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“One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” This is a principle upon which our nation’s foundation was built, but we could not be further away from that today.

Our politicians must put aside their selfish wants and work together to better this country for the generations to come. They should be setting good examples of leadership — not scaring and lying to the people of America.

President Joe Biden delivered, in my opinion, a strong State of the Union address on Feb. 7. In response, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders decided to use scare tactics, propaganda and lies in the official Republican response.

Let’s start with the misinformation in Sanders’ response. Sanders claimed that the Biden administration “refuses to secure the border.” This statement is simply false. While the Biden administration did mostly halt the building of the border wall, its funding of border security is similar to the funding under the Trump administration.

Sanders also stated, “100,000 Americans a year are now killed from drug overdoses, largely from fentanyl pouring across our southern border.” While this is true, it needs to be explained further. This is just a blanket statement used to scare voters.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses between July 2021 and August 2022, and most of those deaths were fentanyl overdoses. While Mexico is the source of most illegal fentanyl in the U.S., it is important to point out that most of the drugs come through official border checkpoints in large trucks; they are not brought here by individual immigrants who go under the wall or cross the border illegally.

Sanders also spread propaganda in an attempt to scare viewers. To say that Biden is “unfit to serve as commander in chief” is totally opinionated and not supported by facts. According to press releases on the official White House website, under the Biden administration, the United States has more people employed than ever before. The administration has worked to protect LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights, and Biden has signed meaningful gun violence reforms.

At a time when Americans are being pushed apart and some are working to further divide us, our government officials should be working hard to unify the country, not separate us further.

Elected leaders who play off our fears and confusion are not the people who should be leading this nation. I encourage those who can vote to consider not only a candidate’s opinions but their ability to bring people together.

Bohdan Meyer is in the 12th grade at Warwick High School.

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