Teaching your children about the Elections

Okay, lets face it, the last 4 years have been extremely political on everything from human rights to masks, even more so than prior years. Everyone has their views siding typically with the two main parties, Democrats and Republicans, however there are more than just two parties when it comes to running for government positions. I am going to try to make this as unbiased as possible. You as a reader will have your views, which I understand and respect, will teach your children your values. I mean we all do it. But for the purpose of this lesson, I want to Omit actual candidates names when talking about it at first. Testing the knowledge and how the child (specifically mine) feels and understands on all sides. I know my own son knows how our family feels about each candidate but we haven’t discussed in major depth what each one stands for on specific topics. So before we watch the Presidential debate tomorrow night, I want to go through this. This will need to be a multi part article with explaining the different political parties, the different branches in government and more so I will link those once written. If you would like to be notified please subscribe for more information.

History and Importance of Voting

The first presidential election was held on the first Wednesday of January in 1789. No one contested the election of George Washington, but he remained reluctant to run until the last minute, in part because he believed seeking the office would be dishonorable. Only when Alexander Hamilton and others convinced him that it would be dishonorable to refuse did he agree to run.

Before the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment, there was no separate ballot for president and vice president. Each elector cast two votes for president. The candidate with the largest number of electoral votes won the presidency, and the runner-up became vice president.

Why Vote

Because the Constitution did not specifically say who could vote, this question was largely left to the states into the 1800s. In most cases, landowning white men were eligible to vote, while white women, black people, and other disadvantaged groups of the time were excluded from voting (known as disenfranchisement). While no longer explicitly excluded, voter suppression is a problem in many parts of the country, as some politicians try to win reelection by limiting the number of specific populations of voters, such as African Americans.

It was not until the 15th Amendment was passed in 1869 that black men were allowed to vote. But even so, many would-be voters faced artificial hurdles like poll taxes, literacy tests, and other measures meant to discourage them from exercising their voting right. This would continue until the 24thAmendment in 1964, which eliminated the poll tax, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which ended Jim Crow laws. Women were denied the right to vote until 1920, when the long efforts of the women’s suffrage movement resulted in the 19th Amendment.

Your vote may not directly elect the president, but if your vote joins enough others in your voting district or county, your vote undoubtedly matters when it comes to electoral results. Most states have a “winner take all” system where the popular vote winner gets the state’s electoral votes. There are also local and state elections to consider. While presidential or other national elections usually get a significant voter turnout, local elections are typically decided by a much smaller group of voters.

How the Presidential Election works:

The election of the president and the vice president of the United Statesis an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the fifty U.S. states or in Washington, D.C., cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the Electoral College.

These electors then cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, for president, and for vice president. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes (at least 270 out of 538, since the Twenty-Third Amendment granted voting rights to citizens of D.C.) is then elected to that office. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes for president, the House of Representatives chooses the most qualifying candidate for the presidency; if no one receives an absolute majority of the votes for vice president, then the Senate elects the vice president.

The votes cast during an election for a candidate or about an issue. Whichever candidate or decision about an issue gets the most votes has won the popular vote. (U.S. president and vice president are determined by an Electoral College vote.)

A Candidate must be:

  • been born in the US
  • be at least 35 years old
  • have lived in the US for at least 14 years

Candidates Responses

Coronavirus

Candidate 1: Opposes a national requirement on mask wearing and will leave it up to local and state government

Wants to provide Free Coronavirus testing but leaves it up to the state governments on their plan

Supports a virus

supports opening schools amid the pandemic but will withhold from areas who will not

Would Withdraw from the World Health Organization

Candidate 2: Would mandate masks for public areas and events

Supports nationwide testing and contract tracing, would double down on the effort and would provide federal funding to help

supports an accelerated vaccine that is safe

supports reopening schools based on local conditions if it is safe. Asks Congress to help provide emergency funding to make it necessary, including proper protective equipment

Would not withdraw from the World Health Organization and reverse the decision to do so

Economy and Trade

Candidate 1: Unclear on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour

Supports a United States-Mexico-Canda Trade

Supports Made in America, will sign that certain essential medicine and medical supplies will be manufactured domestically

Does not support the federal reserve to operate independently of political pressure. Wants the federal reserve to lower interest rates

Supports the up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for workers

Wants to withdraw from the Trans- Pacific Partnership trade

Supports Tarriffs on goods from China

Does not support reparations to descendants of enslaved people

Candidate 2: Supports raising the minimum wage and ending low wages for tipped workers and people with disabilities

Supports a United States-Mexico-Canada trade but thinks the trade deal needs improvements

Supports Made in America and proposes to penalize American companies for moving manufacturing and service jobs over sees when selling their products within the USA. Will ask for the federal government to spend $400 billion for the next 4 years on materials and services and more money on research and development for electric cars, AI and other technology

Doesn’t think anyone, no matter their position, should be commenting about an institution that needs to be independent to fulfill its purpose

Supports universal paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave

Wants to renegade the Trans – Pacific Trade deal

Wants to reevaluate Tariffs on goods from China

Isn’t sure on supporting reparations to descendants of enslaved people and wants to study it better before deciding

Taxes and Entitlements

Candidate 1: Does not support extending $600 a month on federal unemployment insurance supplement but does agree to $300 only to those making more than $100 per week on unemployment by their state

Unclear on cutting social security

Supports the 201 GOP tax cut, gives major corporations tax cuts

Does not support increasing capital gains taxes, thinking of cutting it

Does not support increasing corporate tax rate and would lower it

Supports opportunity zones, which create tax incentives to encourage investment in struggling communities

Candiate 2: Unclear on his support of the extension of $600 per month federal unemployment insurance supplement. He says yes but not sure on the amount

Does not support cutting Social Security but has suggested changes

Does not support the 2017 GOP tax cut and would reverse the decision. Would make it so that anyone earning less that $400,000 would not get an tax increase

Supports increasing capital gains taxes, infant wants to double the rate

Supports increasing the Corporate Tax rates, and would increase it

Would Reforms the opportunity zones, which create tax incentives to encourage investment in struggling communities

Health Care

Candidate 1: Does not Support Affordable Health Care Act, would offer a replacement

Has made it unclear, he said he wants to protect people with pre existing conditions but hasn’t made it clear on how

Does not support a public health insurance option for government financed care

Does not support lowering the Medicare eligibility age

Does not support the medicaid expansion

Supports right-to-try legislation, which allows patients with life-threatening diseases or conditions to have access to experimental drugs or procedures

Supports importing certain prescription drugs from Canada, where they are sold at a lower cost

Does not support allowing undocumented immigrants to get insurance through Medicaid or other public insurance programs, wants to bloc them from becoming eligible tax payer funded welfare, healthcare and free college tuition

Candidate 2: Supports the Affordable Health Care Act

Supports requiring health insurance to cover preexisting conditions

Support a public health insurance option for government financed care and would build on to it creating more options

Supports lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60

Supports the medicaid expansion

Unclear on supporting right-to-try legislation, which allows patients with life-threatening diseases or conditions to have access to experimental drugs or procedures

Supports importing certain prescription drugs from Canada, where they are sold at a lower cost

Supports allowing undocumented immigrants to get insurance through Medicaid or other public insurance programs

Criminal Justice

Candidate 1: Does not support ‘defunding’ the police

Does not support ending qualified immunity, which shields police from lawsuits

Supports lowering mandatory minimum prison sentences

Does not support federal legalization of recreational marijuana. will leave it up to the states

Supports the death penalty

Supports privatizing prisons

Supports eliminating cash bail

Candidate 2: Does not support ‘defunding’ the police, wants to add $300 million a year on community policing initiatives and reforms

Wants to reform ending qualified immunity, which shields police from lawsuits

Would eliminate lowering mandatory minimum prison sentences

Does not support federal legalization of recreational marijuana but would decriminalize it

Does not support the death penalty

Does not support privatizing prisons and encourages the federal usage of them

Does not support eliminating cash bail

Voting and Government

Candidate 1: Supports quickly filling the Supreme Court vacancy following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death

Does not support adding more seats to the Supreme Court

Supports vote-by-mail but only under some circumstances

Supports voter ID laws, which require voters to show identification at the polls

Does not support restoring voting rights for people convicted of felonies who have completed their sentences

Does not support statehood for Washington, D.C

Does not support statehood for Puerto Rico

Unclear on supporting the elimination of the Senate filibuster

Supports congressional term limits

Does not support eliminating the electoral college

Candidate 2: Does not support quickly filling the Supreme Court vacancy following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death

Does not support adding more seats to the Supreme Court

Supports vote-by-mail

Does not support voter ID laws, which require voters to show identification at the polls

Supports restoring voting rights for people convicted of felonies who have completed their sentences

Supports statehood for Washington, D.C

Supports statehood for Puerto Rico but thinks Puerto Ricans should decide

Supports eliminating the Senate filibuster but only as a last resort

Does not support congressional term limits

Does not support eliminating the electoral college

Foreign Policy

Candidate 1: Somewhat supports committing to NATO

Supports withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban

Supports the Israel-United Arab Emirates peace deal

Supports moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

Does not support Iran nuclear deal

Does not acknowledges that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign

Does not support ending assistance for the Saudi-led war in Yemen

Supports direct talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, without prior concessions

Supports current restrictions on U.S.-Cuba relations

Supports the creation of Space Force

Supports increasing the Defense Department budget from current levels

Candidate 2: Supports committing to NATO

Supports withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban

Supports the Israel-United Arab Emirates peace deal

Thinks its complicated to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

Supports Iran nuclear deal but only if Iran returned to compliance

Acknowledges that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign

Supports ending assistance for the Saudi-led war in Yemen

Does not support direct talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, without prior concessions

Does not support current restrictions on U.S.-Cuba relations

Unclear on supporting the creation of Space Force

Does not support increasing the Defense Department budget from current levels

Climate and Environment

Candidate 1: Does not believe climate change is real and recent warming is largely driven by human activity

Does not support an active role for the federal government in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and will withdraw us from the Paris Climate Accord

Does not support rejoining the Paris agreement

Does not support banning fracking

Supports fossil fuel extraction in public water and on public land, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Does not support banning fossil fuel exports

Supports Keystone XL pipeline

Supports nuclear power

Candidate 2: Believes climate change is real and recent warming is largely driven by human activity

Supports an active role for the federal government in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and introduced the Green New Deal

Supports rejoining the Paris agreement and will encourage countries to increase their commitment

Does not support banning fracking but would end new drilling on public land

Does not support fossil fuel extraction in public water and on public land, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Unclear on his support banning fossil fuel exports

Does not support Keystone XL pipeline

Open to supporting nuclear power

Immigration

Candidate 1: Supports ‘zero tolerance’ policy that led to family separations at the border

Supports building additional wall on the U.S.-Mexico border

Does not support a moratorium on deportations

Supports banning sanctuary cities

Supports the United States accepting fewer than 50,000 refugees per year

Supports increasing the number of high-skilled immigrants but not during the pandemic

Candidate 2: Does not support ‘zero tolerance’ policy that led to family separations at the border

Does not support building additional wall on the U.S.-Mexico border

Supports a moratorium on deportations

Does not support banning sanctuary cities

Does not support the United States accepting fewer than 50,000 refugees per year

Supports increasing the number of high-skilled immigrants but after reform

Abortion

Candidate 1: Supports nominating antiabortion justices to the Supreme Court

Does not support additional abortion restrictions

Supports that there should there be restrictions on late-term abortions

Candidate 2: Does not support nominating antiabortion justices to the Supreme Court

Does not support additional abortion restrictions

Supports public funding for abortions

Supports that there should there be restrictions on late-term abortions

Education

Candidate 1: Does not support making public colleges tuition-free

Does not support universal prekindergarten

Supports federal funding to send students to private schools

Does not support banning charter schools

Supports cross-examination of accusers of sexual assault at colleges and universities

Candidate 2: Supports making public colleges tuition-free but only for families making less that $125,000

Supports universal prekindergarten

Does not support federal funding to send students to private schools

Supports banning charter schools but only the for – profit charters

Does not suppors cross-examination of accusers of sexual assault at colleges and universities

Gun Control

Candidate 1: Does not support a federal assault weapons ban

Does not support a widespread, mandatory program for confiscating guns

Does not support requirement for gun owners to register their firearms

Unclear on his supporting of requiring background checks on every gun purchase

Supports banning rapid-fire rifle attachments known as bump stocks

Candidate 2: Supports a federal assault weapons ban

Does not support a widespread, mandatory program for confiscating guns. Does support state level red flag laws and a voluntary buy back program on assault weapons and high capacity magazines

Supports requirement for gun owners to register their firearms but only for assault weapons

Supports requiring background checks on every gun purchase

Supports banning rapid-fire rifle attachments known as bump stocks

LGBTQ Rights

Candidate 1: Has given many mixed messages on his supporting of same-sex marriage

Supports ban on transgender people in the military

Does not supporting extending federal anti-discrimination protections to gay and transgender people

Candidate 2: Supports same-sex marriage

Does not support the ban on transgender people in the military

Supports extending federal anti-discrimination protections to gay and transgender people

So revealing which candidates are which, Candidate 1 is Donald Trump and Candidate 2 is Joe Biden.

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