Let me get real here: Most young liberals aren’t happy with Joe Biden as our pick for the Democratic presidential candidate. Most young people in general are not going to be in support of re-electing President Trump. But these are the choices we’ve been given, and there just isn’t enough time to come up with another option – especially given the dire circumstances of this health crisis from lack of leadership.
Speaking as a liberal student, I’m still voting, even though I’m not pleased with the options (and below, I’ll tell you why). For more conservative readers, the most I can recommend is to vote for the candidate who aligns with your core values and will introduce legislation that acts on the most important issues for you.
Vote, no matter what
This isn’t the time to act as though you’re virtuous enough to not vote between two evils. However, one’s hesitation to partake in voting is understandable, especially if you are BIPOC and feel dissonance (or even betrayal) from our political parties. But think of this: Trump’s record over the past four years simply demands for everyone who is able to act. With his handling of the pandemic, our nation is in dire need of new leadership before America becomes unsalvageable.
There cannot be any further discourse on whether Biden is qualified to be the nominee, or how Bernie Sanders was the revolutionary we needed when the stakes are this high – because people are dying in their homes, on the streets, and in hospitals hooked onto ventilators. This is what Trump’s presidency has brought America, and we must vote him out. Trump – who once questioned the existence of the pandemic altogether and continues to spew microaggressions toward Asians by coining the novel COVID-19 virus as “Kung flu” – should not be leading our country. If this virus hasn’t met you or your loved ones yet, who’s to say it won’t in the coming months or years?
I’m casting my vote, not because I think it will make that much of a difference (thanks, Electoral College), but because it is my civic duty. As a citizen of this country, I owe it to myself and my community to be both well-informed and politically active. I find this to be especially true among Asian-Americans. Although we are the quickest growing racial group in the United States, our voter turn-out is exceptionally low. When you don’t vote, you’re telling politicians that the issues you hold close to your heart are not ones they need to pay attention to win the election.
Biden might not be the best pick (and neither is Kamala Harris, who has devastated many communities in California), but what they haven’t done is abandon citizens during a pandemic, separate children from their parents, send paramilitary troops to terrorize protesters, deny freedom of speech, and allow white supremacist rhetoric to have a platform. Harris is not who I would have wanted to be VP, or the first woman of Asian and African descent to be on a major political ticket, but this is admittedly a start.
While it’s fair to say that the majority of Biden’s campaign revolves around him saying “I’m not Trump,” he is still fighting for our country to move in the right direction. Biden’s platform consists of abortion and reproductive rights, keeping DACA, rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, protecting the USPS, banning assault weapons, and raising the minimum wage. It’s an understatement to say his campaign will be focused on protecting more people than Trump’s will.
Though there’s no guarantee that he will keep all his promises to the people, we must hope. That is all we can do to make sure tomorrow is better than today.
For me, as a person of color working in healthcare and living in New York City, this isn’t much of a “choice” for my community and me. As a registered voter in Arizona, I also know that my fulfilling my civic duty weighs heavily in this upcoming election, as the southwest state is a battleground between the two presidential candidates. This is do or die. I must vote for Biden, not necessarily because I’m happy with their campaign or pleasantly appeased by the DNC, but because it is the only viable option for so many people like me. The government derives its power from the people. Although neither party necessarily serves the people’s interests anymore, voting gives us the chance to reclaim our power. We must be proactive in dark moments like these. We must fight for our democracy.