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.
Occupation: Media Consultant
Residence: New York, New York
Voted in 2016: Donald Trump
Will Vote in 2020: Donald Trump
Top Election Issue: Law and Order
Will you vote? Why or why not?
“Yes, I will be voting because this is one of the most critical elections in our lifetime.”
What is your number one issue?
“My number one issue heading into this election is the safety of our country and protecting people in our cities. I think law and order is crucial. Without it, we really can’t function as a society, and everything stems from protecting our citizens and making sure they feel safe on our streets.
“I’m from New York City — born and raised — and the fact that crime in Manhattan has risen over 300 percent in the last few months … it’s really problematic, and for women, especially, to feel safe in their cities and feel like they are protected, I think that’s very important.”
Who will you vote for?
“I will be voting for Donald Trump.”
Is there a main reason you chose your candidate?
“I picked President Trump as my candidate because I trust him, I know where he stands. He’s very authentic, unlike his opponent, Joe Biden. We know what he’s thinking and whether or not we agree with everything he says on Twitter, he’s at least transparent.
“We don’t necessarily know where [Joe Biden] stands, he could be easily swayed by anyone. Not to mention the fact that Kamala Harris, his running mate, is very far left to many of his positions. It’s very scary to think that he doesn’t know what he stands for. And it’s clear in a lot of the comments he makes — he tends to flip-flop. At least with Donald Trump, we know where he stands, we know he’ll keep his promises as he did in his first term. And I believe that’s very important.”
Are you happy with the state of the country?
“I’m not happy with the state of the country right now, because I believe that the mainstream media and big tech has divided our country tremendously. I’m hoping that things will get better after the election. I do not blame Donald Trump for this. And I believe that, unfortunately, we’re at a point where ideology has become incredibly divisive when it doesn’t need to be.
“I would say I’m more of a moderate conservative, and I have friends across the aisle, and I think it’s very important to speak with many people from different perspectives. It’s very, very sad that the media is trying to make us enemies. This is something that we should not allow, because we already have so many enemies across the globe, for example, China is a huge problem in our country. They’ve been interfering with our information, our technology, not to mention the human rights abuses over there.
“We should really be focusing on unifying our nation and I believe Donald Trump, despite what the media says, is actually the candidate to do that. I think that he has done the best he could given the circumstances with coronavirus. He did close the border at the appropriate time. We don’t even know what Joe Biden would have done had he been under the pressure that Donald Trump was under given the impeachment, given the fact that everyone is trying to destroy him.
“It’s very, very disconcerting to think that he actually has a chance to win in this election. And the state of the country right now, yes, is not great, but it has nothing to do with Donald Trump and what he’s been trying to do. He’s been doing everything he possibly can to keep our economy [running], to keep our country afloat, despite the fact that every single outlet — including even some of the most conservative outlets — [is] trying to tear him down for whatever reason.”
What would you like to see change?
“I would like to see politicians, no matter who they are, on both sides of the aisle, stop playing party politics and think about the people.
“I work with some political candidates who are very authentic, who are young candidates. I always tell them, ‘Let’s put party politics aside and let’s work together to make a better country, because at the end of the day, we are all Americans.’ And that’s what should be unifying us. And I really believe no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, we all fundamentally want our country to be safe. We all want to have equal opportunities, equal rights. And ultimately, whether you’re a democrat or conservative, we want what’s best for our people.
“That’s why I think it’s so important that going forward in order to create change — it’s not even necessarily some of our candidates — it’s really the way we speak to each other as individuals. And I believe that the media, in general, is very divisive, and is trying to destroy our country.”
Do you think the election will change anything?
“I think the election will change a lot of different things, because right now, the rhetoric is so intense, because both sides are trying to tear each other apart. I’m looking forward to after the election, because I hope that people will be calmer and will be able to be more rational about a lot of the decisions that are being made.
“That being said, I will be nervous if Joe Biden does get elected, because, again, we don’t know what he truly stands for, given his track record, given some of the comments he’s made. So, I will have many, many concerns if he is in office. Even his mental capacity at this point is concerning to me.”
What is your biggest concern for the US?
“My biggest concern for the US right now is if Joe Biden becomes elected, he’s compromised, given the recent information we have discovered about his son, Hunter Biden. This information has now been verified by the FBI, and by journalists— they have the information in front of them, they have the emails to prove it. And foreign interference is a huge problem. There’s many, many connections that we’re seeing between Joe Biden and China, Joe Biden in the Ukraine. To think that our president — if he becomes elected president — Joe Biden could potentially be compromised from a national security standpoint is very, very dangerous.”
Is there anything we haven’t asked about the election that you want to share?
“As a conservative woman who lives in New York, there are a lot of misconceptions about your beliefs. And there are a lot of assumptions. Unfortunately, we’re at a stage in life where people like to throw around terms like ‘racist,’[and] ‘homophobic,’ or, you know, even with respect to your religion, to discriminate on those facts, and to think that you believe a certain way because of your politics or because of your religion, or, again, because of your sexual orientation. It’s very unfortunate.
“And that’s why I keep stressing the fact [to not] make assumptions about people’s beliefs. I know Republicans who are gay, I know Republicans who are from various different religions, and who believe different things — you can’t pigeonhole people based on their belief. It’s again, almost like you’re discriminating against someone because of their religion. And it’s very unfortunate, because you should not think that someone’s a bad person because of their ideology. That’s the sad part about the state of the world right now. And I hope this changes and I hope the media tries to bring forth different points of view.
“And I appreciate the opportunity that you’re willing to speak with me as a conservative because I know the media does try to portray conservatives in a certain light and I hope that I’m able to elaborate some of the reasons why conservatives should have a voice and why not all conservatives should be deemed the worst people in the world.”