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Opinion: Political Primaries Shed Light on Distinguishing Policies Throughout Their Campaigns 

 By Kayla Brogan and Riley Hendrickson 




 

In the upcoming 2024 election, the predicted primary candidates will be Donald Trump (Republican) and Joe Biden (Democratic), who will be facing each other with opposing policies. Former President Donald Trump is laying out an aggressive and ambitious policy agenda for a second term during his 2024 campaign rallies, while President Joe Biden is facing fierce political headwinds at the start of 2024 as he tries to convince constituents that he has created a growing economy and a more prosperous America during his tenure. 

Trump and Biden continue to differ in opinion on an extreme level towards education, women’s rights, and immigration policies. 


Former President Trump explains that “there’s no failed policy more in need of urgent change than our government-run education monopoly.” During his presidency, he pursued a contentious approach to education policy, often advocating for reduced federal involvement in the education system and seemed to favor privately run educational institutions. His policy ultimately supports the notion that private education is superior to government-run education. His beliefs in decentralizing education governance and giving more power to state and local communities aim to reclaim the redirection of resources towards initiatives such as school choice and voucher programs.  


Conversely, President Biden has expressed a commitment to supporting and funding public schools through various initiatives. By expanding access to mental health support, academic success programs, and resources to underserved schools and students, Biden aims to create a more equitable and supportive public-school environment. He has championed initiatives to boost teacher salaries, expand access to high-quality pre-kindergarten programs, and invest in technology and resources to enhance learning outcomes. By proposing targeted funding and support to underserved communities, Biden has prioritized addressing systemic inequities in education. His commitment to strengthening public schools reflects his belief in the power of education to drive social mobility and economic prosperity while fostering a more inclusive and cohesive society.  


Regarding women’s rights, Trump leans farther towards the right as opposed to Biden who leans more towards his Democratic values. During his final presidential debate against Joe Biden on October 22, 2020, former President Trump stated, “I feel that the justices that I am going to appoint – and I’ve named 20 of them – the justices that I’m going to appoint will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bend.” During his time in office, the justices he appointed were widely seen as likely to undermine reproductive rights, including access to abortion, which has been a central issue in the fight for women's rights. In one of his first acts as president, Trump reinstated the Global Gag Rule, a destructive policy that restricts access to women’s abortion services worldwide. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a quote during the young presidency saying, “President Trump is sending a clear message with this appointment as he wraps up his first 100 days in office: this administration is willing to sacrifice women’s dignity and health and advance an extremist political agenda.” During his presidency, Trump’s attitudes and policies toward women in the workplace were also scrutinized. He signed legislation that promoted economic empowerment and appointed women to prominent positions in the workplace.  


Although Biden has remained consistent throughout his presidency and has advocated for women’s equality and reproductive rights, his past tells us otherwise. When Joe Biden was a U.S. senator, he voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. The decision, he said, was “the single most difficult vote I’ve cast as a U.S. senator.” However, his views have changed from those of a 30-year-old male entering the Senate to those of the current president of the U.S. During his time as Vice President under Barack Obama, Biden played a key role in shaping policies aimed at advancing women's rights. He was a vocal supporter of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which aimed to address pay discrimination based on gender. Biden also supported the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a landmark piece of legislation aimed at preventing and responding to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women. He also pledged to address the gender pay gap during his presidency. 


Shockingly, on February 29th, 2024, Biden invited Trump to work together to lobby Congress on an immigration bill as both candidates had visited the border. While their issues differ on the levels of immigration, they both have a common belief that border patrol needs more resources to ensure the safety of the country. “You know, and I know it’s the toughest, most efficient, most effective border security bill this country’s ever seen,” Biden said. “So instead of playing politics with the issue, why don’t we just get together and get it done?” Although this makes it seem like they are working together for the safety of the country, Biden advocates for more housing for migrants and undocumented immigrants, whereas Trump is infamously known for wanting to build a wall to prevent illegal immigration. 


As the upcoming election approaches and looks like it will be a face-off between Trump and Biden once again. If you are turning eighteen this year, here are some resources around Westchester to help you cast your vote for the first time at the ballots.


 

 

 

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