State High Gives Their Take on Trump as Election Grows Nearer

President+Donald+Trump+and+Democratic+Nominee+Joe+Biden+face+off+in+the+2nd+Presidential+Debate+on+Thursday%2C+Oct.+22%2C+2020.+

Jim Bourg via AP

President Donald Trump and Democratic Nominee Joe Biden face off in the 2nd Presidential Debate on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.

Ethan Jones, News Editorial Assistant

In the weeks leading up to the upcoming 2020 presidential election, the controversy surrounding presidential candidate Donald Trump–most notably the information about his tax returns and the rising number of COVID-19 deaths–has been almost non-stop. State High students, those both eligible and ineligible to vote, have reacted in different ways.

Senior Lauren Lieb turned 18 on Oct. 11, making her eligible to vote in the 2020 election. As a first time voter, she wasn’t excited to hear about the information surrounding the president’s tax returns. In an article published Sept. 27th, 2020, the New York Times detailed that “Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750. He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.” 

Lieb explained her perspective on the issue.

“When the news came out, I thought ‘wow, that’s really bad–that’s an insanely low number.’ With the amount of wealth he has, he should obviously be paying a lot more. It doesn’t reflect well on him or his presidency, and as a voter, it was another thing to add to the list of red flags,” Lieb said. “To be honest, it didn’t strongly affect how I’m going to vote because I already knew I didn’t like him, but it’s definitely something to add to the list of why.” 

As the U.S grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, another point of controversy is the large death toll of the virus, currently at about 217,000 deaths and counting.  Sophomore Cameron Detwiler is too young to vote in this upcoming election, but with cases rising in the U.S., he has formed a position on the issue. 

“I believe Trump had no real legitimate plan [for COVID] even though he was given some of the best scientific resources in the world,” Detwiler said. “He had plenty of time to enforce mask mandates, which was a very easy thing to do. There’s plenty of countries we can see right now with responsible leaders who obeyed their lockdown and don’t have to wear masks now.” 

When asked if Trump’s handling of the situation made it easier to support Biden, Detwiler responded, “Trump’s mishandling of COVID isn’t his only failure, but it did play a part in convincing me against him. As someone who was misinformed in the past about politics, this year especially has made me realize where I really stand.”

With the election right around the corner, students are continuing to educate themselves and form opinions. While no clear outcome can be guaranteed before the last vote is counted, the controversy around the president has clearly gained the attention of both voters and voters-to-be at State High, shaping their perspectives of him. 

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