In my third year at the University of Pennsylvania, I took a course called “Who is elected and why”. It was taught by Ed Rendell, former mayor of Philadelphia, governor of Pennsylvania and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. As such, Rendell addressed the class as if each student were a registered Democrat. In one class, he taught a particularly interesting lesson — no matter how shortcomings a candidate has, voters should always vote for him because of the greater good of pushing a political party’s agenda. It’s a conference Republicans could have used in the 2020 election, especially when it comes to student loan forgiveness.
Rendell’s advice was particularly analogous to former President Donald Trump and the 2020 presidential election. It’s no secret that part of the Republican Party didn’t support his re-election (or even his first election). And rather than support Trump, they chose either not to vote, or to vote for a fringe third-party candidate who had no chance of winning, or even to vote for Biden. Yet in doing so, they showed exactly why Rendell’s message was so important. By choosing not to vote for Trump (and, in some cases, actively working against him), they helped Biden fulfill his student loan forgiveness campaign promise.
One such example came in January 2021. Many Republicans who dislike Trump blamed him for Georgia Senate losses, saying he was encouraging people not to vote. This, in turn, led to Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff winning the second round of the January 5 election. And these people have a legitimate point. Yet while they’re eager to blame Trump, they ignore that they’ve essentially done the same thing by not supporting Trump in 2020. That might be a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s true nonetheless. This, in turn, allowed the Democrats’ platform and the cancellation of student loans to move forward. This illustrates the lesson Rendell was trying to teach.
Biden repeatedly touted student loan forgiveness during the campaign trail. This has been a central issue of Democrats for several years now. Those who refused to back Donald Trump and what would have been a Republican political platform ensured Joe Biden’s election victory. Subsequently, this led to the cancellation of student loans and all the other Biden policies that plagued the country. So while the Republicans who chose not to support Trump did so on principle, their decision was ultimately damaging in the long run.
Certainly, each voter has the right to vote as he wishes. It is their constitutional right. So, in this regard, no one should have ill will because they would have voted on principle. However, it would have been better to have President Donald Trump and his politics than a Joe Biden administration. I wish they could have seen the forest for the trees.
Hopefully, Republicans can reflect on 2020 and as they head into the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election. Republicans should work to strengthen themselves instead of trying to destroy themselves. Because, as Biden’s election showed, the future of the country depends on it.
Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about Trump, his administration has accomplished a lot for the country. Trump has done an effective job of advancing a Republican agenda, which would have continued into his second term. Objectively speaking, which is honestly the best case scenario for any Republican: having a President Trump, which would have meant no student loan forgivenessan administration tough on illegal immigration, Republican judges, an administration tough on crime, and still do they have the right and the capacity to criticize it whenever they deem it necessary? Or what we currently have with Joe Biden?
Personally, the choice seems pretty obvious. If not, I will try to contact Professor Rendell to see if he would be willing to teach a master class.