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Will This Election Ever End?

An average election in the United States typically lasts about 500 days and ends on the first Tuesday of November. As many of you know, this is not your average US election and will most likely not end on election day. While the pandemic has played a major role in making the past year feel like a lifetime, the 2020 general election began much earlier than COVID-19’s introduction to the world.

In fact, this election began before any of the many Democratic candidates announced their candidacy for the highest office in the land. This election began the day Donald J. Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Defeating Donald Trump feels like it has been the headline of every major news network for at least the past five years. While this sentiment was echoed earlier on by his Republican competition, Democrats immediately adopted the chant once Trump won the Republican primaries. After narrowly defeating the former New York Senator in the 2016 general election, ending Trump’s presidency jumped to the top of the priority list for Democrats in Washington.

Trump’s presidency meant one thing for half the country: Unity was not on the table.

The media thrives on a national divide and has been promoting one since it occurred to them how profitable a 24-hour news cycle could potentially be. As Trump rails against the media, referring to them as “Fake News,” the media has railed back and covered every embarrassing, intimate detail of the President’s personal life. They have endorsed the anybody-but-Trump candidate from day one.

We also cannot ignore the odd censorship behavior both Facebook and Twitter have engaged. In a society that thrives on the principles of free speech, you don’t discredit an article by limiting its distribution. Instead, you challenge the article's credibility publicly, allowing for the reader to come to their own conclusions based on facts.

The pandemic only added more to an already chaotic election cycle. With the introduction of mail-in-ballots in many states for the first time and the number of lawsuits challenging changes to the election, many Americans are left confused and concerned about what to expect in the next two weeks. There seems to be updates almost everyday. Keeping up with the latest has become more like a second job as of lately.

More focus has been placed on the pandemic than on any other policy topic this election. COVID-19 has been a topic in each debate. Trump speaks about the coronavirus during every “peaceful protest” campaign rally he holds. Biden reminds Americans that Trump handled our national health poorly every chance he gets, whether it be through a campaign ad or during one of his few campaign stops.

While COVID-19 is certainly a serious topic, and the President’s handling of the pandemic should be observed and constructively criticized, some experts suggest that we will have a vaccine within the next six months, and our lives may start getting back to normal by the end of next year.

This leaves three years of policy that the Presidential candidates are not focusing on. How we will get through this pandemic is very important, but how we will recover financially in the long-term is just as important.

Democrats aren’t solely to blame for the divide. President Trump does not have the best track record in regards to how he interacts with women. There is damning evidence of him using vulgar language describing how he takes advantage of his celebrity status.

Furthermore, in regards to race, his responses have done everything but appease his critics, and have even created him some new enemies. There are genuine concerns being raised by minority communities that are not being addressed by Trump’s presidency, and were not addressed during President Barack Obama’s Administration when Joe Biden was the Vice President.

If we wanted a candidate genuinely concerned with tackling government policies that intentionally and directly imprison minority populations, we would be paying more attention to Jo Jorgensen’s campaign. However, she cannot convince the nonpartisan debate commission to allow her to address the nation against her competition, even though she is on the ballot in all 50 states.

Progress in this area of law isn’t going to come from the guy who wrote the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and will not come from the President who declares “Law and order” as the solution to the protests against law enforcement. America decided, however, that Jorgensen is off of the table this election because we operate as a two-party system.

When Trump won the election, the unemployment rate was at 5.1%. It had been steadily decreasing since November, 2010 when it was as high as 9.8% due to the recession. The unemployment rate was as low as 3.5% in February, 2020, when it skyrocketed to 14.7% in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic and state and local responses.

As of October, the unemployment rate sits at 7.9%. While unemployment remains an issue, job recovery is showing promise. So we can’t argue that Trump’s policies haven’t had a positive impact on the economy.

What’s true and what’s false seem to almost have become subjective to the media source from which you’re extracting your information. While facts will always be facts and are not subject to change, how facts are reported is very manipulative and plays into the public’s fetish with sensationalized election coverage. If you want something to be true, you can find a source backing your claim, or at least investigating your theory.

The media no longer plays the role of informing the public. Rather, they have minimized their role to solely entertain their viewers. Candidates for office are no longer incentivized to act on their best behavior. Rather, they are incentivized to act in a way to gain media attention. All press is good press, and the best press is free press.

Trump did not create all this chaos, nor did Biden. The pandemic surely hasn’t helped, but it can’t be blamed for what we are witnessing. The media wouldn’t act in a way that didn’t coincide with consumer demands.

It’s us America; we’ve allowed for the 2020 election to get out of control.


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