To Vote or Not to Vote

Clara Malone, Visuals Editor

Is the act of voting truly the most democratic act an American can do?

Throughout the 2020 presidential campaigns, many  people are considering themselves to have better morals, because they are deciding to vote for neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump, or for a third party. Voting for the lesser of two evils can be life changing for those that are directly affected by Trump’s policy.

Some of Joe Biden’s policies may align with yours, even if he was not your first preference. An example of this could be on education funding. Biden plans to increase funding for schools and teachers. This includes raising pay for teachers, investing more into resources through schools, and helping students find the path to their career.

Trump on the other hand has also said, “a child’s zip code in America should never determine their future.” Meaning, he believed that no matter where someone lives, they should be able to achieve a good education. However, on the contrast, the Trump administration has shown their support for cutting national education funds by five billion dollars. A candidate’s past words may not always reflect their true intentions through their administration.

One reason Trump may seem appealing to voters are his stances on cutting taxes for the top 1%. However, these plans can be very harmful to the lower and middle class. This includes his tax reform plan, 83% of which would only benefit those in the top 1% of the economy. While Biden has stated that his administration will only raise taxes for those earning over 400k per year and will also be putting tax cuts in place for the middle class.

If a candidate is not your first choice, that does not mean they cannot bring the country more to your “standards”. Moving in the direction that you prefer is the first step in democracy. Voting is essential to this.

Unfortunately, the two-party system in America makes progress happen slower, as there are only two viable or realistic options in a presidential election that have a chance at winning. However, it also makes it difficult for Americans to find a candidate that truly represents their ideal country. Because of this, not voting, or voting for a third party is unhelpful, and threatening to true democracy. In order for an American citizen to play their part in the democracy of the country, they must vote for one of the two candidates.