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.
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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: Financial Services
Residence: Suffolk County, Massachusetts
Voted in 2016 for: Donald Trump
Will Vote in 2020 for: Donald Trump
Top Election Issue: Putting America First
Will you vote? Why or why not?
“Absolutely, I will be voting. If I get hit in a crosswalk tonight, on my way down to the local store and I end up in the hospital, I will crawl out of the hospital bed with my cast on, and on my hands and knees [will] make it in on Tuesday to my polling place to vote.”
“It’s just such an important election. I think a lot of the issues that were critical in 2016 are critical again in 2020. I want to re-elect the president, I want him to continue working on those things that attracted me to him initially.”
What is your number one issue?
“I’m an ‘America First’ voter, and ‘America First,’ encompasses a wide range of topics. But to me, it’s defence, it’s international agreements, under both defence and trade, and then American sovereignty. For far too long, we’ve sent politicians — both Democrat and Republican — to Washington, DC, and they’ve sold out the American people, they’ve sold out our jobs to a globalist order. ‘The party of Davos’ is who they belong to — and they’ve gone and they’ve taken our factories.”
“I want to see President Trump continue renegotiating trade agreements, like the renegotiation of NAFTA, which he was so successful with, and I want to see him continue to get money from Germany, who we have been defending from Russia since World War II, and I want to see him work on the defence of our own nation, which is our borders and a wall and better biometric passports, so that when someone overstays a visa — we have a million people overstaying tourist visas every year— so that those people are asked to leave the country with an escort from an ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officer.”
Who will you vote for?
Is there a main reason you chose your candidate?
“The main reason that I chose President Trump again … is that I believe that he has the clearest vision for an American future and an America where the wonder of this country is upheld for generations to come.”
“For 47 years, Joe Biden has been in Washington, DC, and suddenly, he’s going to do all these things and make all these promises. Well, Donald Trump, in 47 months, has fulfilled almost every single promise that he made on the campaign trail in 2016.
Are you happy with the state of the country?
“I’m extremely happy with the state of the country. I mean, I think things could be better. But we just faced our biggest mortal enemy since the Cold War with Russia. And it came in the form of a virus that could have brought upwards of two million deaths. And every major economist in the world said the US will never get back to the employment rate that it had before the virus, it’s going to take an [awfully] long time.
And where we are today, two days before the election, he has brought back half of those jobs. He’s cut the unemployment rate in half, even greater than that, and all those economists that I referenced, they said we wouldn’t be at the point that we’re at right now until the end of 2021. So I think, with President Trump, if we’re cautious about the virus, and we continue to open up and let people get back to work, we’ve got an opportunity to rebuild the country even better.”
What would you like to see change?
“Specifically, I think, you know, 450 miles of wall is just a start on the southern border. The Mexican cartels are some of the best businessmen in the world. They saw how we combatted the opioid crisis, and so they switched products. And now they’re making more methamphetamine than ever. It’s extremely addictive, and it’s sweeping across American cities, and rural communities, destroying children and families. We need more wall on the southern border.”
“The second thing along those lines, is that we have to stop all these judge-imposed rules that [let] anybody show up with a child and be granted entrance. We just have to get back to having a real border. And the people that want to come in here, they have to have a work visa or a visitor’s visa — we [have] to know who’s in the United States. It’s a dangerous world right now. Look at what happened in France— in Nice and in Lyon over the last few days. There are people that hate us, just for our way of life and our freedom and the faith that we have. We need a strong, strong border, and we need it to protect our citizens. I want to see continued success on the border.”
Do you think the election will change anything?
“I’m thinking that this election will change things. I’m on Twitter and social media, and I see people planning for post-election protests on the left. I would like to hope that President Trump’s victory is so outstanding, and when you look at the crowds, that he’s getting, doing four or five rallies a day — 25,000 people at every rally, and 30,40, 50 percent of the crowd not being Republican — that [the] momentum is with him.”
What is your biggest concern for the US?
“My biggest concern is that in the rush to extinguish ‘Trumpism’ and populism, and the patriotic masses that have kind of swelled to President Trump’s support, big tech [and] big media [will be] determined to squelch the voices of people they disagree with.”
“That’s my biggest concern: freedom. We need the freedom of the press, we need freedom of the social media sites, and we need to let people have an open, fair and honest debate. Because, you know, for years, we sent people to Washington, and we said, ‘please, please do something about illegal immigration. Please do something about our southern border.’ Our children are being hooked on heroin and meth, and nobody did anything. President Trump came along with his simple slogans, like ‘build the wall,’ and he fulfilled his slogans. He did put America First, he did build the wall, he did listen to the people. And I think that’s the greatest thing I’ve seen from any politician in my lifetime.”
Is there anything we haven’t asked about the election that you want to share?
“You know, I’m a Catholic. And I live in a state that’s 45 percent Catholic, but most of the people in the state will be voting for Joe Biden. I live in Massachusetts — part of the ‘coastal elite’. Most of the Republicans here and most of the Democrats here are part of ‘the party of Davos’. They support President Trump, but they’re looking forward to the day when the Republican standard-bearer is somebody like [former South Carolina Governor and US ambassador to the United Nations] Nikki Haley, who’s more willing to go along with the current [demands] of the globalists.”
“When I talked about ‘America First’ being the most important thing for me, one thing that I didn’t talk about, that I consider [to be a part of America First], is abortion. Abortion and the right to life. Because if you don’t have the right to life, you don’t have the right to the First Amendment, to practice your faith, to speak out on issues you care about. You don’t have the right to carry a firearm under the Second Amendment, you don’t have any of the amendments if you don’t have the right to life. Our constitution was based upon the natural law that says all life is sacred. And we have to get back to that in the United States.”