The nation is on the cusp of inevitable change. Election season is coming to an end and regardless of the victor, American life will never be quite the same after 2020. Many events this year were beyond our control, but the presidential election is not one of them.
In this utterly chaotic year, it is imperative that Americans cast their votes to catapult change.
Unfortunately, neither of the two main parties will completely fulfill the needs of all Americans. Given that there are over 330 billion people in the United States, it seems unfair for the popular vote to depend on the characteristics of two individual candidates to effectively govern the entire nation. It’s much more troubling when those candidates lack righteousness and honesty.
Voters are not expected to agree 100% with all aspects of a candidate's platform. Casting votes is an opportunity to influence the way the administration serves the nation.
Sadly, almost half of registered voters did not take part in the 2016 presidential election. Twenty-five percent of non-voters said they did not like either candidate, according to a study by Pew Research. If all voters would have participated in the last election, the current political climate could have been drastically different.
One would think with only two excessively publicized candidates, out of the 1,225 presidential candidates filed to run as of Oct. 26, 2020, voting for one’s own party preference would be easier. However, there are still pitfalls to either Republican or Democratic candidate.
Joe Biden seems to be riding on the coattails of his two terms as vice president to Barack Obama prior to 2016. However, neither Biden nor President Donald Trump, receive awards for eloquence. Biden has uttered profanities at public events with disregard for microphone proximity.
But, Biden is not the only person making his presidency controversial. Biden’s son Hunter Biden was recently called into question over alleged corrupt maneuvers by his father to help the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, where Biden's son worked. This situation came to light due to Trump blackmailing the Ukrainian government with military assistance in exchange for information on Biden, in hopes of derailing Biden’s candidacy in the 2020 election.
In an interview on April 30, 2009 on NBC’s “Today Show” regarding the swine flu epidemic Biden said, "I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places right now. It's not that it's going to Mexico, it's that you are in a confined aircraft." To some viewers, his statement implied that the country is not a safe or desirable place to go to.
His seemingly minor slip-ups like these beg the question, what other matters are dealt with in such disregard?
While Biden has presented himself foolishly in the public eye, Trump has also taken part in his own charades as president and businessman.
Trump has been criticized for many decisions and actions and was nearly impeached. In 2017, his lack of urgency and inaction regarding the opioid crisis was regarded as shameful. Even today, Trump’s sense of urgency still lacks as demonstrated by his inability to wear a mask and his flippancy towards the current pandemic which eventually led to him and his wife testing positive for COVID-19.
Trump’s public comments have also been a problem. He has said some wildly inappropriate things in reference to women and their bodies while Biden has gotten uncomfortably close with some women and girls.
But despite their wrongdoings, both candidates have also done some good.
As of July 2019, the unemployment rate under Trump was at its lowest in almost 50 years, with the highest number of job openings in the past 18 years. However, that’s not without saying that the employment rate was already considerably low during the Obama-era.
In 1994, Biden co-sponsored the Violence Against Women Act. This act helped allocate over a billion dollars in funds to investigate and prosecute violent crimes against women.
While it seems as though the nation has to choose the lesser of two evils in this election, more triumphs for the U.S. economy and its citizens are possible with an intensely active voting base. The more often voters provide input via voting and signing petitions, the louder the message is to our leaders.
Voting will bring change and will let the government know what expectations people have for the country. For example, taxes can be changed, the legal process can be improved and the Constitution can be amended all from the effects of voter participation.
When it comes down to it, feasible choices are extremely limited in the presidential election. Making a decision, even a well-informed one, proves difficult. No single candidate will ever meet all the needs of every single voter. It’s impossible.
The best we can do is consider all sides, investigate a variety of sources and make the best decision possible when casting our ballots. It is not only our right, but it is our responsibility to vote.