President Donald Trump has had a real chance to step in and be the leader that the country needs in its most vulnerable time. Instead, he has only exasperated the situation and has created more division in this country. Whether it was his response to the pandemic, his inability to bring citizens together on the racial issues or his plan to dismantle the postal service, the President has not lived up to the expectations of the American people. It’s a pattern that the American people have seen for the past four years.
On the other hand, there is Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Biden has been criticized for some glaring positions he had in his past such as fighting to keep busing desegregated in his home state of Delaware in 1974 or opposing the legalization of marijuana while also refusing to decriminalize the drug. Not to mention earlier this year he also had multiple allegations of previous cases of sexual misconduct .
So where do we go from here? Both candidates have major flaws, and voting third party or not voting at all will be almost equivalent to voting for Donald Trump due to how the Electoral College is set up.
This election will ultimately come down to voting for the candidate that can unite the country in a time of Covid-19 and high racial tensions. In this case, that person would be Joe Biden. Trump’s track record and rhetoric over the past four years has divided the country, and another four could set the country back even further. A vote for Joe Biden will be more about a vote against Donald Trump and his policies.
Trump looked to have a pretty decent shot at re-election before 2020. The economy was running well ,and the Democratic party was in a limbo about who was the clear cut candidate for the 2020 election. Everything started to go downhill in March.
On March 11, Covid-19 was deemed a global pandemic, and the United States was behind the eight ball. Fast forward to June ,and the U.S. is the epicenter of the virus. While countries like South Korea and New Zealand were enjoying coming back to normalcy, the United States was still struggling with the high number of cases as hotspots were popping up all over the country. The US has the highest number of cases in the world and is 8th on number of cases per 100,000 population. As of now, the country sits at 5.7 million cases and 178,00 deaths.
Trump’s approval rating also took a dip this year for his handling of race relations after the murder of George Floyd. He tweeted out how “the shooting starts when the looting starts” about the protests that occurred across the country. His viral photo op in front of St. John’s church caused controversy as protestors in front of the White House were tear gassed in order to clear the way for Trump to take a picture holding a bible in front of the church.
Trump has been bad across the board the last four years, but 2020 is arguably his worst year yet. His supporters have been loyal from the beginning, and it is hard to imagine Republicans aside from John Kasich not endorsing the current President.
Biden has quietly taken over in the polls more so due to his non-threatening personality. He has been able to take jabs at the president through social media and through other Democrats who back him.
He also has his own set of flaws that could be exposed as November approaches. He does have a problem with public speaking, and there have been questions about his cognitive decline. There were numerous times where he has lost train of thought or slurred his words while speaking on talk shows or in public spaces. Trump has already latched onto Biden’s speech problems routinely calling him “Sleepy Joe” or retweeting videos showing Biden’ public speaking blunders. However, Biden’s speech at the Democratic National Convention did show promise as he was able to deliver a powerful speech under immense pressure.
Biden is considered not being progressive enough. He has the backing of moderate Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, but more progressive Democrats such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have been critical of some of his policies. Sanders and Warren in particular have ripped Biden over some of his more moderate policies in the debates earlier in the year, but have since supported Biden when it was clear he was going to be the nominee.
Unlike 2016, there isn’t a household name third party candidate that has come into the fold yet. In 2016 it was Gary Johnson for the Libertarian party who had a significant following for a third party candidate. The Libertarian party has chosen Jo Jorgenson to run for 2020, but there hasn’t been much noise for her as a serious candidate as of late.
Then there is Kanye West, who is running as an independent for — and this is true — the Birthday Party. West has contemplated running for president since 2016, and he has ballot access in states like Utah, Colorado and Oklahoma. He certainly has the most clout of any presidential nominee not named Donald Trump or Joe Biden, but his chances of even coming close in any state are slim, and most voters will not vote for West solely based on his name.
This election is tricky because both major candidates have flaws that cannot be ignored. Due to demographics and the way the Electoral College is set up, voting third party or not voting at all is only giving Trump more leverage to win the election. But at the end of the day, voting for Joe Biden will ultimately move Donald Trump out of the White House for good.
Even if Joe Biden was not your first choice, his presence will have a huge impact on the future of this country. For example, a Trump reelection would most likely mean he will appoint a conservative federal judge in order to overturn Roe v. Wade, which would mean that abortions would be ruled unconstitutional thus making abortions illegal at the federal level.
Trump will also likely want to beef up the war on drugs, which will result in making it harder for immigrants of color to come into the country. The immigration policy in place aims at not allowing illegal drugs to come in the country through Mexican cartels even though most drugs are smuggled by driving in and out of the border. This will affect any policy relating to immigrants, including DACA which could possibly be ended if Trump is reelected for a second term.
A Trump re election will set the country back even more. His policies are moving the country backwards, and tensions between Americans are as high as they’ve been since the 1960s.
Nathan Canilao is the sports editor of The Express. Follow him @nathancanilao.