Hoodwinking is the new Propaganda
Updated: Apr 17, 2021
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With less than a week to go for Election Day, matters in Uncle Sam’s polity intensify for the undecided American voter. After the conclusion of the final presidential debate between President Trump and America’s previous Vice President and Senator, Joe Biden Jr., the audience has come to observe all sorts of statements, accusations and contentions. Ranging from sensitive subjects like racial tension to the mitigatory actions taken against the COVID-19 pandemic, the discourses were just as well-spread as they were in pandemonium. However, with claims, come fallacies. And in this case, there might just be plenty. What are the truths in this wrangle and what are the myths? Curious Case of Covid presents an exclusive facet to the debate, a quick fact check.
On the 22nd of October, 2020, the two candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden ended their final exchange of words as part of the 2020 presidential debates. Having received a somewhat muddled and contemptuous response throughout the country, the debates had derogated to a stage where viewers collectively agreed on calling them absolutely redundant and inconsequential on an undecided voter’s decision simply because they were largely found to be unproductive, insubstantial and apparently, embittering.
With highlights like Trump’s statement, “Don’t ever use the word ‘smart’ with me.” and Biden’s “Will you shut up, man?”, the debates caught a lot of attention and left a lot of room for opinion. Talk shows, podcasts, social media along with many other platforms found them to be potential subjects of conversation.
As the debates were successful in encompassing all possible important matters and gathering the candidates’ views on them, they undoubtedly brought forth numerous accusations and claims. For instance, President Trump openly and proudly claimed that he, as president, has done more for the black community than any other President in American history. Yet, in the first ever presidential debate, President Trump avoided and refused to condemn white supremacists when he was asked to. What sort of an interpretation would a viewer make of that, if not an outraged one? But the debates brought out a lot more than just that. Throughout the heated discussion, arguments were spewn out of air thick with lies by both the Republican and Democratic candidates.
For example, Biden brought it to notice and said, "The coronavirus spikes are in red states". What was implied was that the rise in infections was centred on Republican run states. When in reality, COVID-19 cases are rising in more than 40 US states and these include both Republican and Democratic controlled states. North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wisconsin have seen the most coronavirus cases per capita over the last week.The Dakotas are run by Republican governors, but Montana and Wisconsin both have Democratic governors. Biden also pointed to spikes in Republican states in the Midwest. Although, the midwestern state of Illinois, which has a Democratic governor, is also experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases.
“China is paying. They are paying billions and billions of dollars” was what President Trump had to say regarding the US’s current relations with China. However, this claim is false. The United States has taken in more than $60 billion in revenue from the tariffs that Mr. Trump imposed on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods. But Mr. Trump’s frequent claim that the tariffs are paid for solely by China, not by Americans is wrong. Whether a Chinese manufacturer, American importer or another company ultimately pays the cost of any particular U.S. tariff varies from product to product, depending on the ability of each party to negotiate. But overall, economic research suggests that the burden of the tariffs has fallen heavily on American firms, and that domestic manufacturers and consumers have ended up paying a substantial portion of the tariffs.
Another claim made by Mr. Biden, “He has caused the deficit with China to go up, not down”, is evidently false as well. The trajectory of the trade deficit with China or, the gap between what America exports to China and what it imports, goes depending on how you calculate the numbers.The trade deficit in goods with China fell sharply between 2018 and 2019 as Mr. Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods cut down on trade between the world’s largest economies. So far this year, the trade deficit with China is running below last year’s levels, as the United States imports fewer products amid the coronavirus.
But those numbers aren’t a significant improvement from the end of President Barack Obama’s last term and Mr. Trump’s trade war has imposed significant costs on American businesses and consumers to get to that goal.The U.S. trade deficit in goods with China was $347 billion in 2016, compared with $345 billion in 2019. Deficits with other countries have grown as Americans have shifted to buying goods from other low-cost countries, and the overall trade deficit is once again trending up.
To put it in simple perspective, the list goes on and on. The American presidential debates were, and shall continue to be events of prestige and honour where two future candidates for the President of the United States of America use a common platform to send messages to the American voter.
But what is the remedy to the question of the validation and authenticity of these messages? They have been proved to be misleading, false and incomplete for so many cases. Shan’t these faulty ‘facts’ have a negative effect on the fairness of the elections and ultimately, the delivery of justice? The question fairness of the elections and ultimately, the delivery of justice? The question remains ever so pertinent, and disturbingly so.
Written by Anvita Tripathi
Designs by Patricia M.