Sosa: America divided cannot stand

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden in the final debate of the 2020 election.

Zoami Calles-Rios Sosa

In just a few days, it will all come to a head. After (almost) four years of the current president, a referendum on him will be held. Regardless of what the outcome is, one thing is for sure: it will have far-reaching consequences. Over 66 million Americans have already voiced their opinion on President Donald Trump through their vote.

The president’s approval ratings are on average (since the beginning of his presidency) 41 percent. The overall average for all presidents from 1938 to the current is 53 percent. Barack Obama had 50 percent.

If we have learned anything about polling people based on opinions is that it doesn’t always pan out. Remember the polls of 2016 when Hillary Clinton was expected to win the United States’ presidency and break the women’s ceiling barrier for the highest office in the land? Yeah, me too. 

Americans have always held different views; this isn’t new to this particular time in our country. In fact, there were times things were just so different that we actually went to war with each other. It was called the Civil War. 

Just like the Civil War, Trump will certainly go down in the history books. The same way many other bad hombres have done so before him. One of the many reasons his supporters elected him was that they wanted to “shake things up.” They wanted to show the middle finger to the current establishment.

Some supporters of Trump in 2016 were hoping he would just burn down the country and we could start from scratch. Some even asked, how much damage could he really do, though? 

A lot.

Let’s start with the tax cuts. 

I will make the disclaimer that I did make use of the raised standard deduction, and I’m grateful it was put in place. The average tax break regular taxpayers got was about $1,600. Anyway, it’s set to expire in 2025 while the corporate rate has come down from 35 percent to 21 percent, and that latter part is permanent. 

The bulk of the tax cuts’ benefits are going to the 96th to 99th percentile of already wealthy people in the country. Just for the record, corporations are not mom and pop shops or even local small to medium businesses, no. They are large, faceless entities that may or may not be owned by Americans and make substantial money.

A study also finds that corporations are investing more after Trump’s tax break with the caveat that they are spending this money overseas, not in the U.S. — hurting the U.S. economy jobs market further. So much for trickle-down economics.

These tax cuts will add nearly $2 trillion to our national debt over the next decade. For reference, our national debt stands at $27.18 trillion, which is $217,934 per taxpayer. 

Then there is the trade war.

The China trade war led to the shrinkage of the manufacturing industry. The loss is an estimated $316 billion by the end of this year to our economy, along with about 300,000 lost jobs and $1.7 trillion losses in U.S. company stock prices. This was from a study done in 2019. You can probably imagine the numbers may be worse due to the pandemic.

Studies show U.S. companies have borne the brunt of the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods. Farmers are in a bind as well. According to a spokesperson for the American Farm Bureau, they “have lost the majority of the $24 billion market.” This was also said prepandemic.

Because of all this winning with this trade war, the feds had to cut the rates not once or twice, but three times in 2019 (once again, pre-COVID-19).

We, taxpayers, are on record to pay $46 billion in welfare payments to farmers because of the trade war. What will happen to all these farmers when we don’t regain the market trade we once had with China? The world is a much different place today than it even was a year ago. 

Just this past month, Chinese neighbor and ally, North Korea tested what “appeared to be one of the world’s largest intercontinental ballistic missiles.” That doesn’t sound good.

Besides economic disasters we have been experiencing (prepandemic and currently), there is the human suffering brought on by the commander in chief.

Five hundred forty-five children haven’t seen their parents in years, and we can’t find their parents. 

Putting children in cages to instill fear in the greatest country in the world and performing surgeries on undocumented women for who knows what nefarious purposes are morally wrong things to do. They have always been wrong and will always be wrong. 

The same is for the careless and inhumane treatment of Black and Brown lives, as we saw with the death of George Floyd or the injustice in the killing of Breonna Taylor. Or the recent murder of Walter Wallace. He just needed help, not a bullet to put him in his grave.

Trump has exposed the wounds of America as no one has before. He has brought our ugliness to the front and shown us what we are capable of doing to our neighbors, with little to no compassion.

With his leadership, we have witnessed the many ugly things that still dominate our country and are deeply embedded in our democracy.

Those people that voted for Trump because we needed change are right. 

We need change; we need inspiration and hope that tomorrow will be a better day than today.

No more empty promises of a better tomorrow; no more of using Americans as pawns in the political games. We need real actions to move forward. To move us ALL forward, not just the people we like. I do not believe Trump is that person to lead us to a better America. 

Frankly, I don’t know if Joe Biden is either, but a million times over, I’m willing to take that chance.

Even if Trump wins again, some of the pain he has created will be irreparable. Some families, friendships, relationships will forever be broken. However, he will need to work hard at making us come together as a country. Somewhere, in his heart or ego or wherever, he will need to find that thing that can help us start healing again. 

A divided America cannot stand, and during these coming times, we will need to stand together. 

The emotional and economic toll of these past years will be devastating in the long term if we can’t find a path forward. He cannot rule just for the “silent majority” as some supporters called themselves. He needs to be the president for all Americans, not just the ones that support him.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

What is the measure of Donald J. Trump as a man?