Image, Image, and Power

by Daniel Shen ’23

Source: NBC News

Published Nov. 20th, 2020

One important aspect of being the president of the United States is to have the support and respect of the people which reside under them.

Some would argue that people’s trust in their leader is even more important than that person’s power – after all, in a democratic system, trust affects how long the leader has power and how effective that power is.

This is especially true for president elect Joe Biden, especially regarding the speculations about his son, Hunter.

The main controversy is about Joe Biden’s actions in Ukraine. In 2014, Hunter was selected to be on the board of Ukrainian gas company, Burisma. Amid this, Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin was investigating corruption in the gas company. Joe Biden, as been speculated, threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine if the prosecutor was not fired in order to protect Hunter Biden and the rest of the family.

This theory ended up being disproved. According to the New York Times, a republican inquiry into this concluded that there was “no evidence of improper influence or wrongdoing by the former vice president.” However, this left a dark scar on his political reputation and deeply affected him and his family. As previously stated, being a political figure is more than a personal agenda; it’s about how the country perceives the figure.

The Hunter-Biden controversy is very similar to events that happened to Donald Trump and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. During that election, Donald Trump was accused of colluding with the Russian government to gain votes, while Hillary Clinton had emails detailing her political career that were leaked onto the Internet.

The elections were consequently heavily influenced by how people perceived each candidate and the controversies behind them. In order to gain people’s votes, the politicians had to display a solid public image to attain power. That meant steering clear of controversies and media scandals as often as possible.

With Biden, the situation is no different. How he is perceived is just as important as what he will do in the future, whether or not he is the American president.

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