I recently casted my vote for this year's historic presidential election and I am happy to see that millions of Americans, especially in my age group 18-29 year old have already casted their vote early as well. As we've all learned harshly from the 2016 election, poll numbers don't mean much; its the actual votes alone that count. It's safe to say that we've learned our lesson, making sure we all show up and do what we can to encourage others to do so as well. But let's say it does work out and the votes turn out to accurately reflect the poll numbers? Assuming the candidate we want to win is Biden, is this the grand victory, the beginning of the change we need to desperately see in America?
Yes, it's been a difficult four years to say the least. The Trump administration has brought out the worst in people; it has brought those whose actions would've been deemed as heinous and inhumane towards others in society, somewhat acceptable to do. Never have we've seen a president (in recent years), praise the actions of white supremacists and refuse to condemn them even when given the chance to do so, multiple times. He also does not address the increase of police brutality, racial violence, and years-long systemic inequality that appears to be polarizing the country more and more. These issues shouldn't be politicized; these are human rights that are constantly violated without a second thought and these have been issues that the leader of a nation as diverse as America should be addressed in order to bring the country together, not tear it apart.
But aside from the poor leadership, the president's administration has shown, these issues are not new. We see parallels of what is happening today, to what has been happening every few years- police killing an unarmed person of color, protests, and outcry against it, and then the same thing happening two weeks later. If you're like me, you're tired of the same thing on repeat. You're tired of begging for reform, change and for accountability on those who commit those crimes. That's why this election matters so much- but we can't depend on the new administration to make the changes we've waited decades to see.
I definitely think we are in a better spot with Biden as president rather than Trump. Economically the country is shattering and although it is important to reopen the economy, we have to do it safely;this is something Trump seems to be very careless about as he constantly puts his own agenda and politics ahead of the safety of the American people, even his own supporters. However, Biden isn't going to wipe away the racist actions of law enforcement, he isn't going to stop the hate speech spewed at Muslims, undocumented immigrants, and refugees. It's not going to be an easy fix and we still need to put in the work. How you might ask- we seem to have been doing much already.
Well, I have faith in our generation being the catalyst for instrumental, governmental change. We are learning more, and spreading what we've learned, and educating others so we can spread it to those in power to take notice. We also can someday become the ones in power; encouraging young people to enter into their local civil governments is the first step in becoming the next AOC for example. And if you aren't leaning towards a political career path, there are things you can do in any position you obtain; my best friend is a teacher who teaches her students how they can better the present and future from the mistakes of the past, through methods of activism for example. I want to go into the media field so that I can help tell the diverse, under & misrepresented stories of people of color and others. Each of us can be an agent of positive change- but it takes communication and empathy to be open to others who may be resistant to this change.
A change of administration will be the first step to all of this- but we certainly still have a long way to go.
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