Comparing at the Polls, Part 1: The Democratic Party

The final candidates have been announced for the presidential election. While some names may come as a surprise, others were known contenders in the race for the most powerful person in America. But now that we know who is in the running, there has been a lot in the rumor mills going around. Who believes in what, who stands for which issues, and how they will represent us in the White House. This article will give you a basic overview of the Democratic candidates: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and the Republican candidates: Donald Trump and Mike Pence. By putting this out there, I hope to clear the water a little and show you who stands for what without bias. The goal: to inform you on who you are voting for, NOT to change any opinions or ideas. I will keep this as neutral as possible without interjecting my own beliefs to give you a fair and neutral view of the candidates.

Democratic Party

Democratic Party | Free U.S. Government Articles for Students in Grades 7-10 | We the People Scholastic

There has been unrest in the Democratic Party since the election of Trump. While the Republicans have claimed the Presidential election and have control of the Senate right now, the House is still a Democratic Majority. This means that they haven’t lost control of their viewpoints in the government and have used their majority there to help maintain the checks and balances within our government. In their attempt to take the Presidential election, they hope to shift that balance for the top spot, but also hope to gain seats in both cabinets of Congress. While there was a stir of unrest, the popular candidates of Bernie Sanders, Bloomberg, and Warren to name a few have stepped down to make way for the final choice: Joe Biden.

Joe Biden

Who is Joe Biden? Bio, age, family, and key positions - Business Insider
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In his career, Biden has a longstanding political career. Starting out in his county council to being elected to the Senate. His career hit a peak when he served as Vice President under Barack Obama. Biden has broad plans on how he believes he can best serve this country. His campaign site hosts many of his plans, ideas, and where he believes the country can best be improved. The general plans and focuses from his campaign are below:

Economic Improvements

Money, Coin, Investment, Business, Finance, Bank

  • Increasing jobs by putting Americans to work in public health during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Extending aid to families, unemployment benefits and assisting businesses in getting back on their feet.
  • Pushing for an educated and “care giving” workforce in which he states he will announce a plan to make childcare easier on working parents.
  • Increasing wages, benefits and improving work environment (including increases minimum wage to “at least “$15 per hour)
  • Push for racial equality to close the wealth gap to Latinos, Native Americans and African Americans.

Equality

Justitia, Goddess, Goddess Of Justice

Equality is a huge focus on his campaign. Not only is he pushing for racial equality, but gender, sexuality and religious communities. He breaks down his focuses into each community, but here we will talk about the overall plan he has for each.

  • Supporting “black and brown” businesses through federal spending, loans, stimuli and relief packages, increase pay and benefits for oppressed races and enforcing fair and dignified compensation for the people in those groups.
  • “Create wealth in the “black community“, improve accessibility and standards of housing, reform of the criminal justice system and punish “polluters” of black communities.
  • Invest in Latino Americans, encouraging them to pursue home ownership, better jobs, access to healthcare, decrease in hate crimes and encourage immigration from their communities.
  • Support of Indian Americans to have access to religious worker visas, reducing language barriers, feeling safe in their houses of worship, and decreasing hate towards the community.
  • For women, he wants to help with a work-home life balance, “protect and empower” while also making women feel more secure in our jobs/careers through training, pay, and benefits.
  • The LGBTQ community is promised protection from discrimination and violence, better access to healthcare, less prejudice in the criminal justice system, and improve their civil rights.

Religious

Buddhist, Ritual, Water, BuddhismMosque, Abu Dhabi, Travel, WhiteCross, Christ, Faith, God, Jesus, Clouds

  • For the Jewish community, he plans to battle Antisemitism, provide funding that was cut, create new terrorism laws to protect the people and also talks of his gun control views here.
  • For the Muslim community, he promises to honor their contributions, protect their civil liberties, reduce incarceration of Muslim-Americans, and reform the immigration system to “restore the American dream”
  • He promises Catholic Americans the same protections as others in his political campaign. There are no specific mentions towards their community other than that he himself is a Catholic American.

Weapons and Gun Control

Handgun, Pistol, Firearm, Gun, Weapon

Guns are a hot spot topic for both sides. Biden has plans and ideas he wants to put into place for gun control and to try and decrease violence. He has a plan that calls to end the gun violence through reducing the access to firearms and ammunition.

  • Make the gun manufacturers responsible by waiving their legal protection from damage/injuries/deaths from their products.
  • Banning high-capacity magazines and removing all types of assault weapons by banning the sale, controlling who can own them, buy back the weapons from current owners ,and reduce the ability to purchase and own firearms- aka “Reduce stockpiling of weapons”. He also wants to end online sales of firearms and ammo. Gun sales and limitations is a huge focus with many new proposed restrictions on buying, selling, possession, use and reporting from owners.
  • He will require background checks on all gun sales, limit loop holes in the system for sales and removal of weapons from individuals with a history of mental health conditions (through red flag laws)
  • He wants to make 100% of the guns, smart guns- meaning a fingerprint match must occur before a weapon will fire or similar technology.
  • Require the ATF to track guns and give the Justice Department authority to enforce the new laws.

Other Areas of Focus

  • Biden has a huge focus on improving the economy while also pushing for clean, green energy use. He wants to improve the country’s infrastructure, transit, create jobs in the power industry, improve housing, and shift to a “climate-smart” agriculture.
  • Reopening schools only when it is safe to do so is another focus. He wants to improve the availability of masks, gloves, cleaning supplies, etc. and be able to better trace and contain the virus.
  • For veterans, he plans to improve their access to healthcare, decrease homelessness, improve access to mental health needs, and create better employment and education opportunities.
  • Improving funding to public schools and community colleges to encourage higher education.
  • A push for 100% clean energy by 2050 while communicating the need with other world leaders.

Hot Spots

Conference, Speaking, Speak, Meeting

The following are his stances on popular issues and whether he is for or against. For the purpose of this list, it is kept general and his yay or nay rather than explaining in detail on his stance. Clicking on the link provided will take you to an external site where you can read more about issues that you are particularly interested in. While these may be tied in to issues above, these are many areas where he has voiced his support or voted against.

  • Capital Punishment- Against
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentences Reform- Against
  • Private Prisons- Against
  • Paid leave- Support
  • College Cost (first two years free)- Support
  • Reducing Student Debts- Support
  • Teachers Pay Increases- Support
  • Campaign Funding Limitations- Support
  • Nuclear Power- Support
  • Oil and Gas- Against
  • Farming Economy- Against with limitations
  • Strengthening Gun Background Checks- Support
  • Assault Weapons- Against
  • Abortion- Support with limitations
  • Medicare for All- Against
  • Marijuana Legalization- Against on a federal level, leave it up to the states
  • Defense Budget Increase- Support
  • Overseas Deployments- Support
  • Wealth Taxes- Support

Wrap Up

These are SOME of the issues and a broad overview of the topics that Biden plans to address. He states out legislation that he wants to push for to help further his agenda and encourage his goals to be met. While I tried to include an overview of Biden, he has many different plans, ideas and laws he wishes to pass. I have linked his campaign site for his authoritative views on where he stands so you can go straight to the source to read more on issues that interest you.

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