With the 2020 election coming, eager teens across Georgia will be able to vote and many will have the ability to choose the nation’s next leaders. With less than a year before the first Democratic primary on Feb. 3, 2020, in Iowa, the Democrats have begun the process of selecting their candidate to run against incumbent Republican President Donald Trump in the general election.
Christian Dent, 16, a student at Strong Rock Christian School is leaning toward Joe Biden in this election. He’s looking for a candidate with moderate views and is a well-known who will be an ally to the American middle-class.
Dent was previously a Republican, who canvassed for prominent Georgia candidates like former Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle. Although he supported Cagle in the 2018 Georgia Governor Republican primary, he was unfavorable of President Donald Trump, and the victory of current Governor Brian Kemp made him feel further abandoned by the Republican party.
“After the Trump endorsement is when we fell apart,” explained Dent. “That’s when I really realized the Republican party is dominated by Trump’s policy. It’s just everything. It lives and breathes Trump. It’s not the Republican party like it was 10 years ago. It’s the Trump Party.”
President Donald Trump has unified the Republican party into the backing and aligning under his leadership. Although popular among an overwhelming number of Republicans, Dent is one of the defectors of the party. He sees President Trump’s behavior and rhetoric on social media as a major flaw.
“He’s doing diplomacy by tweet,” says Dent. “And it’s irresponsible, it’s childish, and it’s degrading the moral fabric of the country.”
James Hernandez, 17, a student at Westminster Schools, is undecided in the 2020 race. He is looking for a candidate with moderate views and who listens to the American people.
“I would consider voting for [Harris or Biden] over Trump just because of the harsh immigration policies that Trump has. And when Trump said his harsh immigration policies in 2016, no one really expected him to actually follow through on them,” Hernandez said.
Like many Americans, Hernandez sees socialism as a negative to the country. As he observes foreign nations and their failure of socialism. Hernandez, who is part Cuban, sees the ideology that his grandparents once escaped from as a threat.
“I do not support socialism because historically it’s caused other countries such as Cuba and Venezuela to go down in terms of their economic prosperity and to go down in terms of the happiness of their citizens and the overall standards of living honestly,” he said.
Hernandez also has concerns with the Democratic party. He believes their failure to unify and economic policies are not beneficial to the American people, and it doesn’t help them that the economy has been successful under Trump’s economic policies.
“In terms of socialism, Trump’s plans on the economy are a lot better than the Democrats. The fact that the stock market has gone up and unemployment has gone down reflects that Trump has improved the economy. Another thing is Democrats, overall, don’t seem able to communicate with Republicans. And I don’t know if they’d actually be able to pass any of their legislation just because they seem to criticize people who disagree with them,” he said.
Colin Linton, 15, a student at Walnut Grove High School, says his main concerns are protecting the Southern border, education, and the current status of the Democratic party. He’s supporting President Trump in the 2020 election because of his economic policies.
“I love the business approach he takes to the country,” says Linton. “It has done wonders for our economy.”
Linton is a solid Republican and is excited to back Trump in the 2020 election. Although he does believe many of President Trump’s most controversial Tweets and words to be somewhat unnecessary, he sees it as a calculation that will ensure his success.
“Trump has made some nonsensical smart comments, but it’s all a tactic to distract the Democrats so he can accomplish what he wants without them interfering,” said Linton. “The media eats the stuff up and it always will, but if the majority of the people check their facts and formulate their own opinions then they will see what Trump is doing and respect him for it.”
Linton believes the Democratic party is in serious turmoil and the party’s ideologies get more and more outrageous. Because of this, he couldn’t name any Democrats that would have a chance of winning that he would support and has decided to continue to support Trump.
Said Linton: “I am confident President Trump can win again because the Democratic party this year is filled with people who want everyone to think exactly how they do.”
Linton added, “Their opinions and policies are just downright outrageous. They think that everyone who doesn’t think exactly the same as they do is wrong. With those types of people in the Democratic party, it makes President Trump as the best choice for our nation.”
Although Linton is a staunch Trump supporter, he doesn’t find supporting a Democrat with moderate views is impossible. In fact, quite the opposite. Linton’s three requirements were actually quite common in the Democratic party only 15 years ago.
“I will support any candidate who has views that are knowledgeable and that I agree with,” said Linton. “To earn my support, a Democratic candidate would have to support the 2nd Amendment and they’d have to know that we can’t handle all [of] these people illegally crossing the border.”
In this next election, a lot of Americans are looking for a moderate candidate who can try to unite the American people. Although the economy is improving under President Trump, his rhetoric could potentially compromise the backing and support from moderate Americans and he has consistently failed at uniting Americans. The Democrats aren’t safe either. President Trump has the incumbent advantage, has raised more than $30 million for his 2020 campaign so far, and is nearing his highest approval ratings in two years. The multitude of Democratic primary candidates may show a lack of unity and confuse the American people.
In order to secure the victory, Trump and the Democrats must appeal to all Americans instead of their loyal factions and get the nation’s most important problems solved.
Above photo: Christian Dent, who has supported both Democrats and Republicans in the past, believes Joe Biden can win the 2020 presidential race.
Terell Wright, 16, is a VOX Media Cafe summer intern and teen staff member. He primarily covers politics for VOX ATL and is also a contributor for the Walton Tribune.