By Cait Kemp
The 2020 presidential election feels like it has been an ever-present topic in our lives for the past several months. It has not simply generated a buzz, but something much greater than that.
This year, there is a sense of urgency surrounding the election. There is a sense that this will be life-changing, more life-changing than any past election that our generation has lived through.
Maybe it’s because our generation is in college now, and it’s the age where these matters start to become more prevalent in our lives, but there is a wave of importance over the entire country, for old and young alike.
Why now? Why is this year, 2020, so urgent? There have been a lot of different situations this past year that have perhaps catapulted the election out of its normal bubble and into every corner of society.
Factors such as Covid-19 and the most recent Black Lives Matter movements both swept the nation, and reached other countries as well.
These matters, along with many other perspectives, have molded the election into what it is. People of all ages are taking to social media to urge Americans to do their civil duty, to not just vote for the person, but to vote for change that will occur across the nation.
The political landscape feels extra divided this year between the left and the right, and it has created a campaign season that has felt like a war.
This long-lasting battle that America has been fighting for months will be over in a week. Why does this election matter so much?
“We’re in a space in our society where people say ‘never in a million years would blank happen’…well we’re in that million years right now and I think that requires and takes a level of effort from everyone. I think we need to take opportunities and basic facets of our society seriously,” said Assistant Professor of Physical Education, Dr. Korey Boyd.
The importance of voting is at an all-time high this election season. For many, the task at hand is simple.
“Knowing that just because I might be comfortable in this country doesn’t mean everyone is. I’m voting for the weakest link that needs the most help… just because I might have privilege doesn’t mean other people do, and I’m voting as if I’m the least privileged one, so they can have the rights that they need,” said Springfield College senior Olivia Howley in regard to the election.
Boyd had similar thoughts. “Though it may not directly affect you right now, though it may not even register for you on your radar ever, it’s safe to say that you will lead someone or you will come in contact with someone that it matters to,” he said.
“What’s vastly important for enlightened people to understand, and people in general is the power of influence and if you want to influence your country, if you want to influence your community, if you want to influence your circle…. You need to vote,” he continued.
This battle of the left and right is at the core of this year’s election, leaving America as divided as ever. Both sides do not hesitate to voice their issues with each of the candidates, but the ongoing controversial beliefs of the incumbent leaves many worried for the country’s future.
“The political climate in America today is aching. It’s divided, it’s corrupt, it’s self-serving,” said sophomore Paris Lizana.
“I think compared to past years, a lot of rights that we assume the United States possesses are being questioned… a lot to do with the right to protest and the right to women’s bodies… so just things that people have assumed to be fact is in question,” said Howley.
“Also, the fact that even a transfer of power peacefully is in question as well. These are things I feel like we have never seen before in past elections, so I think it’s very important now more than ever to exercise that right [to vote] to protect us from losing things that a first-world country should have.”
The overall impression – use your privilege to cast a ballot, and do so in order to enact change within the nation. Whether or not you think it matters, it will to millions of people who see the world from a different perspective.
“If you subscribe to the ethos of Springfield College of spirit, mind, and body, you’re a voter at heart. You seek justice, you seek the truth…I challenge you and encourage you to push past any misnomers about ‘your vote doesn’t count’ or ‘fill in the blank doesn’t matter to me,’” Boyd said.
“It may not matter to you now, but it may matter to somebody you love and care about. So, if it’s not for you, do it for the person that you love and do it for the things that you love.”
Lizana agreed with this notion.“Be compassionate and think of what you can do to make our country a safe, equal ,and functioning place for all Americans. Vote with empathy,” she said.
With Nov. 3 right around the corner, be sure to cast your vote at your local polling center on Tuesday. Your vote is your voice, be sure to speak up for the future of the nation.
Photo Courtesy of Liv Howley and Korey Boyd