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US Presidential Election 2020 (by Moss )

As you all probably know, the US presidential election is right around the corner. Election day is just two weeks away: On Tuesday 3rd of November, it will be time for Americans to decide who will be the next president of the United States. If you do not feel up to date with what is going on – fret not! This article will shed some light on how the American political system works, who the candidates are, and what issues are being discussed in the run-up to the election. By the end of this article, you will hopefully be more informed about how things work, and be ready to follow what happens in the days leading up to election day, all the way until ballots have been counted and we have a result.

So, without further ado, let us start by looking into how the American political system works. In the US, the political system is comprised of three separate branches of power: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. Each of these has its own distinctive features. Starting with the legislative branch, this includes the Congress, which is similar to what is known in many other countries as parliament. The Congress consists of two separate chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The members of both of these chambers are elected by the people in separate elections. The House of Representatives has 435 members, who are elected from each of the 50 states in the US. The number of representatives from each state depends on the population size, which means that the number ranges from 1 in each of the seven smallest states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming) to 53 in the largest state of California. The members (commonly referred to as congresswomen/men) are elected every two years, in between the presidential elections. In addition to the 435 regular members, there are six non-voting members, representing the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the four territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands. In contrast, the Senate's 100 members (senators), two from each state, are elected on six year terms. Elections for the Senate are also held every two years, but only a third of the seats are up for election each time.

Together, the two chambers of the Congress are mainly responsible for making laws and regulating state expenditure. Since the US is a federal state, the 50 states have large autonomy in how they want to govern their state, thus having a lot of freedom when it comes to making laws and enacting policies. Nevertheless, the Congress carries an important role, since it controls financial policies such as taxes, and has the power to propose laws that need to be followed by every state. It also has a significant role as a body with the power to investigate and oversee the executive branch. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate can propose laws, but bills need to be passed in both chambers, and signed by the president, to become laws. The House has the power to initiate impeachment cases against the president and other federal officers, while the Senate decides these cases. While all members of the Congress represent parties, party affiliation is more prominent in the House of Representatives. Since the US employs a majority voting system in most of its states, there are only two main parties: the Democrats and the Republicans. In all except five states, elections work according to the first-past-the-post-principle, meaning that the party that gains the most votes wins all the seats in the state.

Moving on to the executive branch, this is made up of the president and their federal government. The US is a federal presidential constitutional republic, which means that the president is both the head of state and head of government. The government consists of so called cabinets, headed by a minister (known as secretary) responsible for a certain policy area, such as foreign relations, defence and education. The president has a considerable amount of power, being responsible for the appointment of thousands of officials such as ambassadors, the country's foreign policy, as well as being commander-in-chief of the military. The president can also use their veto to block legislation from Congress, although this veto can be overturned with a two-thirds majority in each chamber. The president is elected every four years, and can run for reelection once, meaning it is not possible to serve for more than eight consecutive years. While the president is elected via a public vote, they are not directly elected. Instead, they are elected through the so called electoral college, which has 538 members, known as electors. Usually, all electors in each state pledge to vote for the candidate that receives the most votes in the popular vote, but this does not always happen. Because of this system, it is possible for a candidate to win the popular vote, but not become the president. This happened in the previous election in 2016, where Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but Donald Trump got a majority of the electoral votes and thus became president.

Last but certainly not least, we have the judicial branch, which is made up of all the courts in the country. It includes state and appellate courts in each state, district courts, as well the federal Supreme Court. In the US, the Supreme Court, which is the most powerful entity of the judicial branch, is an important source of societal change. Court verdicts have laid the ground for some of the most important legal changes in the country, such as the end of racial segregation in schools, the right to abortion and the legalisation of same sex marriage. The Supreme Court consists of nine judges, known as justices, who are appointed by the president to serve for the remainder of their lives. It is common to describe each of the Supreme Court justices as either liberal or conservative. This mainly refers to whether the judges make strict or extensive interpretations of the law. As an example, long-time judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away just a few weeks ago, was widely held to be a liberal judge who fought for gender equality and women's rights. The question of who should be appointed to replace her, and when that should happen, has become an important point of contention in the run-up to this election, with the Republicans claiming that current president Trump has the right to make that decision now, while the Democrats maintain that it should wait until after the election.
Moving on to the current election, it has become time to take a closer look at the candidates. On one side, we have Republican candidate Donald Trump, who, together with current vice president Mike Pence, is running for reelection to serve another four years in the White House. On the other side, we have Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who, together with vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, is hoping to become the 46th president of the United States. This is of course not news to you, but you might not be entirely familiar with who these people actually are. First of all, we have Donald Trump, who is mainly known for being a business man and TV personality. Born in Queens, New York on 14th of June 1946, he received a bachelor's degree in economics in 1968, before moving on to become the president of his father's real estate business a few years later. He expanded the company to include the building and renovating of skyscrapers, hotels, casinos and golf courses, and undertook several side ventures such as the Miss Universe pageants. Apart from this, he is known for a TV show called The Apprentice that aired from 2003-2015, in which he sought to find a suitable employee for his company, The Trump Organization. Trump has five children, of whom the three eldest, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, are also businesspeople. Secondly, his running mate, Mike Pence, is a lawyer who served as a member of the House for 12 years. Born in Columbus, Indiana on 7th of June 1959, he has a bachelor's degree in history, and a law degree, which he obtained in 1986. After graduating, he worked as an attorney for a few years, before becoming a conservative radio and television talk show host. He was the governor of Indiana between 2013 and 2017, withdrawing his campaign for reelection in 2016 to become Trump's running mate and subsequently vice president.

Turning to their contenders, we have Joe Biden, who served as vice president for eight years between 2009 and 2017 under former president Barack Obama, and as senator for Delaware between 1973 and 2009. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on 20th November 1942, he received a law degree in 1968, moving on to work as a lawyer before going into politics. In 1972, his wife and one-year-old daughter died in a car crash, a tragedy that would leave him deeply troubled for years to come. While serving as a senator, he commuted three hours by train between his home and Washington D.C. to be able to see his two sons every day. In 2008, he was announced as former president Obama's running mate, subsequently becoming vice president the following year. This year, it was time for him to select his own running mate, Kamala Harris, who is an attorney and senator for California since 2017. Born in Oakland, California on 20th of October 1964, she has a bachelor's degree in political science and economics, and a law degree, which she received in 1989. She started her career as a deputy district attorney in California the following year, working her way up to become district attorney of San Francisco in 2004, before assuming her position as attorney general of California seven years later. Her bid for the vice presidency is historical, as she is the first Jamaican American, and first Indian American, to ever have run for the position of vice president. If elected, she will be the first female vice president in the history of the United States.
Finally, while election day is two weeks away, more than 25 million Americans have already cast their votes by post. The practice of using mail-in voting has mainly been criticised by Trump, who claims that it will lead to widespread voter fraud, a claim he has not been able to back up. Nevertheless, due to the current coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever are opting to vote via mail, with analysts predicting the biggest voter turnout ever as a result. As mentioned above, the question of replacing Bader Ginsburg's position as Supreme Court justice has become an infected issue, with Trump pushing to appoint his candidate, Amy Coney Barrett, before the election, while the Democrats have been talking about “packing the court”, that is, to expand the current number of justices. There are a number of other important issues that have been in the spotlight leading up the election, the most pressing of these likely being the coronavirus pandemic. After news broke of Trump contracting the virus himself, the debate intensified, with both Democrats and Republicans levelling criticism at each other and engaging in heated discussions about the best way to handle the crisis.

Of course, there is a long list of other issues which the Democrats and the Republicans have different takes on, such as the Affordable Care Act, structural racism within the police force, and economic inequalities. Apart from differences in policy, there are a number of other topics that have been topping the headlines the past few weeks. For example, Trump has been criticised for failing to denounce white supremacy and conspiracy theory group QAnon, while Biden has previously faced allegations of sexual assault. Furthermore, it has recently come to light that Trump has engaged in extensive tax evasion, paying only 750$ in income tax between 2016 and 2017. All these issues are bound to have an impact on the outcome of this election, and are therefore likely to be discussed again in the last presidential debate which will be held on Thursday. In the opinion polls, it would seem like Biden is in the lead, having just under a ten percentage point lead against Trump. Of course, you always have to be cautious when looking at these polls, as they do not necessarily reflect the final result. Moreover, the electoral college needs to be taken into consideration, as well as the fact that it is possible to win with very small margins, giving the so called swing states a crucial role in determining the result. Having come to the end of this article, you now hopefully feel a bit more enlightened about the presidential election, and slightly better equipped to understand everything that will happen in the weeks to come.



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Private wrote on 24-10 17:36:
BloomCissi wrote:
MasileinDE wrote:
BloomCissi wrote:
MasileinDE wrote:

I honestly don't get it, is it an insider I'm too stupid to understand or does it not work on my browser. These comments really started to mess with me
If you click on the pictures of Trump and Biden on the top, something happens... 

If it doesn't work, you might need to try on another device/browser. ^^

ok, yeah, I guess it's my browser's fault, I tried clicking anywhere, somehow Mozilla blocks it all for me. But Libertas was so nice to send me the pictures and omg, this is pure gold. Amazingly done!
It didn't work on Firefox for me either, so I think there might be a problem with that specific browser. ^^

But I'm glad you liked them, haha. 
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MasileinDE wrote on 24-10 17:33:
MasileinDE wrote:
BloomCissi wrote:
MasileinDE wrote:
BloomCissi wrote:
I'm glad you like it! 

I honestly don't get it, is it an insider I'm too stupid to understand or does it not work on my browser. These comments really started to mess with me
If you click on the pictures of Trump and Biden on the top, something happens... 

If it doesn't work, you might need to try on another device/browser. ^^

ok, yeah, I guess it's my browser's fault, I tried clicking anywhere, somehow Mozilla blocks it all for me. But Libertas was so nice to send me the pictures and omg, this is pure gold. Amazingly done!
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 24-10 17:30:
BloomCissi wrote:
MasileinDE wrote:
BloomCissi wrote:
Djinn wrote:
lol this is so great. I love the clickable art
I'm glad you like it! 

I honestly don't get it, is it an insider I'm too stupid to understand or does it not work on my browser. These comments really started to mess with me
If you click on the pictures of Trump and Biden on the top, something happens... 

If it doesn't work, you might need to try on another device/browser. ^^
Report | Quote | X
MasileinDE wrote on 24-10 17:04:
MasileinDE wrote:
BloomCissi wrote:
Djinn wrote:
lol this is so great. I love the clickable art
I'm glad you like it! 

I honestly don't get it, is it an insider I'm too stupid to understand or does it not work on my browser. These comments really started to mess with me :d
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 24-10 15:41:
BloomCissi wrote:
Djinn wrote:
lol this is so great. I love the clickable art
I'm glad you like it! 
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Bram wrote on 23-10 23:53:
Bram wrote:
aoc 4 prez
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Djinn wrote on 23-10 20:46:
Djinn wrote:
lol this is so great. I love the clickable art
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 23-10 00:56:
BloomCissi wrote:
Gilmore wrote:
BloomCissi wrote:
Askr wrote:
i accidentally clicked on biden i'm dead
genius..
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Gilmore wrote on 23-10 00:06:
Gilmore wrote:
BloomCissi wrote:
Askr wrote:
i accidentally clicked on biden i'm dead
genius.. 
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Princessroxiee wrote on 22-10 09:18:
Princessroxiee wrote:
My first election and I'm so ready, ya'll pls vote if you're eligible. 
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Private wrote on 21-10 20:42:
Wish wrote:
if trump wins bye. im moving
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Sherb wrote on 21-10 19:30:
Sherb wrote:
everyone, do yourself a favor and click on their pictures.
(and vote him OUT) 
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Sherb wrote on 21-10 19:29:
Sherb wrote:
Teenwitch wrote:
if ur from america like i am P L E A S E vote biden
and remember: a vote for a third/independent party is a VOTE FOR TRUMP. vote him OUT
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Private wrote on 21-10 17:23:
BloomCissi wrote:
Kawaiibeibi wrote:
Kawaiibeibi wrote:
both of them are morons, i hate politics.
lovely article though, full of information.
I'm glad you liked it! 
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Teenwitch wrote on 21-10 16:47:
Teenwitch wrote:
if ur from america like i am P L E A S E vote biden
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Private wrote on 21-10 14:59:
BloomCissi wrote:
Snusmumrikken wrote:
BloomCissi wrote:
If you tried clicking on Biden, you might want to try clicking Trump as well... 
The only true artist on this website. 
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Kawaiibeibi wrote on 21-10 14:07:
Kawaiibeibi wrote:
Kawaiibeibi wrote:
both of them are morons, i hate politics.
lovely article though, full of information.
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Kawaiibeibi wrote on 21-10 14:04:
Kawaiibeibi wrote:
both of them are morons, i hate politics.
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 21-10 01:12:
Referee wrote:
Moon13 wrote:
Kamala Harris is not African-American 
candidate Kamala Harris is the daughter of a Jamaican-born father and an Indian-born mother. 
what a weird comment lol, she considers herself african american because she's american and african. 
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Private wrote on 21-10 01:02:
Referee wrote:
Askr wrote:
i accidentally clicked on biden i'm dead
Omg
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Private wrote on 21-10 00:46:
Snusmumrikken wrote:
BloomCissi wrote:
If you tried clicking on Biden, you might want to try clicking Trump as well... 
The only true artist on this website. 
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 21-10 00:34:
BloomCissi wrote:
Potionsky wrote:
10/10 article, very informative and an easy read. great job
I'm glad you think so! 
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Private wrote on 21-10 00:06:
Potionsky wrote:
10/10 article, very informative and an easy read. great job
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 20-10 23:06:
BloomCissi wrote:
If you tried clicking on Biden, you might want to try clicking Trump as well... 
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 20-10 23:02:
Claire wrote:
Askr wrote:
i accidentally clicked on biden i'm dead
oh my god lmao
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 20-10 23:02:
BloomCissi wrote:
Askr wrote:
i accidentally clicked on biden i'm dead
Report | Quote | X
Moss wrote on 20-10 22:43:
Moss wrote:
Askr wrote:
i accidentally clicked on biden i'm dead
😈😈😈
Report | Quote | X
Askr wrote on 20-10 22:10:
Askr wrote:
i accidentally clicked on biden i'm dead
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 20-10 21:36:
Newborn wrote:
following the american election is like watching reality tv, i’m obsessed 
Report | Quote | X
Private wrote on 20-10 21:36:
Newborn wrote:
following the american election is like watching reality tv, i’m obsessed 
Report | Quote | X
NixieFae wrote on 20-10 21:26:
NixieFae wrote:
Sirenita wrote:
Why is Trump red? Isn't he orange? 
Bah dum tsss
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Moon13 wrote on 20-10 20:46:
Moon13 wrote:
Kamala Harris is not African-American 
candidate Kamala Harris is the daughter of a Jamaican-born father and an Indian-born mother. 
Report | Quote | X
Heaven wrote on 20-10 20:23:
Heaven wrote:
ayo american vpers vote for biden 
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Sirenita wrote on 20-10 20:08:
Sirenita wrote:
Why is Trump red? Isn't he orange? 
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TheWayfaringStranger wrote on 20-10 19:11:
TheWayfaringStranger wrote:
I voted as soon as my ballot came in the mail. I don’t even want to think about what will happen  if trump wins.
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ChubbyBunny wrote on 20-10 18:58:
ChubbyBunny wrote:
Libertas wrote:
Please vote Mr Orange out on Nov 3rd 
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Libertas wrote on 20-10 18:30:
Libertas wrote:
Please vote Mr Orange out on Nov 3rd 
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Moss wrote on 20-10 17:12:
Moss wrote:
New article up! Thank you to Bloom for keeping us updated on the US presidential election!



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