Face-to-face: Who are you voting for?

Isabel Ames

In the original version of this article, The Bark incorrectly reported that senior Adam Beltran would be old enough to vote in the 2020 election. The article below has been updated with all corrections to Beltran’s age.

Face-to-Face is a feature that allows two members of the Redwood community to grill each other, argue or simply converse about a relevant issue or event. We provide the topic, and they do the rest. This month’s participants are seniors Ellen Cordisco and Adam Beltran, discussing who they would or are voting for in the presidential election this year. Quotes have been edited for concision.

Who would you vote for?

Ellen Cordisco: Joe Biden

Adam Beltran: Donald Trump

Why do you support Biden/Trump?

Photo courtesy of The New York Times. The first presidential debate ratings fall short of expectations.

EC: I can’t actually vote this year, but, if I could, I would vote for Biden because I feel he cares about all of the American people. It feels more like Trump doesn’t really focus on helping the African-American or Hispanic communities in the U.S.. I wouldn’t necessarily vote for Biden because I agree with everything [he does], but because I disagree with a lot of what Trump stands for. 

AB: If I had to choose between the two, I would vote for Trump. I don’t think Biden is a bad person and I don’t think he would do anything significantly bad to our government. I just think he’s a puppet, and I don’t agree with a lot of the Democratic Party’s talking points and policies. Although Trump’s word choice is a little sketchy, I think that policy-wise he’s going to be doing more for all the people in America. Part of the reason I’m voting for him is because I think he truly cares for the minorities in America. I think one of the big things that is pushed by the left is socialized healthcare. America can’t pay for [socialized healthcare]. I think a more effective way of [providing healthcare] is having government control over preventing monopolies, but having a free-market in terms of actual healthcare. Also, I think Planned Parenthood and the welfare system are really affecting the African-American community. [Barack] Obama made it very clear what happens when you pull the father out of the family: the single mother rate shot up in the last 20 years. I think that’s one of the reasons that we need to find ways to make having a two-parent family a priority again in the African-American community. I think that will be the first step to bettering the overall welfare of the community.

Why don’t you support the other candidate?

EC: I would not vote for Trump because I disagree with the defunding of Planned Parenthood. I never actually thought about that point that Adam brought up to defund Planned Parenthood as a way to force families to stay together. I’m not sure if that would be effective. I think it’s more important to give women the care that they need if they don’t have the proper insurance. Also, climate change is a huge problem, and Trump has repeatedly said that the science isn’t accurate and that it isn’t as urgent as it actually is. Especially with everything that’s going on in California with the fires, our environment is going to rapidly deteriorate if we don’t start getting things done. Science says that within 10 years, there’s going to be irreversible damage to the Earth, so we really need to put policies into place and communicate how important it is for everyone to be doing their part in some way that they can. 

Senior Adam Beltran is voting for Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election.

AB: I definitely agree with [Cordisco] on that. That’s one of my pitfalls with Trump. I also agree that he’s not a big believer in climate change. However, I do believe that it was good to [withdraw] from the Paris Climate Accord. I think that money should be going towards a different solution for climate change. I think the money we were putting into the Paris Climate Accord was being taken by China and I don’t think some Eastern European countries were using [the money] properly. So I agree that climate [change] is a big problem when it comes to voting for Trump. But, I think that over time, especially within the next year or two, he is going to hear the message. Obviously, that’s more of a guess and not something I can say for sure. I wouldn’t vote for Biden because I believe he has some type of mental health problem. I do not think he’s in the right state of mind to be a president. I don’t think Biden will be a very effective president. He proved that when he was vice president and throughout his political career. He’s just going to be a puppet. If anything, Kamala [Harris] is really going to be the president because I don’t think he’s going to be an effective leader or someone who is going to get stuff done, he’s just not worth it. 

EC: I can understand where you’re coming from with that. He doesn’t come off very strong and seems like he might be timid when trying to put his policies into place. Trump is putting policies into place, but I think I don’t agree with so many of [those policies] that I would rather have Biden’s less outgoing approach than Trump.

If Trump/Biden is elected, how will you feel about the future of America?

Senior Ellen Cordisco would vote for Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election.

EC: I would be worried if Trump was elected. Like Adam was saying, I think Trump has the ability to get his policies into action, but I think that some of his priorities are in the wrong place. I don’t think he’s going to ruin our country like some people say. I think it’s going to be hard to become one united country again because of polarization. People won’t be friends with people who support one thing versus another. With everything that happened with the protests, either people are so against it or, if you don’t participate in it, you’re [seen as] an awful person. We have a really polarized country right now. 

AB: I thoroughly agree with that point. I’ve had so many family members and friends straight up disown me [for my views]. If Biden gets elected, I think the future of gun rights and even speech rights in America are going to be in danger. If Trump is re-elected, you never know what will happen with the climate, but I agree with Ellen that we are so polarized. At the end of the day, no matter who is the president, I think the future of America depends on our ability to converse. I think that is something that a lot of people have lost the ability to do on both sides of the political spectrum. They stand their ground and yell their ideas out. They don’t want to talk, they don’t want to converse civilly and they don’t want to be open-minded about things. That is really the danger to our country.