“America is so profoundly unequal, we need tax reform”

“America is so profoundly unequal, we need tax reform”

In the run-up to the most important election for generations, we ask women voters how they feel about the choice that lies ahead. 

Jindra Cekan is the founder of Valuing Voices, a sustainable global development consultancy. With dual Czech and US citizenship, Jindra is voting from abroad at this election. 

The next President needs to address climate change – we have to, whether it’s a Biden plan or a Green New Deal. My children thought I had gone into catatonic shock when Trump announced he would pull us out of the Paris Agreement. The day after the US election is the day that becomes official. It is the most important issue of our lifetimes. 

Multilateralism is the second issue. We have to stop arguing with our allies and stop kowtowing to dictators around the world from Kim Jong-un to Putin, it’s just nuts! I mean, these are the people Trump calls friends? 

Thirdly I really do think America is so profoundly unequal, we need to deal with tax codes. I paid 37 times more tax than Trump last year. The economic inequities are just staggering. 

The top 1% earn more than the bottom 50% of the world, that’s not sustainable. Trump’s economic record, even before Covid, is nothing to be proud of. He gave tax breaks to corporations to buy their own stock back, not to raise the salaries of their employees. 

I think what matters to people is what’s in their wallet after a paycheck. That’s all they care about. It’s always been this way in America, this sense that we have to succeed and we have to do better, maybe now followed more closely by health and healthcare. That’s become a much bigger issue.

I’m appalled by voter suppression and white supremacy increasing. I’m flabbergasted that any woman is going to vote for Trump after “grab her by the pussy” came out. Now with Covid he’s presented himself messianically, you know, he survived. Well, he has phenomenal healthcare, he’s getting experimental drugs that the vast majority of Americans can’t, and for all the people that have lost their job, he’s taken away their opportunity to sign up for Obamacare. 

The one thing Trump has done, which I think has been genuinely fascinating, has been this emphasis on states’ rights, the federalist approach.  States now have a right to set their own minimum wage to a much greater degree, and they have a right to decide what to open and what not to open because of Covid. In that sense it’s been a fascinating three and a half years because America’s system has been mainly run at the national level, where the government says this is what’s going to happen and states will fight against it. Now it’s like they’re on their own. 

I’ve been amazed at the polarisation of the media. If you’re rightwing, you’re going to have Fox or Townhall. And if you’re leftwing, you’re going to read the New York Times and The Washington Post. It never was this way, the Washington Post was always seen as rather centrist, but then they started criticising the President. 

I have rightwing family and I post things from the BBC for them because it’s seen as more neutral. If I repost anything by American news sources they’re just going to say it’s skewed. Certain news sources are seen as drinking the Kool Aid and they’re automatically discredited. But the BBC did a wonderful article not that long ago that talked about all the positive reasons why people are voting for Trump. It was a really interesting list, with conservative judges but also quite a lot of support from small businesses. I was genuinely surprised, I found no coverage of this in the US. 

I’m really worried about the Supreme Court. Trump has stacked the judges to an extraordinary degree all over. He’s appointed something like 100 conservative judges at the appellate court [Trump has appointed 53 appeals court judges and over 200 judges federal district court judges, nearly four times more in four years than Presidents Obama and George W Bush over two terms.] If he appoints Amy Coney Barrett then the courts will turn to the right for the foreseeable future. A lifetime appointment is stark raving crazy. How can somebody who is 85 years old decide things for generations that are 60 years younger than them? That’s insane.

Of course Trump will contest the election results. He only gets away with what the senators and congressmen enable him to, you could have a nutcase in the White House and people would just sideline him. But they’ve enabled him to do this so it’s up to them to enable him not to. I’m a huge fan of Biden and Harris,  even if there was some other Republican candidate. I just think they’re very capable.

You have to discount the vast majority of what Trump says, but I’m most worried about the rightwing militias. I see them going out onto the streets and not believing anything that any vote counter says. Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate, said that there would be a reasonable process, but  I’m worried that at the state level, like with Gore vs Bush, no president will be appointed for some amount of time because they have to go through ballot counting. Every state is doing it differently which is part of the problem, so I think there will be states where if it’s tight they will drag it out for weeks. That gives a lot of chances for people to be violent. 

Follow Jindra on Twitter at @WhatWeValue

Featured image America vector created by pikisuperstar – www.freepik.com

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