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October 16 to October 23, 2020

October 16 to October 23, 2020

Are you Voting?
by A.K. 
If you have the power to make a change, why wouldn’t you fulfill your power? This goes along with not voting in elections. Learning through government classes in high school and now in college I’ve come across many explanations on why some people don’t vote in Presidential elections.
1. They don’t think their one vote will have enough power or really won’t make a difference, so why bother?
2. They don’t care or don’t have enough education to have an opinion, or worst they go along with what someone else told them. While reading “Why Millions of Americans Don’t Vote” by Amelia Thomson-DeVeau, she gives pivotal statistics on why Americans don’t vote. The author gives many excuses as to why Americans don’t vote; they range from “Couldn’t get off work, to people who don’t believe in voting”. I’ve always learned that living in the United States we have a privilege of voicing our own opinion and voting. Many countries around the world don’t get that opportunity.Personally just turning 18 in the year of a Presidential Election I’ve asked my peers if they will vote. Most say “no” with a wimpy excuse of them saying “they don’t really care or simply they are too lazy to register to vote.” I think being given the power to act grown up and vote on who will lead our country for the next 4 years is fascinating. You will find me using my power and voting.
Reference: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/non-voters-poll-2020-election/
Former Vice President Biden’s Retirement Proposal
by K.B. 
This report from CNN reviews Biden’s proposal to change 401k retirement savings accounts to give low-income earners a bigger tax break up front. While this sounds like a great idea to the majority of the population, this would mean that people who earn more would see a smaller tax break. I believe that this would only be a minor disadvantage to the wealthy, and a great advantage to lower-income households. If it was the other way around, low income households would be struggling to get by while high income households don’t see that great of a change. Biden is also proposing to establish automatic retirement savings accounts for workers who don’t already get 401ks or pensions from their employers. I think that this is a great idea because it is of my personal belief that everyone who works hard deserves to have a retirement. Many companies or employers don’t always provide many benefits – if at all – to their employees. This would be yet another way to close the wide gap that exists between the upper class and the lower class. While some may argue that many people in the upper class have worked hard to get to where they are, the exact same can be said about people in the lower-class. However, I believe that there should be an equal opportunity for everyone to succeed. 
Reference: “Biden Proposes 401(k) Changes To Give Low-income Savers Bigger Tax Benefits” CNN.com. CNN Politics. Sep 19, 2020. Web. 19 Sep 2020.
In Trump’s Own Words
by M.M. 
According to the article by New York Times called “In His Own Words, Trump on the Coronavirus and Masks”, President Trump has been resentful towards wearing masks. In the beginning of the pandemic, he would not be seen in public with a mask and described them as not very effective and was not advising the public to wear them.The article includes numerous quotes from Donald Trump stating his views on masks, most of his comments are not in support of them. Going into the summer, the article talks about how the president changes his stance on the masks slightly. He is more supportive of the masks and began to wear them when he was in public, although it is clear he has never been fully supportive of masks. It seems because the president does not fully support masks it has been a controversial topic for the public, some people agree with Donald Trump while some agree with the health department. The health department says it is important, but many people are listening to the president who is giving mixed messages involving the importance and effectiveness of masks. Reading this article makes me wonder why the president does not fully support masks if the health department advises them? 
Reference: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-masks.html
Death of Cultural Christianity?
by N.B.
I was really interested in seeing this article because it is putting into words the truth of the cultural shift our country is going through.
I have been aware of the shift in cultures and values that is taking place in our country, and this is the root cause for the decline of Americans identifying as Christians. Based on what I see in my day to day life,I agree with what the data said and believe that the number of Americans identifying as unaffiliated rather than Christian is only increasing as time goes on. I have seen an interesting video describing this process as Generational Replacement which is the process where the older American who were raised in the church and stayed there are passing away and being replaced by the younger generations which are having more people leaving mainline churches and claiming to be unaffiliated.What we are seeing is the slow death of cultural Christianity. With our country as diverse as it is, and the way values are changing it is becoming less popular to the general public to be a Christian. I believe this change can be seen in pretty much any aspect of life now in any sort of community.
Reference link: https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/
Trump losing ground with Voters?
by B.H. 
In the article, “Trump Is Losing Ground With White Voters But Gaining Among Black and Hispanic Americans,” by Geoffrey Skelley and Anna Wiederkehr, it is explained that even though most of president Trump’s votes came from white voters without a college degree, recently, he has been losing these white voters and gaining more Black and Hispanic voters. The article shows past data between President Trump and Hilary Clinton, compared to recent data between Trump and Joe Biden. The data shows that from 2016 to 2020, Trump has lost white voters, gained voters under the age of 45, has lost male voters, and has lost white voters without a college degree. The authors point out that although Trump’s voting demographics have changed significantly since 2016, he has gained more voters that are black and Hispanic. Specifically, black voters between the ages of 18 and 44 and Hispanic voters with a college degree. The authors make it clear that even though these recent changes in polls may seem to shift the election, they do not necessarily influence the overall outcome. Skelley and Wiederkehr assert that neither candidate needs to gain, or even lose voters of a specific demographic. To win the presidential election, Trump needs to do better than his election in 2016, or for Biden to win, he needs to outperform the democratic candidate’s race of 2016.
Reference: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-is-losing-ground-with-white-voters-but-gaining-among-black-and-hispanic-americans/
AOC Plays ‘Among Us’
by J.S. 
On Tuesday two members of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Ilhan Omar held a livestream on Twitch. Here they played the game Among Us, which is probably the most unusual voter outreach event in recent history.
To play the game Among Us, crewmates complete normal tasks on a spaceship while the imposter(s) tries to kill the crewmates without getting caught. In the very first round, AOC was chosen as imposter and since she is completely new to the game, the live stream was fun from the start. This event was an incredible success. It gained about 439,000 viewers watching in real time, and approximately 5.2 million viewers overall. Typically, politicians never gain such a large audience so quickly on media like this. When Donald Trump and Joe Biden held a stream on Twitch for campaign events, total views were between 6,000 and 17,000. This success extended well above their already-established popularity among the younger generation.
While during the stream AOC fretted over having to be the imposter, almost giving herself away while saying ‘nooo’ aloud when she found out she would be the first imposter. In later rounds, she was just a crewmate, where she said she was ‘running so behind’ on her tasks and was surprised when an imposter came and killed her little pink avatar. When it became time to vote for who the players think the imposter is she would state “I’m voting early” and cast her vote for the suspect. She was using every opportunity to stick with the original message.
AOC and Omar are not just normal people playing this popular game, they are members of Congress trying to get people to vote. Doing this, they achieved something most politicians cannot do, they looked like normal people. They were enjoying themselves, accusing each other of being the imposter, cheering when they won, shouting when they lost and saying that they knew all along who the imposter was. AOC has an established online presence and has always engaged the public in an almost-collegial manner.
Like the idea of playing a video game when they both had ‘better thing to do’ has earned her the scorn of other Congressmen, but if you consider the things other candidates do to get people to vote, such as fish fries, baby kissing, and benefit concerts, these candidates go where people are, and in today’s day, people are watching video game streams on Twitch. AOC noticed that there was a game people loved to watch, asked if anyone wanted to play with her and sat down for a few hours to do it with half a million people watching, and at the end, that was cause to the success of it. That, for a little while, the were not politicians, but motivated citizens, just a couple of Twitch streamers playing ‘Among Us’.
Reference: https://www.theguardian.com/games/2020/oct/22/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-ilhan-omar-among-us -twitch-stream-aoc

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