The United States election day is impending. It is consuming the worlds of social media and national news networks, the fabricated and fraudulent policies of politicians are dissected by quibbling news anchors and Twitter pundits, and our Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates squabble on screen, with information disseminated (and confused) at a faster rate than in any previous American election.
Given the circumstances – coronavirus and consequent job loss, civil unrest, and spiritual and moral decline – the tense social environment makes for an increasingly stressful political climate. People look at the 2020 election as an increasingly important opportunity to both correct the economy sabotaged by a pandemic, and to solve systematically flawed processes, specifically within our judicial, educational, and defensive systems.
Every issue is made political. Every issue is given a side. Every side is pitted against something, or someone else. No one can be neutral. No one can be open minded. No one can see both sides. We are Republicans, or we are Democrats.
Is no one realizing the danger in this attitude? Can we no longer appreciate the value and the disfavor within both viewpoints? We are, as a country, perhaps more divided than we have been since the Civil War, and the controversial policy issues which followed the birth of our country.
We watch the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates, and what do we take away? What do our media and news networks discuss? Well, President Trump refuses to call Biden smart, and to wear a face mask. Biden’s son was dishonorably discharged. Flies are quite unusually attracted to Pence. Harris makes displeased facial expressions when inappropriately and unfairly cut off. None of these occurrences are in any way substantial in the scheme of applying for any job – which is essentially, exactly what these candidates are doing. If a local consulting firm wouldn’t find my personal narrative, (or oddly magnetic attraction for bugs) a suitable reason for hire, then why do Americans accept this behavior from and media coverage over arguably the most important job interview to take place in the United States?
And, if this job is so significant, where are the “fact checkers,” and how do our candidates avoid answering their questions? Why aren’t Americans focusing on the lies, or misinformation referenced by all parties throughout each debate? Who’s discussing the fact that Trump failed to provide details on his healthcare plan in replacement of Obamacare? Biden claimed that President Trump did not enter Wuhan as early as he could to determine the exact danger of the coronavirus, when in fact, Trump sent officials to China in early January, and Biden waited an additional fifty days to administer the same order. Harris repeatedly mentions the Green New Deal Act, but fails to elaborate on her and Biden’s plan to accumulate the $2 trillion to support this idea. Pence claimed that Trump passed a law which saved 50 million American jobs, when truly it saved between 5-7 million jobs.
In summation, what came out of the debates? Do we trust anyone more than we did before? Are we any more informed? Are we any prouder, for any justified reasons, of the candidates we personally support than we were before viewing? Are we any closer to feeling comfortable with our voting decisions?
Are we as a country comfortable with the direction politics are heading: a popularity contest where world leaders point fingers and blame each other? Where policies are unspecified, and entire laws and events are completely overshadowed by the facial-expression, fly-nestling-into-hair, virus-curing-disinfectant-concoction, word-stumbling-Sleepy-Joe dramatic nonsense?
After watching the debates and later reading the news reports, I certainly know that I am no more confident in any of our candidates and newscasters than I had been before. I’m just embarrassed and concerned, because this is backwards. I should feel more secure in my potential leaders. I should anticipate probable change- a clear plan, or direction. Instead, I feel overwhelmed by the lack of organization, professionalism, and most importantly, basic respect between our country’s opposing political parties.
This is quite a discouraging and disappointing position to be in as a first time voter.
If I’ve taken anything away from this experience, it is that under the condition of the United States today, we cannot afford to skip ahead to issues such as police brutality, or systemic racism, or the economy: we need to start where it all begins. What do we expect from our politicians? From our reporters? What do we value, and who and how can our leaders embody these values?
We need change. We need to attract young, progressive, motivated, and organized politicians that can look at policy with fresh eyes. We need to restore, or return to the morals the United States grew from, regardless of whether or not America upheld those values at our origin: the principles that ground us are honorable, respectable and quite frankly, the largest contributor to our country’s legacy and identity. America needs to do something, because this is backwards.