Monday, August 31, 2020

Presidential Election 2020: My Thoughts on Voting

I've never written about a Presidential Election on my blog before, so this is a bit strange for me. I think it's important, though, to talk about where I stand, so that 1) I have a record of it and my posterity has a record of it, and 2) I can help anyone who might be on the fence about who to vote for.

Truth be told, I didn't put enough effort into any votes before this year. I voted Republican because I had a vague sense of what Republicans stood for, and honestly, it was hard to understand where candidates landed on lots of issues during the pre-Internet Age. Now, you can find out more than you probably want to know about each candidate, and I guess in some ways, it's a blessing and a curse. What do you do, for example, when one candidate has been accused of plagiarism, and there is evidence aplenty online of his guilt? (Biden) What do you do when that same candidate has also been accused of sexual harassment? These things may not have seen the light of day, if we didn't have the internet. Similarly, without the internet, we may not know that the other candidate has made extremely crude comments about women or that he lied about his wealth to get onto the Forbes 400 list or that he engaged in suspect tax schemes and went bankrupt several times. (Trump)

In 2020, we are privy to the seedy details of people's lives, and when it comes to Presidential candidates, that can leave us feeling downright disappointed and lackluster about voting. We can throw our hands up in the air and exclaim, "Does it even matter anyway?" We can also just vote the same way we've always voted because let's face it -- it's easier. There's next to no cognitive load when you don't have to suss out where each candidate stands on key issues. If you vote one party all the way down the ballot, you can walk away feeling like you've done your civic duty, and no one is the wiser.

But what if there's another way? I submit that there is, and I'll quote my dear friend Carrie for this: "Voting has become infused with a weird sense of morality when it's really just pragmatic. One of them is going to hold the office, so pick the one you like better. Or hate least. [. . .] If you don't like the pool of candidates, then get involved earlier in the process."

She's right of course. Getting involved earlier in the process is the ideal way to do your civic duty. Unfortunately for the upcoming election, it's too late. So what now?  I recommend voting for the candidate you think will be a better president. He may not be the best president or the perfect person, but if you look at the Presidential Election as it really is -- as a job interview -- then remember that with job interviews, you are looking for someone who can do the job well enough and better than the other candidates you've seen. For this election, I encourage you to check out this helpful page from Where Biden and Trump stand on key issues. It's mostly neutral, but maybe just a tad left-leaning.

As for me, well . . . I reserve the right to change my mind as the election gets closer, but currently, I'm planning on voting for Biden, and here's why (in no particular order):

  • He's cautious about reopening the economy during this pandemic.
  • He wants to put pressure on China and boost domestic manufacturing.
  • He plans to spend a lot of money on green investments, supports research on advanced nuclear energy, wants to strengthen emission standards, and plans to re-enter the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
  • He wants to eliminate the death penalty and solitary confinement. (I believe very, very strongly in elimination of the death penalty. For further reading on this, see Just Mercy, Wrongful Execution, and Death Penalty Information Center.)
  • He plans to stop additional construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, and he supports the DACA program. (I believe very, very strongly in immigration and in welcoming all we can into this country. See The Effects of Immigration on the United States' Economy.)
  • He's promised to pick a diverse cabinet, which would be a welcome and refreshing change.
There are a few more reasons why I plan on voting for Biden, but they have more to do with the fact that he's not Trump -- and that's probably not constructive right now. Hopefully, though, this list is enough to get you thinking about what your own stance is on some key issues. If you decide you don't want to vote for Biden, that's okay, but again, hopefully this list makes you think about why.

Finally, a word to my fellow Christians: I've heard a lot of you say that the key issue for you is where the candidate stands on abortion. As someone who is devoutly Christian, let me tell you why abortion is not the deciding factor for me.

  1. Abortion is at an all-time low and has been trending downward for years, even before Donald Trump took office. (See U.S. Abortion Rate Continues Long-term Decline in Most States and Five Theories for the Record-Low U.S. Abortion Rate.)
  2. As my friend Emily put it, "I think that ship has sailed and what we should be doing is trying to educate everyone on their safe options." For me, that includes greater access to birth control and sex education in schools.
  3. While I don't condone abortion, there are Christian values that I think are more at-risk right now and present themselves in the following ways: anti-immigration policies, improper stewardship of this planet God created for us, and often, limited access to a fair trial.
  4. As a Mormon, I believe that there are some cases when abortion is necessary, and the Church has specified that those cases are as follows: 1) when the life of the mother or child is at risk, 2) in cases of rape or incest. As such, I don't think abortion is a black-and-white issue. There are more perspectives to abortion than simply Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, so I don't assume to understand the nuances of a candidate's thoughts on this topic.

Thing I'm thankful for: a husband who lets me drone on about the thoughts in my head


Blogger donnaj edwards said...

Very significant Information for us, I have think the representation of this Information is actually superb one. This is my first visit to your site. Listcrawlers

9:50 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home