The choices we make in this presidential election are dire

Despite what we think of the government, not caring certainly isn't going to solve anything. | Benz De Marshall Pierre, PantherNOW

Benz De Marshall Pierre | Staff Writer 

From MAGA extremism and some of the highest political partisanship in decades, the upcoming election cycle is poised to be one of the most important in recent memory. Yet most of us students are too plagued with voter apathy to do anything about it.

When I first began to learn about US politics, my admiration for the political system was immediate. I wasn’t awed by the number of political geniuses there were in Capitol Hill, for there were only a few, but more so by this system of rigid and enduring principles sitting at the bottom of the system. 

The US government, despite all the things it gets right, is invaded by a lot of actors who approach the elected representatives to have them vote a certain way with the promise of big campaign donations as a reward. This has paralyzed Congress and made us dissatisfied with the government as a whole. 

In recent memory we have seen some of that paralysis at work, endless races to avoid shutdowns and an unlucky border bill that died after Trump whipped his vassals in Congress into submission, to name just a few

Despite what we think of the government, not caring certainly isn’t going to solve anything. In other words, voter apathy is not a solution. 

Another vital element that may be fueling voter apathy is the apparent senility of both candidates, which particularly affects Biden. Because of this, it is understandable that the populace as a whole is not very keen on voting. 

Interestingly, last year it was found that young adults showed no enthusiasm for either of these candidates, now it would seem that they would prefer to focus on the issues– this is a significant shift of mindset. 

We have all seen and heard about the president’s complicated relationship with stairs. We have all heard of his gaffe-prone speeches, and even though I think a candidate’s mental acuity is an important attribute when running for office, Biden’s gaffes and stumbles have not translated into any administrative failure. 

But of course, the issue has never been about age. It’s a tactic that’s worked wonderfully as it managed to magnify the age of one candidate while ignoring that his challenger is only 4 years younger. 

Biden may not be a gifted speaker who can mesmerize us with his oratory skills, but the country has not gone up in flames during his term. Though this is the bare minimum, wouldn’t an 81 year old with concerning mental capacity do worse?

Biden’s detractors also conveniently omit Senator Joe Manchin who has been a thorn in his paw. The West Virginian senator’s insistence that the economic package back in 2022 be reduced was quite notable, but even his opposition was a bridge that Biden crossed.

Furthermore, Biden can count on achievements such as a decently managed inflation up to this day,  the CHIPS Act, increased benefits for veterans, student debt reduction and a smattering of other accomplishments. These I believe stand as a testimony of the man’s competence and are a fair medium of evaluation. 

Economic prosperity alone should not be the only basis upon which the American president is evaluated. I have also come to believe that a certain reverence for the system is also an important element. 

Never have I thought that an American politician would show so much contempt for the electoral system by continuously refusing to accept the results of an election he lost even after 4 years, as Mr. Trump did. Never have I seen an American president say and do so many controversial things and allow his ego to rule his actions. 

Biden is far from being perfect. His hesitancy to punish Netanyau for his actions in Gaza is particularly problematic, but I don’t think any other president would have acted differently. 

We have to recall that Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, causing a spasm of violence that saw multiple casualties. Biden on the other hand has spearheaded an effort to build a temporary pier to deliver food to Palestinians. Additionally, the US has just abstained from vetoing a cease-fire resolution in the war in Gaza, allowing the resolution to pass. 

These are no doubt some long-overdue attempts at rectifying the mistake of having let too many civilians die in the bloodshed in Gaza, but they deserve to be counted. 

In the coming months, we will be bombarded with ads begging us to vote for one candidate or another. Your decision will be informed in part by your background and other miscellaneous factors. But know this, every test the US political system endures, it will become weaker if these principles are not renewed. 

In the future, other candidates might be tempted to test the system and if it suffers a huge blow we might not recover. Voter apathy is an issue that needs to be solved sooner than later to protect the democratic system. 


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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