Tips and Tricks For Political Debates This Holiday Season

Earlier this month, America saw its citizens glued to their televisions, smart devices, and anything with Internet access as the 2020 presidential election bore on. The world watched with bated breath until finally, on Friday, it was projected that Joe Biden would almost certainly be the next President of the United States of America.

Despite the fact that current President Donald Trump continues to declare victory (with no evidence), now America knows its next four years will see a White House sans Trump. Half of the country is celebrating in the streets, while the other half claim fraud and refuse to accept the results. Now, as we near the end of the election season and enter the holiday season, we must prepare for the upcoming debates. They are inevitable. However, we can be ready. Below you will find the most common pro-Trump arguments you are likely to hear and how to respond to them.

  1. 1. "But Trump helped the economy!"

    person holding $100 Dollar bills

    This logic is inherently flawed. While parts of this argument may be true, it is because most of it is taken out of context and not compared to other trends in US economics. So let’s get into it.

    As we all know, the pandemic caused the greatest contraction in the US economy ever recorded. While Trump brought it back, the economy has still not yet fully recovered, nor will it for a while. However, this did not stop President Trump from claiming this recovery was “the biggest in the history of our country by almost triple...that's bigger than any nation.” This is simply false. While this has been the biggest quarterly recovery, it was only by double, and it has not surpassed many countries in the eurozone.

    Trump has also frequently claimed that he saved the country from President Obama’s economic policies, stating that he “accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions.” Once more, this is false. Reports have shown that the last three years of the Obama administration saw an annual average growth rate of 2.3%. The Trump administration has seen an annual average growth rate of 2.5%. While this is an increase, it is simply following the trend the Obama administration set.

    Additionally, one of President Trump’s favorite claims is that he single-handedly delivered the lowest unemployment rate in half a century. This is true to an extent. However, it is due to the fact that the Obama administration created seven million jobs.

    Regardless, all of this progress is gone now. After the pandemic, the US Department of Labor released a report saying that the pandemic led to 20 million people losing their jobs, eliminating all of the hard work of the past decade in a single month.

    Despite all of this, Trump has continued to brag. One of his other favorite topics is salary. During his administration, wages did increase by more than they had during the Obama administration. However, this was due to the fact that so many low-income workers were laid off, and corporations began paying those left more for their new, extensive responsibilities.

  2. 2. "Biden will shut down the whole country for COVID-19! At least Trump will keep it open."

    This is not true. President Trump is a known fearmonger who has convinced the American people that he is doing what is best for them by putting their lives on the line in exchange for the economy. Biden is not going to create massive waves of unemployment by shutting down the country. He has a plan that incorporates the worries of small business, big corporations, and the American people.

    The first thing Biden has pledged to do in response to COVID-19 is to increase testing and contact tracing. This means that Biden will double drive-through testing sites, invest in new technology, and create a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps that would mobilize "at least 100,000" contact tracers who understand the communities they are working in.

    He has also pledged to invest more in vaccines and treatments. Specifically, Biden has declared he will spend $25 billion more to make and distribute vaccines to everyone in the US for free, and improve upon state infrastructure to make distribution easier, as most states have not received any aid for vaccine distribution.

    Biden has also stated that he will work with state legislatures to put in place mask mandates due to the fact that a recent study found “if 95% of Americans wore masks, more than 100,000 lives could be saved from Covid-19.” This is not Biden shutting down the country, it is merely an attempt at saving lives.

    And on the subject of saving lives, Biden has said publicly that he will use the Defense Production Act to increase the production of PPE for nurses and doctors. The Trump administration is currently in the process of doing the same thing, but studies have found that they are rarely successful, and often don’t even try to utilize it.

    Biden has also vowed to stand for science. He has often been quoted as saying that should he be elected, he would incorporate the CDC and WHO much more in decisions regarding COVID. He’s even created his own task force to work with Trump’s task force already.

    And speaking of new organizations, Biden has formed a COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force that would be a part of the U.S. government following the pandemic as well in order to understand and address the issues facing marginalized communities during the pandemic.

  3. 3. "Trump is still President because this election was rigged. There was so much voter fraud! Dead people were voting, and some people even voted twice."

    ballot

    Once again, these are lies. One of Trump’s favorite claims of fraud recently has been that dead people are voting. The reason this argument is everywhere? A viral Tweet from Michigan.

    A Twitter account released fake information stating that there was evidence of people “coming back from the dead” to vote. Michigan is a swing state, so this was especially important to Trump. However, Michigan officials have stated that this is “misinformation” and that there is no evidence of such a thing occurring. There was only one issue on election night, and it was due to human error. Thankfully, there are systems in place to catch such things, so everything was fixed quickly.

    Arizona was also accused of not counting ballots that were filled in with Sharpie, despite the fact that Sharpies were provided to voters. However, this rumor was quickly dismissed by officials. All votes are being counted, regardless of ink type. 

    Wisconsin also came under fire for having more ballots than voters on Twitter. Mike Coudrey Tweeted these false statistics but quickly took down his post after viewers called him out on his erroneous reporting. However, screenshots of this image are still all over Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

    President Trump has also said that mail-in ballots, in general, are fraudulent. Once more, this is a lie. It is thought that Trump has said such things because studies have found that Biden supporters are much more likely to vote absentee or by mail. Trump is simply trying to suppress voters. By claiming fraud, he is attempting to steal this election.

  4. 4. "Trump is just more reasonable. When people said he lost, his supporters didn't take to the streets or riot."

    This sentiment is vague, all over the place, and altogether difficult to address. Is it a shot at the Women’s March following Trump’s inauguration? Or could it possibly be a dig at the recent Black Lives Matter protests? Is it an attempt to make Trump supporters seem peaceful and reasonable? Regardless, let’s address all of these claims.

    While it is true there have been no reports of large anti-Biden rallies or marches, this is also because the election has not officially been called yet. Also, if this is a dig at the Women’s March, it is not an effective one, as that rally was entirely peaceful. Those marching were not doing anything other than practicing their First Amendment rights.

    If it is instead a dig a Black Lives Matter protests, that should also be addressed. The Black Lives Matter protests were peaceful. Riots were incited by small groups of people, and the violence that Trump claims was so widespread in the movement is a false narrative. Protestors didn’t start the violence, the police did. Trump only further incited fear and aggression with his terrible policies and rhetoric surrounding race relations.

    So ultimately, while there have been no riots in the streets from Trump supporters over Biden’s election, this does not invalidate other left-leaning social movements. Those marches, protests, and rallies took place because people feared for their lives. The people who participated were scared their rights would be taken from them, so they took action.

    Biden’s inauguration holds none of the same fear. Biden has never been endorsed by the KKK. Biden never told white supremacist groups to “stand back, but stand by.” Biden never proudly admitted to groping and sexually harassing women. Biden never appointed a Supreme Court Justice who expressed interest in overturning gay marriage. Biden does not represent right-wing bigotry.

These times have been difficult for everyone. Our country is more polarized than ever, and this election caused lots of stress for every citizen. It is finally over. However, this does not mean we are done. We must continue to have hard conversations with family members, friends, and peers if we want to change our communities. So, it is best to be educated. When someone begins spouting false information they heard on a disreputable news site, it is our responsibility to have a discussion with them on the truth. So, hopefully, this article will be helpful this coming holiday season. I wish you the best of luck. 

 

Sources:

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54811410 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/08/health/biden-pandemic-plan/index.html

https://joebiden.com/build-back-better/

https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/2c298bda-8aee-4923-84a3-9...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-45827430

https://www.them.us/story/donald-trump-worst-lgbtq-attacks