American Voter: Matthew Pinna

Al Jazeera asks the same key questions about the presidential election to voters across the United States.

Matthew Pinna's top election issue is the economy [Courtesy of Matthew Pinna]
Matthew Pinna's top election issue is the economy [Courtesy of Matthew Pinna]

US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are battling for the presidency in a sharply divided United States.

Trump has been focusing on “law and order”, Biden has been trying to strike a conciliatory note. The Black Lives Matter movement, and whether Trump will release his taxes are among the many issues Americans will consider when choosing their president.

As the hotly contested election approaches, Al Jazeera has been speaking to voters across the US asking nine questions to understand who they are supporting and why.

Matthew Pinna

[Courtesy of Matthew Pinna]
Age: 20

Occupation: Student

Residence: Cook County, Illinois 

Voted in 2016 for: N/A

Will Vote in 2020 for: Donald Trump

Top Election Issue: The Economy 

Will you vote? Why or why not?

“Yes, I will be voting this upcoming election. I really don’t feel an overwhelming compulsion to vote, but I do believe voting should be something one does as a member of a democracy – it’s a civic duty. But I also wouldn’t feel bad if someone decided not to vote. It’s their choice.”

What is your number one issue?

“I would say the economy. As a senior in college, I would say the job market is one of the most pressing things on my mind as well as my fellow classmates’. And so, ensuring that there’s an economy out there after I graduate – as well as for my parents – it’s very important for me.”

Who will you be voting for?

“I’ll be voting for Donald Trump in the upcoming election.”

Is there a main reason you chose your candidate?

“Economically I would say that I favour his [policies]. I like what he’s done with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – I felt that was one of the crowning achievements of his four years, and I feel like four more years of Trump would bring in similar economic gains that we’ve seen under that act.”

Are you happy with the state of the country?

“I would say I’m happy, in terms of how it’s doing economically. I would say in terms of civility, certainly, our country seems to be a bit divided. But I would also note that a lot of that appears to be the work of the media or whatnot, because as a person who goes to school with a variety of people of all different walks of life, as a person who attended Marine Corps Officer Candidate School this summer, I got to see a bunch of people of all different backgrounds, and everyone does get along. It’s just those rare examples that are seen on the media that tend to be blown out of proportion and made to seem as if they’re indicative of our entire culture.”

What would you like to see change?

“I’ll speak towards Trump and say that I would like to see some more ‘presidential behaviour’. I would say [that] during the first four years … or especially as he entered office, I was a fan of his unorthodox methods. But now that he’s become a more established figure within politics, it would be nice to see some decorum and some measured calmness when it comes to handling issues, especially like the coronavirus epidemic.”

Do you think the election will change anything?

“I don’t think so, no. At the end of the day, we’re still America, and we’re still good people who still want to do right by our families. And at the end of the day, that’s still going to be there, regardless of who’s in office.”

What is your biggest concern for the US?

“I’d say [my] biggest concern for America would be foreign policy-wise when it comes to looking at China. I would say China’s growth as an economic power, as well as military power, is probably the most concerning thing for America to keep an eye on. And I think [China] and not Russia, should be the focus of our foreign policy efforts.

“Not entirely dissimilar to the Cold War, you have two competing ideologies here – one more, although communist in name, that appears to [have] elements [of a] significantly more authoritarian government – and especially when you compare that with our more civil rights, freedom-based system we have here. Those two ideologies certainly clash and we’re already seeing conflicts in the China Sea … So we’re coming to some sort of a head, it seems, and it’s only a matter of time I feel before something happens.”

Is there anything we haven’t asked about the election that you want to share?

“I would say an important aspect of the election is really looking at, less so much the Republican Party, but more so looking at what this implication means for the Democratic Party going forward. Especially in the primaries, [we] saw a significant split in ideology – on one hand, you have Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, you have Joe Biden, who essentially is the definition of establishment when it comes to his ties with the Obama administration and his long-lasting tenure with the party.

“Seeing what happens this election, whether he wins or loses, is going to have some pretty severe ramifications for the makeup of the party going forward. And I would just say to people to keep an eye out – in the nascent and progressive wing of the party – and see what happens with that. What I see is an ongoing power struggle between the establishment and the progressives.”

Source : Al Jazeera

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