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A House Divided

No matter your political affiliation or opinions, most people agree that violence and propaganda has increased on all sides of the political aisle. As we head towards the finish line of the 2020 presidential election, these divisions have reached a ferocious level. Former vice president and current democratic presidential nominee Joseph Biden,, will face off against incumbent Donald Trump, on November 3rd. Each has rallied their supporting base and respective endorsements hoping to triumph this Tuesday.

 

The much anticipated first presidential debate, which took place on Tuesday, September 9th 2020, was watched by more than 73 million Americans, making it one of the most watched broadcasts in US history. And while these numbers soared, reviews by both experts and viewers plummeted. Most of the complaints were directed towards the constant interrupting and insulting coming from both candidates, which led to an absence of substance and policies mentioned. A second debate was scheduled to take place via virtual because of President Trump’s diagnosis with Covid-19 a few days after the first debate, however the debate was cancelled because of the president’s refusal to debate Biden over a computer screen. The 3rd debate on Thursday October 22nd implemented a somewhat controversial new policy by the Commision on Presidential Debates (CPD), which allowed the moderator to cut the mics of the candidates in order to keep them from interrupting each other. Donald Trump hammered issues regarding Hunter Bidens ( Joseph Biden’s son) business deals with a private energy firm in China, as well as Biden’s refusal to answer whether he would “pack” the supreme court ( increase the number of judges serving). On the other hand, Biden directed his attacks towards President’s Trump’s handling of the spread of Coronavirus throughout the country, as well as nationwide protests because of perceived racial Injustices against African Americans.

 

Early voting here in Florida began on October 24th 2020, and records have been broken both locally and nationally. Over 75 million eligible voters have already submitted their ballots, an increase of 25% from 2016, and more than one third of all qualified voters. The ongoing results are already being tracked in multiple swing states (states considered to go either way) , with Biden having a small but relatively significant lead in many of these states, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Minnesota, (where he leads by more than 5 percent). Nevada and Florida; however, are currently tighter, with the President less than 3 percent behind his competitor. Major voting blocs are predicted to follow suit to those of 2016, with those older than 65, caucasian men and women, and evangelicals throwing majority support behind the president, while Latinos, African Americans, and those below 65 are likely to support Biden. However, it is important to note the similarities between the 2016 and current election year, with the predicted outcome favoring the democratic nominee. As seen with the election 4 years ago early polls aren’t always correctly projected. With the election in a few days, these results may change. “All you need is an ID”. says St Johns Voting Official Cody Childress, when asked about the requirements and necessities needed when visiting a voting booth. You can visit their website “https://www.votesjc.com/ for more information.

 

 Once all votes are in on the 3rd, all eyes will turn towards the electoral college, composed of delegates elected to represent each states preferred candidate. The electoral college received much scrutiny in 2016. While President Trump won 304 delegates to Clintons 227 (270 needed to win), Clinton received 65,853,514 total votes to Trump’s 62,984,828 total, leading many to believe that the electoral college should be abolished and replaced with a majority population vote. US government teacher here at Nease, Mr Tusing, explains the history of the electoral college, and why it’s necessary for the protection of US democracy, “The electoral college was settled upon as a result of a series of compromises by the framers at the constitutional convention”. Mr Tusing goes on to explain the multitude of issues the college solves, “The electoral college and the formula that calculated how many electors would come from each state would help ensure the southern states would not always be outvoted by the north. Another issue the electoral college solved was the debate over whether the states or the congress should elect the president.”

 

With a global pandemic, nationwide riots, protesting, violence and a seeming end to political respectfulness plaguing the nation, It is important to reflect on what we hold dear as not just a country, but as a union , and perhaps lend an ear to Abraham Lincoln, who in 1858 famously stated in front of the assembly, “A house divided against itself, cannot stand”.