10 polling Democratic candidates took the stage on the evening of Sept. 12 at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas for the 3rd Democratic Debate.

Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke demanded mandatory buybacks for weapons like AR-15’s or AK-47’s. 

“We’re going to take your AR-15 [and] your AK-47,” O’Rourke said. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.” 

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders demanded Medicare-for-all to cover more Americans than ObamaCare.

“I know what’s broken,” Warren said. “I know how to fix it. And I’m going to lead the fight to get it done.” 

Former Vice President Joe Biden wants to “restore the soul of this nation” and emphasized his moderate views and his electability against Donald Trump. 

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was very open about his personal life. He talked about his deployment to Afghanistan and how when he came back from Afghanistan, he realized he had to be true to himself and come out as gay. 

“I came back from the deployment and realized that you only get to live on life, and I was not interested in not knowing what I was like to be in love any longer, so I just came out,” Buttigieg said. “And after I came out, it was an election year, and I won re-election with 80% of the vote.” 

Buttigieg said he will ‘make real change in the Oval Office.’ 

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang made an “unprecedented” move by vowing to test out his plan for UBI (Universal Basic Income) by giving 10 families $1,000 a month for the next year. 

I came back from the deployment and realized that you only get to live on life, and I was not interested in not knowing what I was like to be in love any longer, so I just came out,” Buttigieg said. “And after I came out, it was an election year, and I won re-election with 80% of the vote.”

— South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg

California Senator Kamala Harris and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, both moderates,  emphasized the importance of making sure that Donald Trump is not a two-term president. 

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker emphasized that he would make a change in urban America. Booker is sick and tired of the legacy of crime and racism in inner cities.

“Racism exists,” Booker said. “The question isn’t, ‘who isn’t a racist?’ It’s ‘who is and isn’t doing something about racism?” he said.

And lastly, Obama Administration HUD Secretary Julian Castro was very clear that he thought Biden was told old to be president.

“Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” Castro said to Biden, a comment which seemed to question Biden’s age and memory. 

Many journalists have called Castro’s comment a “cheap shot” at Biden and argued that it crossed a line. 

Castro also pointed out that Biden wants credit for Obama’s most popular accomplishments and wants to distance himself from the less popular elements from Obama’s legacy.

“Whenever something good about Barack Obama comes up, he [Biden] says, ‘I was there, I was there! That’s me too!’ And then every time somebody questions part of the administration that we were both part of, he says, ‘Well, that was the President’. He wants to take credit for Obama’s work, but not have to answer any questions [about Obama’s failures].”

The 4th Democratic debate will be held in mid-October at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. There is no Republican Primary Debate scheduled in the near future.

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