Home Election 2020 The Counter Opinion: Who should be our next President? #1

The Counter Opinion: Who should be our next President? #1

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The New Political

Welcome to The New Political’s new opinion series, The Counter. Here, multiple writers are presented with a set of question prompts and asked to give their personal take. All writers are Ohio University students whose views do not necessarily reflect those of The New Political.

Today, we are looking at three people running for President. Our opinion writers were asked to give their view on whether or not these individuals are a good choice for America’s next president.

Contributing tonight are students Charlotte Caldwell, a freshman journalism major, Maddie Kramer, a sophomore political science major, Katie Nolan, a sophomore environmental studies major, and junior Tim Zelina, a journalism major.

Donald Trump official Presidential photo.

1. Donald Trump, President of the United States

 

Charlotte:

With 53 confirmed accomplishments so far as President, including job creation, low unemployment rates, and tax cuts, it may be difficult for a Democrat to beat him if they don’t have impressive accomplishments of their own. But after the longest government shutdown in history, Trump’s approval rating is now below 40 percent. This rating shows that voters currently don’t have much faith in their government to get things done in a timely manner, so voters that are more moderate may look for other candidate options.

Trump is not your typical politician, but is also not the best fit to run the country. His businessman background may have boosted the economy and made it the most stable it’s been in a while among other tough achievements, but his erratic tweets, blatantly ignoring advisers, and impulsive nature have created much controversy and division in the country. Incumbents are typically tough to beat, and Trump still has a large following, but many can agree that it is time for a new face in the office.

 

Maddie:

It is hard to say the Donald Trump would be a good choice for the President of the United States. His 2016 campaign is currently being investigated regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump himself has not made himself out to be a respectable person, as he has mocked people with disabilities and made multiple misogynistic comments.

The most notable thing Trump has accomplished is his dedication to his campaign promise of a border wall. However, his dedication resulted in the longest government shutdown in United States history. The GDP of the first quarter suffered due to the shutdown, and an estimated $3 billion of which cannot be recovered. This is just the result after one government shutdown. Trump has suggested another shutdown if a compromise is not made, with a bill including funding for the border wall.

Trump does not put Americans first. Trump puts his own self image and personal gain first. He is not fit to serve another term.

 

Katie:

Donald Trump is not the best choice for the American presidency. His past few years as president have been very controversial, and subjectively criminal. The accusations surrounding Trump’s campaign and Russian interference are unsettling, and certainly not something that should be the center of a presidency. The focus should be on issues that Americans are facing daily, but with Trump, far too much we are faced with media coverage about the latest news in the Russia investigation, not what Trump is doing for the economy, the environment, social issues, etc.

From the standpoint of an environmentalist, Trump has been a nightmare. He continues to propose efforts to roll back environmental rules and regulations, promote the coal industry and fracking initiatives, and secretly roll out oil drilling in wildlife refuges, among other issues. Worst of all, his active climate change denial contains dangerous rhetoric that the American public cannot afford to be exposed to. Climate change is real, and America is the only major, developed country that does not acknowledge this through its president. We need a president who will acknowledge this scientific reality and make climate mitigation a priority.

 

Tim:

If there’s any good news to come from the upcoming presidential election, it’s that we’ll probably finally be finished of Trump, or at least of President Trump. His approval rating, especially in the battleground states that won him the Presidency, are in the gutter, and for good reason: his presidency has been a mess, bigly.

After eight long years campaigning against it, Republicans and Trump butchered the Obamacare repeal. Luckily for Americans, congress settled on keeping Obamacare rather than burning down the entire healthcare market to get rid of it. But America wasn’t so lucky in other areas.

Under Scott Pruitt, the EPA was gutted, when we should be diverting all resources to fight climate change. Trump’s congress passed an unsustainable, elitist tax cut that added nearly a trillion dollars to the deficit. He attacked the rights of trans Americans, and separated migrant children from their parents. Overseas, Trump withdrew from the Paris Accords, and shattered relations with our Atlantic allies while cozying up to Erdogan, the Saudis and Bolsonaro. To top it all off, he shut down the government in a failed tantrum over his wall. All this with still two more long years to go. Let’s hope Democrats don’t blow their 10 point lead in 2020.

 

Julian Castro official HUD portrait.

2. Julian Castro, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

 

Charlotte:

Julian Castro definitely has the experience and the right mindset for strong opponents of President Trump’s agenda, but name recognition and his more Obama-esque plans may not propel him to the top of the candidate list. Castro has a reputable education, a good amount of experience in government, and was even on Hillary Clinton’s list of potential running mates, yet he is still fighting for name recognition with former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, he accomplished goals like accessible housing, more homes for veterans, and internet access to families in public housing. These achievements have made him “the champion for universal health care and affordable housing.” Being the only Latino in the race can also benefit him because voters will know he cares the most out of any candidate about immigrant rights. Castro has enough background to take Trump head on and may just be persuasive enough to win if he becomes the elected candidate for the Democratic party, but he may not secure enough moderate voters to make it that far in the primaries. He would be good for office, however, because he is in tune with what immigrants want and need while also seeing a need to secure the border in a “smart and humane” way.

Maddie:

Julian Castro is a safe and secure bet for Democrats. Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, has a strong base in the Latino community due to his Mexican-American and immigrant roots. As mayor, Castro established a universal pre-kindergarten system. He also has a history of being progressive on LGBTQ+ rights, signing the “Mayors for Freedom to Marry” petition in 2012 and participating in various events with the LGBTQ+ community during his time as mayor. The fact that Castro has been progressive his whole career is a good sign for the Democrats.

Castro served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama Administration. In 2012 he offered a message of hope to the Latino community at the Democratic National Convention, advocating for more Latino representation in the federal government.

Castro fits a lot of the boxes Democrats are looking to check off for a 2020 candidate. Castro is diverse, has federal and state government experience, and has ideas on comprehensive immigration reform as someone living and representing a border state. Castro is a promising candidate for many Democrats seeking a diverse change.

Katie:

Julian Castro is a promising candidate for the presidency. As a candidate with immigrant roots, his story will be interesting to see counter the current immigration discourse that the country is facing. He is known for his commitment to LGBT+ issues as well as his promise to improve American healthcare systems. For Democrats, Castro will be a safe choice for the primaries. He has a healthy amount of progressive stances while consistently supporting the foundations of the modern Democratic party.

In terms of the environment, Castro is encouraging. In his announcement for candidacy, he expressed interest in recommitting the US to the Paris Climate Accord as well as promising to pass a version of the Green New Deal, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s proposed environmental reform. He has supported green jobs, renewable energy initiatives, as well as energy conservation. Overall, Castro will be one to watch. While not the most progressive of candidates in this subject, he is an eco-friendly candidate that would serve Democrats well in the presidency.

Tim:

Julian Castro is someone whose name was floated quite a bit for 2016, but never ran, so it’s not necessarily surprising to see him run. Many people just frankly forgot about him. Castro’s been out of the limelight for a few years now; his last prominent position was as HUD secretary under Obama.

Castro certainly isn’t a terrible choice. He’s had a solid Democratic record. His personal charm is undeniable, and his moderate policies, ethnic background, and association with Obama could deliver him key votes, especially in states with large Latino populations.

But in 2020, the country may need someone more bold than an Obama student to take the reins. Castro has the experience, and he’s a well-meaning progressive, but the challenges of the 2020s will require someone who is willing to propose imaginative solutions. Castro is a safe moderate, so while he may easily be able to win the White House, he may not be the best choice for a prosperous America.

 

John Delaney official Congressional portrait.

3. John Delaney, former congressman from Maryland.

 

Charlotte:

Businessman and attorney John Delaney has some impressive feats under his belt. A former three term Maryland congressman and a self-made millionaire, he knows the value of working hard in order to achieve your dreams. Many voters, especially Republicans, will appreciate the fact that he is a hard worker and has single-handedly made an effort to make something out of his life without expecting handouts.

Delaney can have a direct appeal to Obama Democrats because he was a vocal supporter of the Affordable Care Act, but is more moderate in his beliefs that there shouldn’t be “Medicare for all.” He is also committed to giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship while increasing border security funding. Combined with this, his interest in investing more in infrastructure, and his views of China as a global threat, he may garner enough support on both sides of the fence to go head to head with Trump. But he may not be progressive enough to match what the country needs going forward.

Maddie:

John Delaney has minimal name recognition and a focus on bipartisanship, which may not be enough for progressive Democrats. Prior to being a former congressman from Maryland, Delaney has a business and law background. Delaney prides himself on his private sector background and push to bipartisanship.

What Delaney is lacking is a strong platform. Delaney lists vague concepts he supports, but has no specific stances and policies in mind. Delaney displays himself as a moderate democrat, supporting the issues associated with the Democratic Party but not being very progressive on those stances. Democrats are looking for a drastic change and a progressive candidate to reverse some of the policies from the Trump administration. Delaney may not have this strength and voice to accomplish this.

Katie:

John Delaney is a solid, dependable candidate. He is a well-rounded democrat with an appeal to a diverse array of voters. Delaney’s voting record reflects his democratic views on women’s rights, education, and especially healthcare. The issues he is focusing on for his campaign are not the most progressive. They are vague, but enticing for democrats. His list of important issues on his campaign website looks like a list of issues any generic democrat would care about, and for that reason It will be intriguing to see what issues he zeroes in on as time goes on. I could see Delaney appealing to many people who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and many other more moderate voters.

From an environmentalist’s perspective, Delaney’s views on climate change are not detailed. He states on his campaign website that he would work towards implementing a carbon tax to combat climate change, but this is the only mention of the issue. It will be interesting to see him detail this idea further as his campaign continues and as the 2020 debates begin.

Tim:

John Delaney is a lot like John Kasich; a moderate white man who sees an opportunity to be a voice of reason in a time of partisanship.

Maybe Delaney’s romantic idealism is best left in the past. Delaney promises himself as a fair compromise candidate who can reach across the aisle to ‘get things done’. Well-meaning, but naive in the current political environment. If Republicans can’t even work with each other to repeal Obamacare, can we expect them to engage with a Democrat in good faith?

And besides serving as congressman for 4 short years, what has Delaney done? Well, work as a CEO for a commercial lending service. This country needs to return power to the people, not elect another oligarch. It’s not hard to imagine a significant portion of the Democratic electoral being depressed by the nomination of a glorified loan shark. In 2020, perhaps voters should pass on Delaney.

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