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Vol. 97, Issue 18 | October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020



DIVIDED WE STAND: A LOOK INTO THE 2020 ELECTION Graphic by Julia Sanbe // Art Director





October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020


‘The Election’ class analyzes an unprecedented political year

Photo by Architect of the Capitol, public domain, via Wikipedia Commons. CAPITOL COURSE: The west face of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill is located at the east end of the National Mall.

BY DANIEL TOLL Contributing News Writer Every four years, University of Miami students have the opportunity to take a unique

fall semester of election years, UM’s Department of Political Science holds a course titled “The Election” to allow students to examine the relationship between national politics and the battle for

and Rick Wilson of the Lincoln

half academic lecture by one of cohort of instructors: professor Casey Klofstad, lecturer Fernand Amandi and associate professor Joseph Uscinski. Led by Klofstad, election year since 2008, “The Election” has historically followed

from other university courses is students have the opportunity to speakers from the world of politics as Chuck Todd of NBC News

course’s content. “The way the course works is

half is led by a prominent outside Klofstad said. “That allows us to of reality to current events in the course.” While the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic continue to alter education, Klofstad said that because of the pandemic, he and his partner instructors are now

speakers than ever before. “What we have been able to do is take the current Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity and reach out to folks we normally wouldn’t be them in via Zoom,” Klofstad said. “We are able to provide that content to our in-person learners at the Watsco Center and to our remote learners.” Klofstad, Amandi and Uscinski to the class. Klofstad, who holds a Ph.D in political science from

the political discourse in “The

instructors. Amandi, a pollster and political consultant by trade, introduces the viewpoint of a practitioner. Uscinski, an expert in conspiracy theories, further reinforces the diversity of viewpoints.

himself had collected on the state

THE MIAMI HURRICANE “Uscinski and I provide a political science perspective, and Amandi provides a more real-world, in real-time perspective.” As a course that actively

and why we should do it.” Embedded within the course’s a disclaimer to students that the contents of the course may consist


October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020


job well when you what my political preferences are,” Klofstad said. “It’s not

the content of “The Election” is “The politics of our times are unusually polarized, and there is uncertainty about how the election process, institutionally, will play out in a way that we have not seen at least in my lifetime,” Klofstad said. “The uncertainty around the election is unprecedented.” Aside from current issues, “The Election” tackles a variety of other key components of the United States’ democracy. While

of the election once votes have been counted, a topic of emphasis

“The class is structured to keep political bias out of feature. It is used to ask questions directly to Klofstad so that we cannot interact with each other,” Democrat



were a lot of controversial and

the course.” For independent voters like

pictures, that “try to look objectively” at presidential candidates and towards issues

political preferences. the content in a way that is accessible to every student.” Because of how important they felt the class material is, Photo by Daniela Jang//Contributing photographer the trio of professors LOOKING TO NOVEMBER: Klofstad lectures his class at the Watsco Center on Oct. 19 made it accessible to any UM student; victory based on previous election there were no prerequisites, and events mirror or contrast with results. students can retake the course in those of the past. For example, As a result of this inclusivity, Klofstad, Amandi and Uscinski emphasize the events of previous elections to allow their students to develop a foundation of

biased and one-sided viewpoints opinions about how democracy should work and what policies

election. Klofstad explained that he

Klofstad said. “But we at least a bipartisan standpoint.

and the presidential election, able to compare how former Vice President Donald Trump in this election compared to President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and former Democratic nominee

Amandi and Uscinki is to provide their students with the tools necessary to think critically in their evaluation of candidates and the political process. While there are countless ways to view the

whether a lead by any candidate

of the American democracy is in its citizenry’s power to vote, make

present] is always anchored in the mindset towards the election, students are able to think

of the nation.


Harris vs. Pence: Students share their views on the vice presidential candidates BY EMMA DOMINGUEZ

weeks, some students say they aren’t sure they will have any effect on the election’s results.

Contributing News Writer This year’s election pits two of the oldest candidates in U.S.

president,” said Nicole Gazo, a


a lot of importance on our vice president.”



Kamala Harris “In terms of how they impact the election, I don’t really think they do,” said Ben Dias, a junior and economics and treasurer of

nomination for vice president. Senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala

of the head of state since Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded President John F. Kennedy after his assasination.

The vice president’s duties are outlined in the Constitution, would be historic; she is the first woman of color to be nominated for the vice president role by a major political party. While their roles as first in the line of succession for president


California senator, is one of only three women to have been the vice presidential candidate for a major political party. She has said that she identifies as Black,

who represent the minorities,” Gazo said. “As a woman and as a Latina, it just proves that if there’s a will, there’s a way.” Dias said how her identity as a woman of color may have helped her, with movements for racial nation this past summer, but also “I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had been picked,

to be on a major party ticket in the United States. order of presidential succession happens to the president. Over time, the vice president has by their respective presidents,

Gazo is very empowered by the fact that she is the vice presidential nominee.

way up and was elected as district attorney of San Francisco in 2003. She then served as the attorney



October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020


from 2011 until she was sworn in as a United States senator in

Clinton administration’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which and, as of recently, has been

announced her decision to run for president but dropped out of the race in December due to low

to stay in the closet to avoid discrimination.

injustice. “We of

traditionally Democratic beliefs; she endorsed the Green New Deal

a senator, she also introduced






history, what makes us think that within the next four years they’re



justice. As district attorney, critics and supporters alike have called men of color who have been

now, and I think that she’s a smart woman. She wouldn’t be this old mentality of her past mistakes and stances on some issues.”

question. One such case is Jamal Mike Pence protect frontline communities when environmental bills are introduced. She is a proponent of the Deferred Action for Childhood




children with the opportunity without the fear of deportation. In 2018, when family separation at the border was in the public eye due to Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy, she attended a protest in

Pence, like his Democratic counterpart, also has a political history that has been scrutinized prosecutor on the case had made false statements. She has also drawn the ire of some police officers and unions after she did not pursue the death of the murder of a San Fransisco police officer in 2004. “It is just very hypocritical to have both a presidential candidate who wrote the 1994 crime bill and then the DA that put people in bars for it to suddenly switch

president. An Indiana native with a law

Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia Commons.

PLATFORM:: Pence speaks at a campaign rally in Mesa, Arizona on Nov. 2, 2016. PENCE’S PLATFORM

Pence started out in private practice. In the 1980s and ’90s, he




media shield law, which would exempt reporters from subpoenas confidential Update with Mike Pence,” and “The Mike Pence Show,” that he was able to successfully win a seat in 2000. As the representative District, Pence maintained his said that he is a “Christian, conservative and Republican, in that order.”


support of many journalists. Pence is also a known opponent of abortion, and in 2011, wrote a bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood, a non-profit that provides hundreds of clinics around the country.

Gazo said. Trump




Coronavirus Task Force at the onset of the pandemic this year. Some students voiced concern due to Pence’s record as the blamed




outbreak in 2013. Others say they feel he has done as well as “I mean, I think he did fine with the COVID task force,” Dias said. “I think he did a lot better with the vice presidential debate his discussion skills.”

which is very mainstream conservative,” Dias said. Gazo echoed these sentiments,

on felt

Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia Commons. HARRIS’ HOPE: Harris speaks to a crowd of supporters in California.

is a controversial subject for many. As a self-described

up and say, ‘No no no, we care we care we care,’” Dias said. “If they cared, they wouldn’t have made the mistakes that they did

“old-school.” This commitment to Christian and conservative values has made him a controversial



businesses Pence


added an ammendment to the






this year’s race for the office of vice president comes with added


LGBTQ+ movement have taken note of Pence’s record as a he opposed the repeal of the



vice president like we would a president,” Gazo said. “A lot of the responsibilities that our president has could fall on the vice president. God forbid



October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020



Election season puts strain on personal relationships

Graphic by Julia Sanbe // Art Director

BY VERONICA GEOGHEGAN to have on my relationships with people because up until then,

Contributing News Writer





turbulent times.


about, so I have to have a stance.”

to them when I know that they directly support people that don’t

with anyone in his personal life, politics have caused him to distance himself from his



people from his local area on

views sometimes, we both learn from each other,” Caldarella said.

problem is that most of the people aren’t educated about the opinions that they have. “You can have an opinion, but if you choose not to inform yourself about that opinion, and if you just keep it stubbornly, then you can’t be expected to have your opinion be treated the same level as someone’s mature, well

from some of the discussions we

said. Liana

queer, I started to realize that that

opinionated.” election.

Not everyone is afraid to discuss politics with people. David in music composition, said he welcomes political conversation,


justice and coronavirus policy are at the forefront of the public spoke

they assured him that he would be loved and supported after he came

views than him. “My best friend is very open

him closer to his sister because that he respects her involvement in social movements “As we’ve matured, we’ve

Nevertheless, Caldarella still




political conversation is a part of who she is. She says her middle



actively talk about amendments, initiate class debates and always keep students informed. “We were kinda made into little social justice warriors,” Stern said. “My friends and I would also routinely comment on people’s social media posts intentionally


Stern and her friends still respond to political posts and

October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020


they talk about politics almost daily, despite their physical distance.

they all share the same views. said. Stern also discusses politics

sit well with me, especially since I am Black,” Stern said. “But with

Stern said she feels like she has to be involved, so it is nice that they can be involved as a family.


International students share their opinions on upcoming election BY RACHEL SULLIVAN Staff News Writer

near, advocates across the political spectrum

your system,” Sami said. “Vote or don’t vote in a way that would reform for those flaws.” Sami said she believes she would say more with her all. She chooses to abstain

while U.S. citizens cast their ballots, non-U.S. nationals whose lives are directly impacted by the results of the 2020 election are left to listen to the back and forth without a chance to vote. To understand the outside perspective, four University of Miami international students shared their views on the


political system that she said she feels is “inherently

the common demonization


political opinions. “Neither [Trump

out-dated and inaccurately represents the American people.

that she thinks Democrats will stay home in protest of a moderate like Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden,

equity and the destruction of the oppressive systems of power in the United States,” Sami said. “It’s

While Sami said she sees the U.S. political spectrum as distorted and deeply divided between liberals and conservatives. To her, the U.S. electorate perception of the political spectrum as opposed to many other developed democracies around the world. For instance, many Americans consider far-left liberal, such as universal healthcare, would be considered center-left on the political spectrum in places such as her home,

Iman Sami, a British sophomore international student at UM, said if she could vote in this U.S. presidential election, she would choose not to.

she said she believes President Donald Trump will be re-elected this November. “Leftists simply won’t

between those that differ worries her, Sami said. Because of these flaws in America’s political system,






said. Welsh initially said he would not have voted in the presidential


of Americans and the future of their nation, Sami said she feels a little worry for herself and her international peers as a consequence of who wins the presidency.

rapper.” JOSH WELSH:

a vote as a means to limit president can cause. Post debate, Welsh said he would vote for Biden

policy, Sami said, “Trump and Biden are one in the same.” Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sami said she sees Trump and Biden as very similar to one another, end of her own political spectrum. Sami is quick to opportunity, she would have voted for Kanye West. As controversial as West may be, she said he

mayhem that characterized the presidential debate,

Josh Welsh, a native of he is unhappy with both candidates for president and is still frustrated about the results of the Democratic primary. “In a country of millions of people, how do these two

One of Welsh’s qualms with the American democracy is the two-

difference between the two candidates. Welsh said he hopes that the American electorate will attempt to educate themselves. “Go back and look at history; try to understand Welsh said.

themes of history and vote to avoid the recurrence of past failures. Welsh

THE MIAMI HURRICANE also said he hopes that the American electoral

more representative of the values U.S. citizens hold.

October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020

to COVID-19, Dabdoub said that the current countless unnecessary deaths and put many more at risk.


feel for the next four years STEVEN DABDOUB: Dabdoub said. After what Dabdoub perceives as a coronavirus, he said he does

Steven Dabdoub, a senior from Jamaica

reform, economic recovery,

said he believes that the fate of the United States and its residents, citizens and

and said that he would

upon the shoulders of each

think beyond themselves as they mail their ballots and head to polls. but you have to vote,” said Dabdoub, who does not have the opportunity election. While Dabdoub does not consider himself a Biden enthusiast, he said he believes that to not election is to vote for the Trump administration, a leadership that he said of the United States. This year has been filled with hardships, and the Trump administration did not handle these hurdles

administration’s response

vote for Biden if he were able to, he said there are numerous flaws in the American electoral system. two-party system, which he said is too limited for like the United States. As the Democratic Party from moderate and liberals alike, Dabdoub said he is concerned that they will lose voters. While the DNC spreads themselves thin, Dabdoub said he thinks Republicans will retain their conservative take the presidency. “It’s like there are two tents and one of them is

the American electoral system, Dabdoub said that should




Juno Jin, a citizen of concerns for her future as an international student at UM. While Jin is able to recount the numerous ways in which Trump has shown she remains unsure of how Biden’s policy will differ from Trump’s. “It’s hard to trust what they say,” Jin said. In her opinion, American politics is riddled with red-tape and bureaucracy. From her home in China, Jin said that some Chinese tabloids have speculated that Trump’s positive Covid-19 test is a facade. She said they have attempt to minimize the virus and showcase himself Jin said that Trump’s display and feels that Biden should be the obvious pick

lacks confidence that Biden would do any better. Even if she were able, Jin said she would likely choose not to vote in this presidential election.

Know before you vote: Read The Miami Hurricane’s Voter Guide for local, state and national elections.

In case you missed it: Read two columns’ analysis of the final presidential debate.

Read one student’s journey as an immigrant navigating politics in America in “A Cuban Transplant.”





THE MIAMI HURRICANE October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020 THE MIAMI December 3, 2019 - January 21, 2020

October 27, -2020 - November THE MIAMI December 3, 2019 January 21, 2020 2, 2020 THE MIAMI HURRICANE


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desperately needs. Trump has denied the legitimacy of American institutions, disregarded the lives of Americans and unabashedly violated the integrity of the democratic process. We are a nation in crisis, and that crisis can be averted on Nov. 3. Trump’s inability to serve as commander-in-chief has become breathtakingly evident during the coronavirus pandemic. He lied about the threat that the virus posed to the American people, ignored the advice of public


American lives at risk. After leaving his hospitalization, Trump tweeted, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” Well Trump, 8.69 million Americans have been infected, and more than 225,000 Americans have died, so I think there is reason to be afraid. Landon: And while the current

with the political process, Biden has shown an unwavering commitment to being a president, not only for a collection of blue states, but of the United States. The vote you cast nor the political

party you side with should be a litmus test to whether a president represents your interests. Words are a powerful currency, and you must spend them wisely. Instead of speaking bigotry, Biden speaks the words that Black Lives Matter. Instead of lambasting prisoners of war, he honors the commitment of our nation’s heroes, such as his son. Kinnon: During Trump’s tenure, we have seen racial discrimination and xenophobia that is no longer implicit. Instead, he has inspired racism and violence across our nation, ignored rule of law and mounted assaults on the basic rights of marginalized people.

his words with tangible actions having accomplished great feats. From sponsoring the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and addressing climate change in the history of the Senate to assisting in the longest period for continuous job growth in American history, his record of service is anything but ordinary. More consequentially, he committed to choosing a woman as Black woman in history to serve as a vice presidential nominee, giving Black women across our country a

in September, Trump was asked to condemn white supremacists. He refused, instead calling on the neo-facist, right-wing group the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” In June, Trump teargassed Americans protesting the

Kinnon: In 2017, following Trump’s inauguration, I marched alongside other Americans in Washington D.C. The outrage that we experienced in 2016, after the devastating loss of Hillary Clinton, was given hope by the successes of women’s marches and the subsequent #MeToo movement. I felt excited for the future of women;

Floyd… for a photoshoot in front of a church. The American people do not deserve this. Landon: More consequentially, Biden honors

However, four years later, the patriarchy that constrains women remains strong, and it has been reinforced by Trump. Twenty six women have accused our president


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Graphic by Julia Sanbe // Art Director

alongside women of color and vote for our own interests. Landon: Voting is not a contest of perfection; rather, it is a contest who this person has shown us to be. Character is not made by the presidency; character is revealed by it. One candidate has shown a deep lack of reverence and competence. The other candidate has shown us that he possesses competence and the breadth of experience to serve well as our next president. Kinnon: Our nation is in crisis, and that crisis is Trump. He lacks the compassion, civility and competency that the American people deserve. Biden could be a turning point. America needs Biden. Vote.

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Graphic by Julia Sanbe // Art Director


Why I voted to re-elect President Donald Trump BY RANDY FITZGERALD

overturn Roe v. Wade and take away a woman’s right to choose, we risk a return to a time when a woman could not control her own future. Despite the power that united women can have, let’s be clear— Trump won the votes of a plurality of white women in 2016. Nov. 3 gives white women


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This country needs a leader of humility: The case for Joe Biden

land in direct contrast with the current White House occupant. Kinnon: In contrast to Biden’s record, the past four years have demonstrated that President Donald Trump is incapable of the leadership that our country




Landon: Thirty six years in the U.S. Senate. Eight years as vice president of the United States. Three times in seeking the presidency. For millions of people across this country, we are witnessing the candidacy of a public servant with an unparalleled, extraordinary career of public service that has spanned decades. Despite Vice President Joe Biden’s personal family losses, his own hardships— including overcoming a speech stutter— and his professional setbacks in seeking the presidency, he has persisted to become the 2020 Democratic nominee for president. The persistence, grit, tenacity and good decency demonstrated to continue serving this country despite trials and tribulation are prime examples of Biden’s ability






CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST In case anyone didn’t know, it’s election season in America, and we have the exciting opportunity to weigh in on who should lead us out of these difficult times and towards a safer, stronger and more prosperous America. I voted to re-elect President Donald Trump because he is the best candidate for us and the only viable candidate who I am confident has the ability to get the job done. Voting for Trump doesn’t mean that you agree with everything he says, does or tweets. It means you want to How old were your parents in 1972? That was the year former Vice President Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate. True story: When Biden first got to Washington in 1973, there were six senators there waiting for him who were born in the 1800s. He is a stale candidate from yesterday serving up stale ideas from yesterday and is promising to bring us back to yesterday. Fortunately for us though, yesterday is over. Trump has done more in 47 months than Biden did in 47

years. Many of the chaotic policies Biden proudly implemented during his ineffective career in politics on the taxpayer dime are now being repealed by Trump. If you’re reading this and thinking you’re better off because of Trump’s leadership, you aren’t alone. In fact, you’re in a strong, and growing, majority of Americans who believe they are better off than they were four a record 56 percent of registered voters feel this way. If you think you like the job this president has done for you, you’re in agreement with a similar majority of the country, as Rasmussen routinely notches 50 to 52 percent job approval ratings for Trump. This year has brought a national conversation on racial justice. I challenge you to consider what objective policies Biden implemented, beyond mass incarceration, and juxtapose his ineffective and offensive career against the real progress from the Trump administration. Thanks to Trump, we’ve seen investments spur in underserved neighborhoods through programs aimed to address generational poverty in impoverished minority

communities such as Opportunity Zones. The 1994 crime bill (yes, the “super predator” bill where Biden cracked jokes about lynching) was repealed by the First Step Act, which was signed into law by Trump. Trump has built an economy that works for all of us. With his leadership, we saw the lowest unemployment rate for Black and Hispanic Americans ever recorded and historic lows in poverty rates, particularly in communities of color. We saw our economy reach full employment as the unemployment rate fell below 3.5 percent, and the unemployment rate for women fell to its lowest rate in 49 years. While yes, we were confronted by an unforeseeable, once-ina-generation global pandemic, which has challenged our economy and our job market, Trump is the best positioned candidate to bring our economy back. He created the most successful economy in American history, and he’s going to do it again. Meanwhile, Biden plays Monday-morning quarterback behind the president’s leadership. Biden continues to try to assert himself as relevant

while failing to justify why he decried the president’s early lifesaving steps to shut down travel from hot-spots where the virus was prevalent as “xenophobic” and “hysterical.” What’s more, while Trump is eager to get to work and create policies to help our economy recover, Biden is eager to sedate the recovery and impose jobkilling tax hikes on struggling businesses and hardworking families by reversing the Trump tax cuts provided by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. While Biden claims that he will only raise taxes on those making over $400,000 annually, we know this isn’t true— he plans to reverse the Trump tax cuts, which cut taxes for the average family of four by $4,000. Whether or not Biden will follow through with his flip-flopping promise to only repeal some parts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, sparing hardworking middle-class families, is hotly contested and remains to be seen. I’m tired of watching radical Antifa leftists riot and terrorize the cities across our country while mainstream Democrats demand we defund police. I’m tired of

seeing growing numbers of prominent Democrats, including Sen. Kamala Harris, embrace socialism with a callous disregard for the refugees from that failed communist-style political and economic mode. If socialism worked, there would be neither a Little Havana nor a growing Venezuelan population in Miami, but it doesn’t, and they’re here. I voted for Trump because I want jobs not mobs; I want a judiciary that respects the Constitution and enforces the rule of law; I want a country that we can be proud of; I want a foreign policy that puts America first; I want an education system with choice for students and their families; I want an environment that we protect while also bolstering our economy. If you’re voting to re-elect the president, don’t let “woke” leftists online, in your family or on our campus bully and insult you. When you fill in the circle on your ballot for Trump, nobody needs to know who you voted for if you don’t want to share— that’s between you and the ballot box. I enthusiastically voted to Keep will, too.



THEMIAMI HURRICANEOctober September 24,- November 2019 - September 27, 2020 2, 2020 30, 2019 THE MIAMI HURRICANE




How young people’s social media use is shifting during election year BY JESSICA DIEZ Contributing News Writer

POLITICAL POSTS: POSTS : Students are increasingly politically active on social media..

While social media accounts usually foster light-hearted content, social media users recently noticed a shift in content in the wake of the social justice protests around the country and the upcoming presidential election. More and more individuals from common citizens to politicians have begun to exercise their political voice on their social media platforms. Evelyn Menkes, a University of Miami senior majoring in neuroscience, said she noticed change in her Instagram. “I’ve definitely seen more people on my feed post about political topics since the pandemic started,” stated Menkes, “I even feel like Instagram is becoming as political if not more political than the other socials like Twitter and Facebook.” Political and social-justicerelated content is ramping up, coming from not only more politicians on Instagram, but

from YouTube influencers, lifestyle bloggers, fitness models, as well. These new users posting political content, who usually steer clear of controversial politics, are now facilitating the general shift that Instagram is heading towards. With the number of political posts increasing on popular social media platforms, many wonder if users see different political opinions on their social media feed that may oppose their personal beliefs. Geethika Kataru, a sophomore majoring in political science and motion pictures and the director of communications for the UM College Democrats student organization, said she believes that she does have different opinions on her Instagram feed. “Since my friends come from a variety of backgrounds, I have a mix of opinions on my Instagram,” stated Kataru, “Especially going to UM, there are so many

Photo via Pixabay

people who have different life experiences and were raised in different places.” Living in political bubbles However, Michael Touchton, associate professor from the department of political science and associate faculty lead of global health, predicts the posts on peoples’ social media feeds most likely serves to confirm already held existing opinions. “In general I think there’s a lot of evidence that people build bubbles, and they stay in those bubbles— political bubbles and also just general opinion bubbles, too,” said Touchton. “People gravitate towards those that they agree with and do tend to be much less receptive to arguments they disagree with.” These bubbles extend to politics, Touchton explained, and in a contentious election year, much like that of 2016, the division between the two major American parties is heavily

pronounced. “People from the Republican standpoint don’t want to hear Democratic complaints about Trump,” Touchton explained, “And people who are Democrats don’t want to hear anyone defending Trump and don’t want to hear complaints about the Democrats. And so from that standpoint, people tend to selfselect and isolate.” However, this ability to isolate from opposing beliefs may be getting harder to achieve with multiple generations contributing to many social media platforms. Many older relatives who were once off of social media are now on, creating a common ground where, for example, older relatives who tend to be more conservative now have to view posts from college students, many who tend to lean more left. “A lot of my students have said they have seen a lot of relatives posting views that are completely opposite of their own. I see generational arguments, where people say ‘grandma or grandpa, how could you say that? That’s crazy’ or vice versa, like ‘when you’re older you’ll understand more,’” Touchton said. Pandemic and election year lead to more time online In addition to an increasing number of people on social media, many say they have seen an uptick in the number of political posts on their news feeds since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. “I think it’s easier to reach people on social media, also because they have more time towards their screens. Their various devices have taken over their lives, in part because there have been so many restrictions on what people can do,” said Touchton. “Especially for the

first part of the pandemic, people were home, people were inside all over the country, and they had time to post things and think about things that other people were posting. And in an election year, I think it has become more political.” Baylee Brochu, a junior majoring in psychology and health science, was one of many students who are now more politically active on Instagram. “Ever since the Black Lives Matter movement started gaining momentum this summer, I have been posting about politics, which I’ve never done before,” Brochu said. “This is a trend I’ve noticed with a lot of people I follow on Instagram.” Because President Donald Trump’s administration’s pandemic response has been heavily criticized, coronavirus continues to be a topic of conversation within virtual presidential debates and on social media as well. The topic of wearing face masks, and even the validity of the pandemic’s fatality has turned political. “I think a lot of people who probably lean towards Democrats have been ready to criticize the administration and use the pandemic as a key piece of evidence as to why people shouldn’t vote for Trump. And then by the same notion, people who lean Republican or especially the strongest Republican supporters have used the evidence from the pandemic completely differently,” said Touchton. “So most major party organizations have tried to use the pandemic to push their own agenda.”


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October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020





The Miami Hurricane endorses Joe Biden. Here’s why If we were to travel back in time, 220 years to be exact, to the moment Thomas Jefferson won the highly contested election in 1800, we would be quite surprised at the insight we could retrieve. Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican, won the election against the Federalist incumbent John Adams. The political climate was a little similar to the way it is now— minus the raging pandemic and overwhelming racial tension— with both parties fervently against the other and overall partisan tensions high. But in a profound and revolutionary way to alleviate a new nation, Jefferson declared that he wanted to not only “retain the good opinion” of those who support him, but “conciliate that of others by doing them all the good in my power.” This is the principle that those who pride themselves on being an American hold close to their heart. We believe this is the principle of a good president. A good president will vow to do away with partisanship for the overall good of this country, and this is why we are endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for this year’s presidential race: a man who has already vowed to be a president to all. Still, the choice to endorse Biden was not done lightly. The main matter at hand was not who to endorse, but whether we should endorse at all. We rattled with wanting to remain as impartial as possible while still wanting to take a firm stand. Ultimately, we decided that we are living in a time where it’s important to be on the right side of

history and assert our core values. President Donald Trump has pushed America around to make way for him and his party’s interests, and we need a capable person in office to try to salvage what is left of this country. One of the critical reasons Biden gets our endorsement is due to his ability to show empathy and unify people of all walks of life. A man who has lost his first wife and two children, he regularly takes the time to grieve with people

insults and tantrums for the past five years, and it’s about time we reconvene to a state of decency and decorum. Biden is not only promising professionalism, but a bold agenda that will address some of our most pressing issues today. When it comes to healthcare, he is committed to working towards universal healthcare for all through measures like updating the Affordable Care Act. He is a man who believes in climate change and science and has

“A good president will vow to do away with partisanship for the overall good of this country, and this is why we are endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for this year’s presidential race: a man who has already vowed to be a president to all.” publicly. He has met with the family of George Floyd and visited Kenosha, Wisconsin after the racial unrest. On the other hand, Trump has been a tool for division ever since he started pining for the presidential spot. He has called the Mexican people drug dealers and rapists, issued a ban of multiple Muslim-dominant countries, consistently referred to immigrants as illegals, disrespected women by calling them a number of derogatory terms and even questioned where former President Barack Obama was born. The American people and the press have been subject to his onslaught of

proposed a plan that will lower our carbon emissions, work towards using entirely renewable energy and tackle environmental racism. On racial justice, Biden has done the bare minimum of easily denouncing white supremacists and showing support to the families of those affected by police brutality— something that our current president struggles to do. Trump has always boasted that this economy which he has facilitated is one of the best in history, but that is no longer the case due to his mismanagement of the global pandemic. On his watch, our international

allies have wandered, gun violence has raged and over 225,000 Americans have died due to his inability to respond quickly to a pandemic that he had knowledge of months before it ravaged us. He has used his power to pardon his high-ranking friends, to attack protestors and the press and even to downplay the pandemic and politicize the act of wearing masks. Trump has failed us, and he will continue to fail us if he is re-elected this November. This is not to say Biden is faultless. In 1991, he failed to support a Black woman, Anita Hill, as she argued her case of sexual harassment to the Senate. He sponsored a 1994 crime bill that contributed to mass incarceration. He also once opposed gay marriage and supported legislature barring members of the LGBTQ community from joining the military. After more than 40 years in politics, Biden definitely has some skeletons in his closet. But unlike our current president, he owns up to them. We aren’t crazy about Biden, but we are crazy about having a better leader. We need someone that will allow themselves to be held accountable, and that is Biden. He may not be the president we want, but he surely is what America needs right now. We hope that if elected, he will “retain the good opinion” of those who support him and “conciliate that of others by doing them all the good in his power.” Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board



October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020



ION T LU O V RE Graphic by Julia Sanbe // Art Director


How politicians are turning to social media to reach young voters BY LAYOMI ADEOJO & CATHERINE ANILLO Staff Culture Writers Before the age of social media, politicians relied on traditional channels of communication, reaching voters through television, newspapers and word-of-mouth. Now, political candidates have turned to sites like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok as a means of reaching voters of all ages, particularly younger ones. This strategy proves effective for a multitude of reasons, the main being that it allows candidates to interact with voters directly and hear their concerns first-hand. Aside from sharing political views and policy ideas, many politicians also post content surrounding their personal lives outside of politics, making them more relatable and personable to the everyday citizen. Furthermore, the speed by which information spreads on social media allows political candidates to capitalize on anything and everything that could promote their campaign in a timely manner. Take, for example, how former Vice

President Joe Biden’s campaign quickly capitalized on the fly meme during the vice presidential debate, immediately designing fly swatters that sold out in hours. By taking advantage of the humorous moment, the Biden campaign was able to gain more news coverage, reach younger voters enthralled in “meme culture” and raise money all at the same time. Both political newcomers and long-time politicians have utilized the large reach that social media has, influencing voters from many different backgrounds. Of all the demographics that social media campaigning reaches, it is most influential among Gen Z, the youngest generation capable of voting. While many Zoomers are under 18, rendering them unable to vote, they have learned to mobilize social media in ways that significantly impact presidential campaigns. TikTok, an app that is largely dominated by people under 25, has

become a platform where social and political awareness posts are just as common as dance trends and comedy skits. Through calculated TikToks, teens on the app were able to drastically reduce the attendance at President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa this past June. The blow to Trump’s campaign, though arguably a small one, demonstrates the passion that young people have to participate in and shape democracy. With a rising interest in politics among young voters, TikTok and other social media apps have the power to increase voter turnout, both in young people and older voters. Celebrities have also started taking advantage of social media to encourage voter registration. And while Twitter remains the most popular— and most comically contentious— medium for politicians to spew their spare thoughts and forward their campaign goals, Instagram has also found its place in the realm of political advocacy. The goal? To win the favor of

tech-savvy millennials who will have a great influence on the outcome of the 2020 election. The app, with its visual emphasis and its impressive base of about 800 million users, is quickly rising as a go-to for politicians seeking to stay relevant. According to Statista, as of 2018, over 50 percent of the House and 70 percent of the Senate has an Instagram account. Instagram Live has become a friendly and familiar way for those in power to connect to young voters, with political figures like Michelle Obama encouraging young people to vote by organizing live conversations with in-demand celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Zendaya and DJ Khaled ahead of the national election. In April, popular female rapper Cardi B welcomed Sen. Bernie Sanders to her Instagram livestream, where the two spoke candidly about the upcoming election, Biden’s presidential nomination, the indispensability of young voters, the outbreak of Covid-19 and the government’s

controversial response to the pandemic. The meeting between the unlikely pair went viral, with Cardi B asserting that “133,000 viewers and nearly one million people” tuned in to hear their conversation. Other celebrities have resorted to posting “thirst traps,” aiming to lure in voters with enticing photos that ultimately direct to voter registration links. On Sept. 28, after Kylie Jenner posted two bikini photos and urged her followers to register and vote, Vote.org saw a massive increase in site traffic and engagement with the voter registration tool. Even with all its benefits, social media can also have dire consequences. While it allows voters to share their views and interact directly with candidates, it also allows ample room for misinformation and disinformation to thrive. Much of this fake news goes unchecked, especially on sites like Instagram and Twitter where a repost to someone’s story or a retweet to someone’s page can spread information rapidly.


October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020




The impact of ‘Saturday Night Live’ on American politics BY JARROD HOUSEKNECHT Senior Culture Writer Just the fourth-ever episode of the NBC late-night comedy show “Saturday Night Live” featured a parody skit of the 1976 presidential debate between sitting Republican President Gerald Ford and Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter. Now a critically-

acclaimed segment, these witty presidential debate parodies became fan-favorites, satirically mimicking famous politicians in every election season since. “S.N.L.” has given a platform to many famous comedians, allowing them to walk onto the screen and into the shoes of our nation’s most critiqued politicians. Some hilarious impressions of the past include Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, Jim Carrey as Joe Biden, Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris and Will Ferrell as George W. Bush. After 46 seasons, Saturday Night Live’s political skits are still as popular as ever. The television show’s parody of the first 2020 presidential debate received over 25 million views in its first

Graphic by Julia Sanbe // Art Director

two weeks on YouTube. In recent years, there has been a lot of debate over whether “S.N.L.” impressions of politicians have any impact on presidential campaigns and elections. Could a late-night variety show really influence the way that people vote or how we view our politicians? The Fordham Political Review, a journal from Fordham University’s top political experts, established what is called the “‘S.N.L.’ effect,” asserting that “‘S.N.L.’ creates lasting legacies through its mockery.” In fact, according to NBC News, impersonations of candidate Al Gore during his run against Bush in 2000 amplified his “uncooperative, know-it-all persona” so much that Gore’s national poll numbers “deteriorated shortly after the skit’s broadcast.”

The Fordham Political Review also notes that comedy is an important place for many people to solidify their views of the candidates in an election. Comedy provides an entertaining critique of a candidate’s actions and emphasizes their behavior in a way that’s memorable and easily understood by the average American. Through “S.N.L.” sketches and impressions, the comedians cement the general public’s perceptions of political figures. The satirical show takes jabs at candidates of all political affiliations, both Democrat and Republican. One particularly influential election season was in 2008, with Tina Fey’s impression of Republican Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska. Fey’s impression was widely discussed across many primetime news stations and deemed as one of the most iconic in “S.N.L.” history, particularly because of her use of the GOP nominee’s real-life statements verbatim for comic effect. The Chicago Tribune reported on multiple nonpartisan group research studies throughout the 2008 election. One study found that 66 percent of active voters recalled viewing “S.N.L.” skits that year. According to the Tribune, around 12 percent of independent voters claimed that the sketches made Palin look less favorable in their eyes. Even politicians know just how important the show’s impressions of them are. SNL is famous for its celebrity guest hosts every week, and in the 2016 election year, this included appearances from

both presidential candidates at the time Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Each candidate used the show as a platform to reach audiences and partake in comedic jabs against one another. Just because the skits are popular does not mean they’re received warmly by the politicians themselves. Despite appearing on “S.N.L.” in 2016, Trump was clearly disappointed in the show’s impersonation of him, tweeting out, “Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks.” He added, “Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!” It’s impossible to predict how much of a direct impact “S.N.L.” has on elections with so many outside factors, but one thing is for certain: Many of the show’s impersonations have left lasting impressions of candidates and on voters, keeping us laughing all the way to Election Day. One final thought: “Eighty million people watched the debate, 130 million people will vote, 50 million others are still looking for places to get their news, and comedy can fill that gap,” said Dean Obeidallah, an eight-year member of “S.N.L.’s” production staff, in a 2016 interview with Politico. “Maybe it’s going to take comedians to do the job that cable news has relinquished.”



October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020


UM athletes team up for voter registration, social justice action BY SYDNEY BOYO Staff Sports Writer NBA star Lebron James, back in 2018, was infamously told to “shut up and dribble” by Fox News host Laura Ingraham after James was criticizing President Donald Trump in an interview with ESPN’s Cari Champion. James is no stranger to speaking his mind when it comes to politics and social injustice in the United States. He undoubtedly serves as a role model for many college athletes who are using their platform to vocalize their concerns, including student-athletes at the University of Miami. Like much of America, UM student-athletes witnessed the racial injustice movement that spread across the nation in response to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor over the summer. The UM women’s basketball program, in particular, spent a lot of time discussing these situations with each other and decided that the best way they can try to make a change is by using their platforms and voices to promote what they believe in. “We have these talks on a regular basis,” said senior guard Mykea Gray. “The team is very comfortable with expressing themselves, how they feel about what’s going on in the world, what we want to do about it.” “Unfortunately, we had an opportunity to see some tough things in our country,” women’s basketball head coach Katie Meier said. “Some really unfair moments where justice wasn’t being served. And you know, we had a very strong voice collectively, we wanted to respond.” The team, in conjunction with the men’s basketball team, swim volleyball team, faculty in the athletic department and other UM students,

decided to take action in the form of a socially distanced voting rally at the Watsco Center. Many players and coaches, including Meier and head men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga, spoke to attendees about the importance of voting and supporting change. Meier change in our country often starts on college campuses. Student-athletes and coaches were wearing “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts and holding posters that said “Black Lives Matter,” “Canes Vote” and “Unity.” People at the event had the opportunity to register to vote. “I thought that was a real need for it not to be a coachled movement but more so to be a player-led movement,” had



voice, while

and the

they rally

Photo via Twitter, @MiamiHurricanes. ATHLETIC ACTIVISTS: Student athletes gather outside of the Watsco Center for a social justice rally, protesting for societal change.

any continues. Currently, 100 percent of the UM women’s basketball team is registered to vote and plans to participate in the presidential election. “I think it’s so important that we all go out and vote,” said freshman voter, and so are a lot of people. And I think we’re a super diverse group, like probably the most in our history. In these times, it’s been apparent that our voices matter, and our voices can create change.” The voices of student athletes have been heard, as the NCAA announced in September that all Division I schools would be prohibited from practicing, competing or participating in




student-athletes to vote. The NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, composed of representatives from all 32 Division I schools, proposed this legislation earlier in the year, and it passed

social justice and eliminate systemic racism. Some initiatives of “Unity Week” include changing all social media UNITE” logo. The ACC will highlight

from Oct. 24 to Oct. 31. Developed

the week. The conference plans to release a highlight video of the social justice initiatives that member schools have participated in since the beginning of September. The ACC will also hold a virtual webinar for ACC student-athletes on activism and allyship. The conference announced its

Committee for Racial and Social Justice in conjunction with member institutions, “Unity Week” aims to

Week” on Oct. 24-31. Every ACC fall sport will be in action, and 11 ACC football teams have scheduled

legislation the SAAC has proposed since 2014. The Atlantic Coast Conference has also taken action in the push for social justice and voting. The conference announced its plans

home games over the course of the two weekends. In addition, the ACC is providing all its student-athletes with “UNITE” wristbands and is creating an individual theme for each day of the week. The conference also plans to change all its broadcasting logos to “ACC UNITE” logos. “I applaud the work of CORE and our member institutions to develop Unity Week into a unite around social justice for all, and eliminate systematic racism,” said ACC Commissioner John unique opportunity to bring people together from all backgrounds and celebrate the accomplishments student-athletes.”




October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020

Sex Party I don’t like talking politics. However, there are two other opinion columns pissing off more people than me, and I can’t pretend I’m not jealous. Sex with a Republican

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Let’s be real with each other— I’ve met more in-the-closet conservatives on campus than in-the-closet gays. However, they want exactly the same thing: to be f**ked in the ass. There is nothing to be ashamed of, but they are still too shy to ask. The best way to tell if you are having sex with a Republican is if they just lie there. With all the practice they have had lying to themselves and others, it’s second nature to bring that energy to the bedroom. Transgender individuals have been denied to serve in the military because of medical costs. Meanwhile, they have no problem spending $84 million a year for our troops’ Viagra. It’s a cause they can relate to. No erection left behind. Conservatives have been in a gas-lit relationship the past four years. Their boyfriend keeps telling them how great everything is going while repeatedly bending them over and It’s scary leaving an abusive relationship. Especially when I recently heard a televangelist warning conservatives that if President Donald Trump isn’t reelected, having sex with cows will become legal. Odd because I feel like most Republicans would be okay with this. At least it will give their sisters a break.

Sex with a Democrat You can tell a Democrat reached climax during sex when they start yelling at you to vote. House Democrats are working to restrict Trump’s planned withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Germany. When it comes to telling someone when to pull out, there is no one I trust more than a Democrat. Liberals today are more concerned about wearing a mask during sex than wearing a condom. But is there truly any other way to have sex with one? Settle for Biden is a movement led by ex-Sanders and Warren supporters working to make Trump a one-term president. Being comfortable enough to settle in politics makes me concerned of how young Democrats may treat their sex life. There have been reports that Biden promised to serve for only one term if he is elected. Inspired Democrats have carried that it will be over quickly. Just because you’re “less worse” than the last one, doesn’t mean the sex is good. It’s time for Democrats to actually prove themselves before asserting that they are the better partner.


October 27, 2020 - November 2, 2020






Profile for The Miami Hurricane

The Miami Hurricane: Oct. 29, 2020  

The Miami Hurricane: Oct. 29, 2020