Why to Care About the 2020 Election-Opinion
by Jack Conner
The United States of America is in a state of deep unrest, and has been for much of the past several years. Tensions are currently higher than ever, and a deep divide separates the American people along party lines. Everyone is forced into categories and required to choose a side, either Democrat or Republican, and there seems to be no middle ground. This heightened political climate, demonstrated through massive protests on both sides of politics, is exactly what makes this upcoming election so important.
Americans have only two real options to vote for in November: Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Although third-party candidates exist, such as Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian Party and Howie Hawkins of the Green Party, none of these candidates realistically stand a chance. Joe Biden, the Democrat Party’s nominee for the presidency, is running on a platform of combatting the coronavirus pandemic, expanding healthcare, reforming the criminal justice system, and being an alternative to Donald Trump. Donald Trump, the incumbent president and Republican Party nominee, is running on a platform of stimulating the American economy, restricting immigration, and terminating the Affordable Care Act.
However, more is at stake in this election than just the presidency. Four years ago, during the 2016 presidential election, Russia hacked certain news sites and fabricated stories to benefit Donald Trump, helping him win the presidency. In recent years, Trump has continued the spread of misinformation that Russia began in 2016, tearing down the concept of truth and dividing America even further. He has attacked science and climate change, ignored the systematic racism that plagues the police department, and he prevented thousands of immigrants from entering the United States. Every word spoken by Trump throughout his presidency has discredited the office he holds, and hurt the credibility of the entire nation. A vote for him in November means a vote against America, and a vote against the principles this country was founded on.
Trump supporters claim, though, that Biden is not a better option, and, to some extent, that appears to be true. This election features the two oldest candidates in US history: Biden, 77 years old, and Trump, 74 years old. Biden has countless past political mistakes, including the disastrous hearing for Anita Hill that he oversaw and his opposition to the integration of schools; these political missteps allowed Trump and his supporters to claim that Biden is no better than, if not worse than, Trump. These attacks, both from Trump against Biden as well as statements by Biden against Trump, have turned the election into a campaign of mud-slinging, a strategy Trump used extremely effectively in 2016. No matter who wins this election, a dark stain remains over this period in US history.
The only way the people can brighten this otherwise dark time is by giving it the ending that will lead to a brighter future. If Biden is elected, our democracy continues, and, although his policies may not improve the country all too much, the USA will survive. If Trump is elected, the United States we know may disappear forever. Throughout his presidency, Trump has disregarded the founding documents of the country, violated the emoluments clause, and done everything in his power to tarnish the presidency through telling false narratives and disregarding all attempts at bipartisanship. The people are speaking. The protests around the country and the millions of Twitter and Instagram advocates show that the US is entering another age of heightened political awareness. The citizens of the US can only hope that this new era, the direction of which shall be determined by the 2020 election, will bring positive change to the country, as well as the people who live in it.