Recently, I ordered a bumper magnet for my car that reads “Literally Anyone Else 2020.” It hasn’t arrived yet, but I can’t wait to reveal my 2020 choice to all of Provo. As a political science major, I should probably have a more nuanced opinion, but at this point, I will rally behind just about anyone that stands a chance against beating Trump. As society moves into a new decade and the U.S. faces enormous challenges as a nation, we need a leader in the White House.
One area where we need a model leader is foreign affairs. The past few years are rife with botched foreign policy situations. Backing out of the Iran deal, the ceaseless trade war with China, failed nuclear talks with North Korea, abandonment of the Kurds, and Trump’s numerous spats with foreign leaders have marred America on the national stage. Just last week at the NATO summit, a group of notable world leaders were caught laughing at President Trump’s behavior. Many ally leaders have difficulty respecting and trusting the unpredictable Donald Trump, complicating diplomatic efforts. While there is merit and popular support to the argument of America being spread too thin across the world, the Trump Administration’s approach to putting “America First” is hurting international friendships and increasing tensions in other parts of the world. Our next President needs to maintain America’s foreign obligations and strengthen ties with our allies so we have leverage against threatening states like China and Russia.
Another area of concern is the example America is setting for the rest of the world. While many look to America as an exemplary nation that is willing to stand for what is right, we are completely shown up by other states when it comes to climate change. Despite strong scientific and visible evidence of climate change like stronger and more frequent natural disasters such as forest fires and hurricanes, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, making it the only country of 200 signees to back down. Since the U.S. carries so much influence and power, experts say the U.S. withdrawal is “holding the world back .” Domestically, the Trump administration has tried to roll back emissions standards that limit the amount of carbon power plants and vehicles can spew into the air, and picked fights with states on their right to limit carbon emissions. Without significant action, climate change will only increase in severity, eventually pushing humanity past the point of no return. Now is the time to act on climate change, and our next President can begin by rejoining the Paris Agreement and reducing U.S. carbon emissions.
Finally, we need a President that is a role model. Someone who treats others with respect, and lives up to the weighty responsibility innate in the role of president. What message does it send to the world and young Americans when the leader of the free world goes on unbridled Twitter rants, calling his opponents names and hurling explicit insults? Unfortunately, this appears to be the new normal. How ironic is it that Melania Trump’s “Be Best” campaign aims to curb bullying? Trump’s antics only exacerbate partisan divides that are detrimental to a functioning democracy.
Four years of Trump is enough–we need change. America must resume its leadership role on the world stage, and this can only happen if we elect someone capable of competent, professional leadership.
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