A Plea for Peace, Science and Sanity
I think it is indisputable that 2020 is a different year than normal. Between an impeachment, the pandemic, and the protests, this year is clearly one for the history books.
So it makes sense that this year’s election would be different than the norm too.
Growing up, I remember hearing the debates during family gatherings on Republican versus Democrat viewpoints on various topics. These debates were always civil, as my family tends to calmly debate without animosity, only to have each member return home without changing their opinions, ready to debate again the next time.
I grew up knowing that I had the right to my own opinions on whatever topic, and that family ties were strong enough to handle differing opinions without letting them affect relationships.
But this year’s election appears to be very little about politics.
Both sides know it too. The 2020 election seems to come down to the person in charge, not the policies that they bring with them.
That’s why so much of Biden’s commercials are against Trump, himself, as opposed to Republican viewpoints. It is why Trump name calls Biden “Sleepy Joe,” and tries to portray him as an old man in the basement.
This isn’t about foreign policies as much as about who has a better personality to deal with foreign countries.
It is a contest of who is better able to run the country. That is why both push an unfit storyline, why both want to prove their physical strength, and why both of the candidates’ Twitter feeds have attacks against the person, not just that person’s political party.
The reason for this is simple.
Biden wants to be seen as the unifier, and bring Republicans across the line to vote for him. He doesn’t want to focus on the differences between red and blue in normal years, he wants every American to vote for him as the better, more reasonable leader. So his speeches are about unity, and about coming together as a nation, and there is even talk of him putting Republicans in his cabinet, all as steps towards hopefully a landslide victory.
Trump wants to bring Democrats over, or at least get Democrats to not vote Biden. So he attacks Biden for being too extreme, too socialist… but also not as progressive as Bernie. His attacks come all over the place, hoping he fires enough arrows that some will land targets. He is trying to push some Democrats to third party, and some to decide not to vote at all, while also trying to hold on to the Republicans that might be tempted by his more moderate views.
Plus, as Trump struggles to put forth any policies for his second term besides big broad slogans, a policy battle will be one he will lose, on almost any front. So he goes against the person.
With these two extremely different candidates, most have already decided who to cast their vote for this year.
I know I can’t persuade hard core Trump supporters away from their chosen leader, and I won’t even try.
Every poll, however, shows that there is a small slice of the population still hemming and hawing about which candidate is less repulsive or better fits their view.
If you fall in this portion, I wanted to make a pitch for the candidate that I think is better for our country.
If you are on the fence this year, I urge you to vote in favor of peace, science and sanity, and vote for Biden.
Trump’s presidency has been full of scandals, from before election to the present day. He acts before he thinks, and he doesn’t do in depth research on much before making his decisions, but likes to go with his gut.
“They’re making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”
He tweets out policy, only to backtrack it later or say that he was only joking. In court right now, there are several cases, some trying to prove that his tweets count as policy, and others saying the opposite.
We have feared that his tweets will lead to war as he doesn’t think twice about insulting other countries in his “off the cuff” remarks.
Every day since Trump was named the winner in 2016, I have worried about what the newest drama will be with him. Who will he insult today? Which country will no longer be our ally? Which international agreement will he pull the country out of today? Will he start a war?
As a former reality TV show celebrity, he thrives on the drama and loves to be in the news. Stirring up trouble gets him attention, just like a naughty child, and there is no sign of him changing his ways anytime soon.
He stirs up his followers domestically too. The Southern Poverty Law Center has said that there has been an increase in domestic hate crimes since Trump was elected.
I miss the days of not following what the president was doing, because it generally wasn’t anything major. During Obama’s presidency, I barely followed politics at all. It wasn’t that I didn’t care what he was doing, I just trusted that he was making decisions he felt were for the greater good of the country.
I believe Biden will do the same. I believe Trump will continue as he always does- make decisions based on what is best for him, personally, or what his “gut” tells him to do on a whim.
Peace both at home and abroad doesn’t come from making decisions on instinct and tweets during the wee morning hours, but on careful decisions and cultivated relationships with other nations. It comes from trying to get people to calm down and understand each other, not stirring up hate for the sake of an election and an “us versus them” mentality.
Science strives to focus on the facts. Measurable, repeatable facts found through observation and experiments.
The coronavirus wreaking havoc on our world these days didn’t exist to our knowledge before 2019, and so there is a lot still being learned about it month to month as experiments are conducted and results written up in reputable journals.
So, while early experiments were not proving masks, for example, to help very much, further study has found them to be very helpful. This doesn’t make the scientists unreliable. Instead it makes them more reliable as they continue to listen to the latest research, and the best studies conducted to date.
One of the candidates believes the scientists and the experts in epidemiology as they continue to do their best to apply the sum of the current research to their recommendations for the best steps for the country.
One of them makes fun of the scientists and discounts them because of their changing recommendations over time- though that is exactly what a good scientist would do.
Most politicians are not experts in every field, or possibly even any field.
Normally, that isn’t a problem.
See, most leaders, knowing their own faults, look to the experts in whatever field to help them guide decisions. They ask questions of these experts and they trust what the experts say. Then, when they talk to the people they lead, the people trust what they have to say, because the information came from someone who knew what they were talking about.
I believe Biden, being a typical leader, will do that. It isn’t really an amazing quality, as I would expect any president to do that.
Trump has proven, time and time again, he will not.
He prefers to believe himself and what he thinks his base will like and ignores anything that comes from an expert if it doesn’t match what he wants to hear.
I believe it has made the pandemic worse for our nation. I believe it has made the climate change problems worse. I fear what damage he could do in the next four years if he gets the chance.
It isn’t even about specific policies as much as it is that whatever issue arises from 2020–2024 I would like the United States’ decisions about it to be at least guided by someone with expert knowledge to the ear of someone who will listen, and who doesn’t just need to hear his thoughts echoed back to him.
I am not qualified to rate someone as clinically insane or mentally unstable. I am referring more to the ability to behave in a rational, normal manner.
I prefer a president who doesn’t go on “tweetstorms” in the middle of the night. A president who answers questions, even the hard ones, from reporters rather than calling them names, and abruptly ending interviews and press conferences.
A president who doesn’t retweet conspiracy theories, who doesn’t encourage white supremacists, and who doesn’t use pepper spray on protestors. A president who doesn’t tweet at governors to encourage them to change their policies.
None of that is normal.
It shouldn’t be considered normal. It needs to be treated as unreasonable, irrational behavior.
Sending tweets can be a part of how a modern day president leads, but the tweets should stay presidential in tone.
Having a position of power means that the leader of a country should be careful to not push, endorse or give credibility to anything that is not factual and beneficial for the country. Even if he personally believes it, he can enjoy something he finds… but not retweet it, because he knows his position comes with responsibility.
Protests are protected in the United States, and the president should always support them if they are peaceful.
Presidents can and should communicate with their governors if they think that there is a better way for things to be done. But they shouldn’t, ever, have these conversations be in a public arena like Twitter, especially where they can cause harm, like the liberate Michigan tweet and the following kidnapping attempt.
In any other presidency, if a president truly thought that the restrictions were too harsh, they could have a phone call with that leader, and discuss possibly dropping them for these specific reasons. Reasons that were presumably backed by experts in both science and economics.
Trump touts his unusual way of doing things. But there is a difference between unconventional and insane. He is not acting rationally in the best interests of our country, and he shouldn’t be given the opportunity to continue this way of “leading” for another 4 years.
Put policies on pause for 4 years.
Notice how I didn’t get into the nitty gritty of Republican versus Democrat policies and typical conservative versus liberal politics.
I don’t think they come into play this year.
In four years, I truly hope that both sides have a candidate that can bring peace, trusts science and makes sane, rational choices for our country.
Then, it will make sense to compare the policies, economics or other normal debate topics around the dinner table.
This year, please, choose someone who will make the country better, not drag it down further.