‘We have to exercise our power’: Trump’s policies push Lakewood resident to vote for the first time

Exercising the right to vote is as American as apple pie, but non-voters are finding reasons to cast a ballot this election.

Courtesy of Kristin Preciado

Exercising the right to vote is as American as apple pie, but non-voters are finding reasons to cast a ballot this election.

Jacqueline Cochran, Community Editor

Kristin Preciado is having discussions with her family about the current political climate in a way that she has never done before. She is a married mother of five children and has never voted in any of the previous elections. However, voting in the upcoming election is her priority.

The 2020 Presidential Election is in full swing and, in the wake of a global pandemic, a failing economy, and protests against police violence, people are thinking about how the country arrived to such a sense of despair and worry about the state of our world, wondering “Will it ever get better?”

For Preciado, politics isn’t something she has paid much attention to.

“I never felt like my vote was needed, until now,” she stated. “Politics had never seemed this extreme before. Our country is divided, and although I don’t know all the nuances of politics, to me it looks like we are headed in the wrong direction.”

Preciado believes that President Trump is not good for our country. She says he’s not interested in helping the average citizen, his interests seem to lie with providing business owners everything they need to become rich or stay rich.

“My family has been affected by his policies in a couple of ways: lowering the mortgage interest tax credit, lowering the age of the child tax credit and potentially what he intends to do to the public school system,” she said.

In 2017, Trump nominated Betsy DeVos to become the Secretary of Education.

Preciado believes Mrs DeVos’ work has benefited private and charter schools, not public education.

“My husband and one daughter are both teachers in the public school system and they are worried about the changes this administration is making that will directly affect them. But again, it’s all about the money,” she said.

“Our country was built on the principles of democracy, and the idea that one person can assume the highest office there is and then change all of its traditions is upsetting to my sensibilities as an American citizen. Trump’s campaign platform was centered on the theme ‘Make America Great Again.” According to Preciado, he has not done anything remotely close.

Preciado believes that simple human decency has been lost: “I have never witnessed a president tweet such mean and unkind things. If the men who like him are reaping the benefits that’s one thing, but I will never understand why any woman would support this president. Whatever he’s done that has been good, for me, will always be overshadowed by his negative behavior.”

Kristin Preciado, her husband and two daughters will be at the polls in November, no matter what.

“We have to exercise our power. I never realized by voting I could be potentially part of change. I encourage others who have not participated in past elections to research the issues and go vote.”