Seniors at Catholic High are taking the next step into adulthood by voting for president this year in the 2020 Election, but they tend to veer from traditional ideas of older voters. This year, the election is heating up and, with early voting reaching an all-time high of 50 million voters, time is running out for candidates and voters. President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are the two main competitors for the Oval Office, along with Kanye West, Jo Jorgenson, and Howie Hawkins as third party candidates.
In this election, many hot issues are on the table, such as Supreme Court justices, the COVID-19 crisis, the economy, racial inequality, and the prison system. Some believe that Biden is not physically healthy enough to lead the country, others believe that Trump is creating division by using racist language and failing to call out racist groups. Biden and Trumps supporters feel very strongly about these points and are not likely to be swayed. Both parties cannot see eye to eye on many issues that are taking hold of the United States of America.
Students, from both sides of the political spectrum, were asked how they see this election as polarized and divisive this year. Christian Dubroc, who is voting for Kanye West, stated, “With everything happening over the summer and COVID, I think everything’s heightened.” Dubroc is not alone on his position. Sidney Keller stated in an interview, “People choose to get offended by it [differing opinions], rather than having respectful conversation.” Stephen Herin also agrees by saying, “Now you are either a Trump supporter, or a hardcore left democrat.” “People don’t want to hear anything that Trump has to say and on the other hand many people do not want to hear anything Biden has to say,” says Brennan Campesi. No one knows the exact cause of the deep divide in American politics, but some blame candidates, issues, or voters, which leads to even more divide in the country. Many agree that this year’s election is dividing our nation and it is only getting worse.
With separation growing between Democrats and Republicans, things seem bleak for America’s future, but new generational studies have reported a finding that could save our nation. According to Politico and Business Insider, members of Generation Z (people born between 1996-2012) agree on more issues than our predecessors. Kate Taylor for Business Insider wrote,“Gen. Z is united on some topics that have typically divided the US, including climate change, legalizing marijuana, and social issues.” Gen. Z largely supports a call to action for climate change, the legalization of marijuana, protection LGBTQ rights, and some type of prison or police reform. Each interviewee was asked about the issue that is most important to them. Sidney Keller and Zach Morgan, who are voting for Trump this year, support the pro-life movement, Christian Dubroc and Brennan Campesi, who are voting for Kanye West, support prison reform, and Stephen Herin, who is voting for Biden, supports LGBTQ rights. Even though all of these students have different beliefs about what is the most important issue this election, they have almost all come to the agreement that they do not fully identify with either party.
Four out of the five people interviewed said they are going to or already are registered as independents. “I did this [registering as independent] because I really don’t agree with any one political party,” says Campesi. A growing number of people from our generation feel this way as well. “Right now I’m leaning towards Donald Trump because I do not like Joe Biden’s tax policy that he plans on implementing. But, I also don’t like a lot of some stuff that Trump says either,” says Zach Morgan when asked who he is voting for this year. This mentality is causing many voters to pick the candidate they believe is “the lesser of two evils,” and senior Brennan Campesi says this is worse for our country. “If we’re actually willing to make a deliberate choice to go against people who don’t have our best interest, then we might actually elect someone who does.” All of the seniors interviewed stated that although many people see a third party vote as a throw away vote, it should not be viewed that way. Although our electoral system favors a two-party system, that could be changed through American’s mentality or a change in the electoral college.
Unfortunately, third party votes most likely will not make a large difference in the election this year because of the difference of views between Gen. Z and other generations. Another trend we see within our generation, besides voting third party, are young people voting for Biden as a vote against Trump. Senior Stephen Herin, who is voting for Biden, says, “Biden is more in line with my views, and I am not particularly a fan of Donald Trump.” On the flip side of the issue, Sidney Keller is voting for Donald Trump because he says that “[Trump] values patriotism in American culture. I’m voting for unborn babies and voting for patriotism. I’m voting for the economy and it’s just a couple of things I think he holds the key to solving.”
Whether you support Trump, Biden, Kanye West, or no one, voting is the key to having your voice heard and enacting change that you would like to see. The bottom line is that Generation Z plans on being the generation that solves some of the world’s most fundamental problems, and we are not going to let political parties divide us from the unity that is required to achieve that goal.
Click below to view more about the candidate’s positions on certain issues
Kanye West: https://kanye2020.country/
Donald Trump: https://www.promiseskept.com/
Joe Biden: https://joebiden.com/joes-vision/