Reconsider the issues that matter most ahead of the presidential election

Isa Grunwaldt, Staff Writer

Abortion. Gay marriage. Clean energy. Immigration. These are all hot button topics on which our presidential candidates are campaigning. For me, all of these things are important and what I look for presidential candidates to address. 

We all know how President Trump feels about immigration. No more letting people flock into our country, “take our jobs,” and ruin our beautiful southern suburbs with poverty and drugs. His idea of reform for our border security is to put up a wall. This has yet to be completed and has no way of being effective. Almost all immigrants coming to the United States today are seeking refuge from someplace or someone who has hurt them or will hurt them. 

Under current policy, most refugees seeking asylum in the US are kept in ICE custody or sent to the very countries they were fleeing from to find refuge instead because their case won’t be heard before a judge. Biden on the other hand proposes massive changes and promises to end child-family separation at the border and to bring back dignity to immigrants fleeing persecution. Our country is founded on immigrants. If we can’t provide help for people in need and instead treat them as hostile, how are we acting as a leader on the world stage? What will happen if we ever need the same shelter?

Clean Energy is another huge policy crisis that has pressured our generation more than any other. According to experts, we have only 30 more years to change our carbon emissions before it is too late to reverse the effects of climate change on our Earth. Trump not only backed out of the Paris Accord but has supported and deregulated oil and coal companies and denounced wind and hydropower energy saying that “I guess we won’t be watching any tv tonight honey, the wind stopped” at one of his rallies. His lack of attention to science has been on display for his entire presidency and candidacy and his supporters love it. It shows how large a gap has come between individuals’ sense of reality in our country.

Biden on the other hand promises to work towards 100% clean energy and net zero emissions by 2050. This would save our Earth. He also believes the Green New Deal is crucial to his plans and the betterment of the globe. He will end the parasitic fossil-fuel corporations dumping waste into our clean water and air, and has refused any gas, oil, or coal donations from organizations or executives. Thinking about irreversible climate effects chills me. How will I live in a world that becomes toxic to me and the generations after me? Where will we go? What will we have learned if anything about treating our Earth with more care?

Gay marriage took huge strides towards progress during the Obama-Biden administration and Biden is very outspoken about destigmatizing the concept of same-sex love. He talked openly about it on an episode of Meet The Press in 2012 where he said, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.  And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction.” In Biden’s whole career, he has never infringed on the rights of homosexual equality. From my perspective, if anti-LGBTQ people can love friends of the same sex, then they have already proven that love is not saved for only the opposite gender. Sexual attraction varies from person to person, and this is completely natural. Nobody should feel ashamed for loving someone. People should feel ashamed for trying to destroy love while championing love as a guiding principle of faith. It’s hypocritical.

Trump has repealed many protections the Obama-Biden administration had put in place. In fact, the Trump-Pence administration proposed “policies allowing federally funded homeless shelters to turn away transgender people, and federally funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples” as possible parents. This must be counteracted. A man-woman family does not equate to a superior family. People who believe it’s unnatural to have either only mother or only father figure(s) must not account for single-parent households. Or fathers and mothers who beat their children or in other ways abuse them. But, those must still be “natural”, yes?

Finally, abortion and all its implications are the largest hot button for me as it affects my humanity. The only reason many Trump supporters support Trump after all of his other shenanigans is because of their stance on abortion. Ever since Roe v. Wade passed in the Supreme Court, the Republican agenda has been in lockstep to rescind all possible pro-choice/abortion funding and legislation. Now that Trump has appointed Amy Coney Barret, his supporters are bound to him in favor of repealing Roe v. Wade. 

Biden has come out as exactly the opposite that of Trump. He has stated in one of his recent town halls that he will do everything he can to protect the abortion rights of women no matter what happens to Roe v Wade. He wishes to pass legislation that will protect the right of choice. This is where my views become ultra-polarizing for some people, however, I will attempt to explain my perspective as well as I can. 

If you are pro-life, you are not a feminist. In fact, you play right into The Handmaids Tale

Pro-life means that no matter what situation, you believe a tiny potential embryotic cell could maybe become a real human being and the right of that potential person to live outweighs any extraneous factors. If a woman can’t choose whether or not to carry a parasite around for 9 months and then possibly die in childbirth, then we are simply chattel to be used for breeding. Our bodies are not our own, and our lives are meaningless. 

Being pro-choice doesn’t exclude a woman’s right to have a child because it is their choice. It doesn’t stand against anyone who decides to have a child. It simply allows for women to have a choice of what starts feeding off of them and when. This is why it is the most important policy decision for me because it is what constitutes my humanity and right to my own life. Pregnancy and children change everything, and Trump would appreciate it if I, as a woman, had no control over my own body. 

I can never vote for someone who sees me as less than a human being. I can never vote for someone who decides to let the world burn and claim cleaning up leaves in a forest will solve the blazes in California. I can never vote for someone who would prevent people from feeling love and sharing it with others. I can never vote for someone who claims immigrants on the brink of death will be the destruction of our country. Where are our morals?