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Okay Gen Z, Let’s Talk Election

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

So far in 2024, Gen Z has made major waves on social media in support of voting third party in the November Presidential election. Polls show that Gen Z support for President Biden has dropped in 2024, mainly due to young activists’ cries for a ceasefire in Gaza, more direct climate policy, and student loan forgiveness. According to interviews from NPR, Gen Z feels that Biden promised them a lot, and delivered very little. However, this is not entirely the case.  President Biden has been making strides towards all the policies that he promised us, but whether the legislation passes is not always up to him. Let’s look at what President Biden has really been doing the past three years.

Climate Policy

Biden has not only poured an unprecedented amount of money into climate funding, but he has also been proposing new legislation and overturning harmful legislation from Donald Trump’s presidency. Biden signed and implemented the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides billions of dollars in funding, generous tax cuts to incentivize consumers to use electric vehicles, and created a new program to cut methane emissions. This act will absolutely help the U.S. reach Biden’s goal to be emission-free by 2050. Biden has been working to improve climate policy, but the House is not always in his favor. The House currently is in Republican control, which strongly opposes Biden’s methods of phasing out fossil fuels. He has, however, been able to stop the Keystone Pipeline and, on his very first day in office, he reinstated the U.S. into the Paris Agreement after Trump had the U.S. removed.

Student Loan Forgiveness

In 2023 Biden proposed his student loan forgiveness program, which would have offered millions of citizens up to $20,000 in student loan relief. After being tied up in courts for months, the program was struck down by the Supreme Court. The Biden Administration immediately began working on another method to get the legislation passed. Biden has also made new rules that allow for more people to access debt cancellation programs and has proposed an income-driven repayment plan. Once again, Biden has made strides and meaningful attempts to offer us student loan forgiveness, but unfortunately the Courts and the House are not in his favor.

Foreign Affairs

Joe Biden entered office during a tumultuous time worldwide. In the middle of his presidency, Russia invaded Ukraine and began a series of missile strikes. Biden immediately imposed sanctions that would keep imports from the U.S. from reaching Russia, mostly targeting banks and defense machinery. He also fought GOP members for months before the senate voted to approve his plan to send more aid to Ukraine.

Now, let’s discuss the main reason that Gen Z is so disappointed, and rightfully so, in Biden. The situation between Israel and the Palestinians is nothing short of horrific and, honestly, President Biden had been put in a very tough situation. Hamas committed a terrible, senseless, terrorist attack against Israel, killing at least 1,400 people and taking more than 200 hostages. Israel retaliated with airstrike after airstrike, which prompted the mass amounts and destruction we are now seeing. Israel’s response is unnecessary, horrific, and unjust. Palestinian citizens who are trapped in the Gaza with no food, shelter, or medical assistance are being relentlessly bombed all because Hamas is hiding amongst them. The U.S. and Jordan have been trying to send in humanitarian aid, but angry Israeli citizens were blocking and destroying the aid trucks from reaching Gaza. Israeli guards allowed protesters to continue blocking aid, until Israel decided to send more guards to the border. The U.S. and Jordan have sent aid into Gaza by airdrop and the U.S. is working to build a floating pier to send aid to Gaza by sea. While the U.S., Jordan, and even Canada are attempting to help Palestinians in Gaza, what truly must happen is for Israel to back down on the airstrikes. However, while Biden may or may not be able to influence a ceasefire, at the end of the day that decision is completely reliant on Israeli leaders. No one is denying that the situations abroad are horrific and senseless, but Biden has been doing his best to navigate these tricky foreign affairs.

What would voting Third Party accomplish?

In short: nothing. Voting third-party in our country’s history has never once been successful and in fact, it only ever splits one major party and leaves the other open for the win. This is absolutely what could happen in 2024 if Gen Z votes third party or chooses not to vote entirely. MAGA Republicans are intensely loyal to Donald Trump and most voters choose to vote straight-ticket anyways, meaning that Republicans won’t have a reason to split their vote. If Liberals do split the vote for Biden and a third-party candidate, I fear we leave the nation vulnerable to Trump once again gaining power. Only this time, I’m not so sure he would let it go. Trump already tried to deny an election once and in turn insighted an insurrection. He is facing countless criminal charges, which he seems to never truly be punished for, and somehow, he is still allowed on the ballot. I know Gen Z doesn’t want to see Trump back in office, but I also know that Gen Z feels failed by Biden. Biden can get much more done this term if we can get him more Democrats in Congress that will support his policies and put them into action. I know that it seems Biden has disappointed us, but in reality he is pushing for all the things on his agenda and he is listening, especially to you Gen Z. I know that if Biden had more support from both Congress and S.C.O.T.U.S., he would be able to get much more done. We cannot give up on the Biden Administration just yet, the stakes are simply too high.

Tenny Luhrs is an author and member of the Writing and Editing Committee for Her Campus at Texas A&M University. She writes and publishes articles for Her Campus with her main topic coverage being news, social justice, and activism. Outside of Her Campus, Tenny is a full-time, third year student at Texas A&M University and is majoring in Communications with a minor in Spanish. Tenny is also the co-owner of Mended Jewelry, a permanent jewelry business that she founded with her roommate in the College Station area. As partial owner of Mended Jewelry, Tenny oversees marketing, inventory, scheduling, and legal protections for the business. In her free time, Tenny enjoys streaming shows and podcasts, reading, and finding new music. Tenny is the mother of a beautiful black cat named Kitty, who is her whole world. She also frequents record stores and antique stores, taking pride in the fact that her home décor has been described as “grandma- chic.” She is most passionate about social justice issues and activism and has attended many marches for gun reform and LGBTQ+ rights. Seeing the divide within the media, she strives to work as a journalist to bring factual, unbiased news to the public.