Election 2020: Trump’s divisive tactics


Photo courtesy of Isaac Tiscareno

As President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden both get closer to the election, I think it is necessary to observe their policies, as well as how they interact with each other as political rivals. In the past, even if candidates did not agree with one another, they were at least respectful to each other. However, being divisive and taking advantage of fear does get votes as we saw in Trump’s campaign four years ago. Trump used the possibility of jobs being taken away by illegal immigrants and of guns being taken away to scare people into voting for him.

“Crooked Hillary wants to take your 2nd Amendment rights away. Will guns be taken from her heavily armed Secret Service detail? Maybe not!” Trump said in a tweet on Sep. 17 2016.

This quote doesn’t challenge Hillary’s actual stated policies which were to ban military-grade assault rifles, expand background checks and make sure that mentally ill people are not able to own firearms. Instead, he goes with a somewhat exaggerated view of her stance that she will take away the second amendment’s rights which many people agree would be wrong if that was what she was saying. In the end, many voted for Trump and he won that election.

Currently, Trump is using similar tactics against a new opponent, Joe Biden. Using preposterous statements such as Biden is “pushing the most far-left agenda ever put forward by a presidential nominee.” This shows that he will continue to say over-the-top things that some people believe, which will further divide our nation because the actual issues are not being addressed. 

A reason that Trump ends up saying many incorrect things is that he tweets without any guidance from advisers, and thus ending up saying things that are misleading or even false, as seen with some of his comments on the Coronavirus pandemic. This direct way to communicate to the public at all hours is unprecedented as Twitter was new when former President Barack Obama was running for office and did not use it in nearly the same way Trump does. I think that instead of looking at these over-exaggerated statements, we should try and look at the actual policies and decide who we want to represent us that way.