Political Punches Presents: Dems vs. Reps The State of the Nation


Angelo Casale and Victor Diaz

Head -to-Head! Our political pundits draw their party lines in the sand, weighing in on the state of the nation as they see it, and they aren’t pulling any punches! Take a moment to view the country through their eyes and see where you fall on these issues.

Round 1: Foreign Policy

Republican Casale:  The current administration has done a far better job than the previous with its focus on aggressive, straightforward rhetoric. This rhetoric not only bodes well for Americans but for the world as well. What Trump has accomplished proves his critics wrong. In just one year, Trump has begun opening negotiations with North Korea as well as China. What many undermine is how crucial this accomplishment is. Not only does it reinstate the United States as a global superpower, but also a beneficial global partner to many of our allies. Another undermined feat is Trump’s striking ability to strip ISIS of the power and fear they held over the world by eliminating its influence. The reason it bodes well for our allies is because ISIS terrorist influence was predominant in our allies’ nations. By eliminating the threat to our allies, America has now become the beacon of hope and peace to its allies and to the world with its impressive ability to destroy imminent danger when it appears.

Democrat Diaz:  The past year has been a travesty for our foreign policies and America’s future in the global economic and political landscape. The international community is starting to question the actions we have taken as a nation, and our current Commander in Chief is entirely at fault for what is occurring. The isolationist policies that President Trump has put forth have thrown the role the US plays in the world into a complete limbo. Consider the demands by Trump to “negotiate free trade deals” which have been previously beneficial for the US to be a part of – this includes NAFTA, TPP, and Paris Climate Accords – removal from these agreements reduces our world influence and power. Recognizing the capital of Israel in Jerusalem shows that we cannot be the enforcing power of peace that we once were. This sends a message that the US is no longer interested in retaining its position as the negotiating superpower it once was.

Round 2: DACA

Republican Casale:  In his State of the Union Address, Trump first introduced his plan to renew DACA and propose a pathway to amnesty for many illegal immigrants in the country. Conceding to Democratic policies, his plan was shut down by the same politicians who supported the plan to renew DACA, the Democrats. Many believe that the President’s immigration policy is a partisan agreement rather than a bipartisan agreement. What’s disappointing is that the media completely undermined his plan and censored it from the public to continue pushing anti-Trump rhetoric, the same rhetoric that is causing our nation to divide and move backward instead of forward. Many Democrats argue that Trump isn’t giving these young children a chance, yet they turned down Trump’s offer to renew DACA because of stubborness to remain anti-Trump. Furthermore, the Democrats have changed their political agenda from supporting the unfortunate, to disagreeing with everything Trump says and does simply on principle and that’s completely ridiculous.

Democrat Diaz:  The blame has been on the Democrats since the first day President Trump came into office, and it has not changed. The President has, time and time again, come at the Democrats for creating a “broken” immigration system that has plagued this country. The push to blame Democrats has forced the hands of many, and has taken this topic from a bipartisan issue to a partisan issue. President Trump has messed with the lives of over 800,000 children and young people currently living in the United States, brought here without their consent or on their own accord. These kids, human beings, deserve the chance to live in the US, to pursue their dreams in the only country that they know as “home.” They deserve the chance to live here with this policy in place. Any act by President Trump to reduce or remove the DACA program currently in place should be met with fierce opposition, because removing it is just downright immoral.

Round 3: The Economy

Republican Casale:  Over this past year, Trump has been praising his economic accomplishments. Yet, not all have been the result of Trump’s economic reforms. When looking at statistics and graphs, it clearly shows that the economy has been on a rise since the tail end of Obama’s presidency. But what Trump has accomplished is hitting his target GDP. Unlike the Dow Jones, the GDP is the optimal measurement tool in determining the success of an economy. In all eight years, Obama fell short of his projected GDP. In just his first year in office, Trump managed to hit his projected GDP to the decimal. What this accomplishment shows is that Trump’s economy is, in fact, working more successfully than we ever saw during the Obama administration. As for his aluminum and steel tariffs, Trump has opened yet another door of opportunity for American workers. When speaking to many of my classmates, they agree that Chinese steel is weaker and less reliable compared to American Steel. Along with adding more manufacturing jobs, this focus on American-made steel will be a victory for our aging infrastructure – which will eventually be repaired by this new reliable steel. Overall, the economy has become more sound with its major increase in returns for 401k plans and retirement plans, making more Americans feel safer with their investments for the future.

Democrat Diaz:  President Trump’s effect on the economy only lasted a few short days, if any. Yes, you can look at the stock market; a viable analytical means to measure the strength of the economy, and say “Yes! The economy is getting better!” but that shouldn’t be the only barometer, as we learned from former President Obama. Many Republicans ignored the increasing trend of the stock market during his administration; so why not ignore that for President Trump, too? And let’s not start with this “GOP Tax Bill.” This recently passed “accomplishment” by President Trump is just adding more fuel to the economic fire essentially; allowing companies’ CEO’s to benefit themselves while the majority of the workers receive no benefits. These fat cats invest in their own stocks, give the CEO’s huge bonuses, and leave the hard working Americans in the dust of minimum wage. This shows the intention and reality when the private sector dominates the economy. It demonstrates the startling issue of negligence in the economy today: raising up the middle class. President Trump pledged to run the economy like a business. I am surprised our country has not filed for bankruptcy yet.

Round 4: The Media

Republican Casale:  After one year, it’s safe to assume that the media is the cause of our nation’s divide. Unable to give up its anti-Trump rhetoric, the media has failed to give most Americans the truth. Instead, what many outlets tend to do is falsify their stories as a tool to persuade their followers into believing one way (against the President) instead of opening their minds to a middle ground. Finally, as a result, these fake media outlets are finding themselves having to bite the bullet for their actions. As of February of this year, CNN has experienced a 30% drop in prime-time viewers over the year before. Another issue I hope Trump continues to expose is the media’s double standard. Take for example Roseanne Barr’s recent tweet about a former Obama employee. Although a racist tweet, where was the liberal media to bash other liberal celebrities when they were at fault? Does no one remember when Amy Schumer joked about raping a guy? How about that time when Rosie O’Donnell threatened Ben Shapiro with his life if he failed to stop preaching conservative values? No? Well, I’m not surprised that the media continues to censor conservative values and views. Maybe eventually the media will call out The View for its constant harassment of conservative activists and values. Only time will tell. Good Luck America!

Democrat Diaz:  Media has become a contentious topic, but for all the wrong reasons. Why? Because President Trump has decided the media is made up of “fake news.” We take the words and the twitters he writes as truth. But when the media starts to question and look at Trump’s comments and interpret them as they are supposed to, he calls it a damn witch hunt. His Twitter usage is off the charts; they make Roseanne Barr look meek. Time and time again he has used Twitter as his place to speak freely, calling the media the “Corrupt Mainstream Media.” Tweets like this show that President Trump, after his first year, continues to show his disregard for the American public by shoving the news aside and calling out anything said against him or disagreeing – even questioning – his policies. He is turning into a ruthless dictator – something we never want in the White House.

Round 5: Gun Control

Republican Casale:  I’m just gonna say it: Nonsense Gun Control! As a conservative, I am proud that we have a President who defends our constitutional rights and defends law abiding citizens. When did that become a disgrace? What many liberals fail to acknowledge is that mass shootings account for only 1% of all gun-related deaths in America. 66% of those deaths are suicides. Also, consider that deaths by knives are five times more likely than deaths by guns. Knife control anybody? It certainly hasn’t worked in London! And instead of having a national walk-out, we should be having a national walk-up. We should be walking up to the kid who sits alone at lunch every day or the kid who never has a partner for class projects. We should be trying to prevent suicides, the main percentage of most gun deaths, rather than the insignificant 1%. Maybe it’s a question of culture rather than the gun itself. Also, what many don’t realize is a ban on “assault rifles” won’t work. The reason being is that 80% of all mass shootings were executed with the use of handguns, not “assault rifles.” Sadly to say for many liberals, “military grade assault rifles” do not exist! It’s a made up category used by the left to describe any type of modern day sporting rifle. Gun control is not the way to go because if implemented, many law abiding citizens would give up their guns, and criminals would not! Taking away guns to protect people from criminals with guns, will leave the nation vulnerable and cause our homicide rates to exponentially increase as a result. Consider these headlines: “Woman Fends Off Potential Rapist Using Gun” or “Family of Four Shot and Killed By Armed Robber.” Which would you rather read?

Democrat Diaz:  I’m just gonna say it: common sense gun control. While there are other methods, like arming teachers or increasing security, common sense gun control is the way to go. President Trump continues to propose the idea of arming teachers. Instead, use that money to spend on giving teachers raises to wages (which they protest on every day); provide supplemental income to mental health awareness – because according to the President, “It’s not a gun problem, it’s a mental health problem.” To believe that this is just a mental health issue and not a gun control issue is just downright ignorant. Look, I know he can’t change his mind because of the money that’s sent his way via the Republican majority and, of course, the NRA – that’s a record $54 million dollars! (Aka 54 million reasons why he continues to be pro-gun.) But, there have been too many shootings, too many death counts, too many lives lost, and yet President Trump’s slogan, “common sense gun control” is still his way to go. I don’t believe this generation should own military grade assault rifles. The name alone suggests an unsafe and uncertain future.