America’s Screwed.

Here they are folks. The presidential candidates--Donald J. Trump and Joseph R. Biden. For all the divisiveness used to polarize America in support of (or against) either candidate, they look strikingly similar.

Photo/Siena College Research Institute

Here they are folks. The presidential candidates–Donald J. Trump and Joseph R. Biden. For all the divisiveness used to polarize America in support of (or against) either candidate, they look strikingly similar.

Rija Sabeeh, Features Editor

Amidst the sequence of chaos that has been the past decade, these last 10 months and the ongoing presidential election have been especially relentless. Luckily for us, America has been blessed with the two most respectable and competent candidates possible to lead the country out of this mess. Nevermind the fact that one of them instigated the decline of the first half of the past decade and the other has made it his mission to ruin the second half—and nevermind the fact that probably neither of them remember any of it. Get it, ‘cause they’re old? 

So old, in fact, that the first thing that came to Lena Adams’ mind when she first heard their names was their age. 

“The anxiety that comes from being in one of the most important election years of our lifetime isn’t helped by the fact that both candidates are in their 70s,” said the Delta junior. 

Irrespective of the fact that they represent the average politician in being straight, cis-gender white men over the recommended retirement age, they represent less than 7% of the American population. Though this isn’t necessarily everything, it does call into question their credibility (or lack thereof) when it comes to deciding on policies that wouldn’t affect them directly.

The next four years look grim regardless of the election’s outcome. Due to the divisive nature of politics, Americans have worked to separate the two candidates as Republican vs. Democrat, Red vs. Blue, and Trump vs. Biden. When compared side by side, though, they’re not that different. Both are senile white men with millions to their name (billions, in Trump’s case) and without a care for the people they’re supposed to look after. They’ve each committed their very own unique set of reprehensible crimes to folks both in and out of the country.

Biden was responsible for drafting the infamous 1994 Crime Bill, which led to the systematic incarceration of tens of thousands of Black men, and subsequently continued decades of generational trauma within those families. Despite this, he said to Charlamagne tha God, a Black radio host, in an interview on May 5, 2020, that “If you have a problem figuring out if you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.” Only a couple of months earlier, he had received backlash for saying that “poor kids are just as bright as white kids” to a group of mostly Asian and Hispanic voters.

With racism being the two candidates’ common ground, Trump got sued by the Nixon administration (yes, the Nixon administration, run by racist extraordinaire Richard Nixon) only five years after the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1968 for refusing to rent to Black tenants and lying to Black applicants about whether housing was available. Ironically, in the most recent presidential debate, he claimed that he is the “best president for Black people since Abraham Lincoln,” and within the same debate, he claimed to be “the least racist person in the room.” Yes, in spite of having equated Mexican asylum-seekers to “rapists”, Black Americans to “thugs”, and having spent the past several months referring to COVID-19 as “kung-flu”.

In addition to their clear struggle with racial sensitivity, both candidates have a long history of sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and islamophobia. 

TRIGGER WARNING (r*pe, s*xual assault):  Since 1970, #45 has had 26 allegations of sexual misconduct against him, the severity of which ranges from harassment, to assault, to rape. Ex-wife Ivana Trump accused #45 of marital rape in a 1990 divorce deposition, to which #45’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, argued had to be false because “you cannot rape your spouse.” Alongside video footage of questionable behavior towards young girls and women, Biden has 8 allegations of sexual misconduct, one of which is a sexual assault charge from former Senate aide Tara Reade, who filed an official criminal complaint against him in February of 2020. 

During his time as Vice President of the Obama administration, Biden helped drop 26,000+ bombs on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and basically all of the Middle East. Trump also participated in bombing the Middle East throughout his term in addition to signing a Muslim travel ban. 

With Biden’s supervision and support, over 3 million people were deported, families were kept in poorly facilitated detention centers, and children were even kept in cages. Trump spent the past four years promising to build a wall, overfunding ICE, and separating families at the border. 

Biden opposed gay marriage until he needed to support it to secure Obama’s second term in 2012, while Trump continues to oppose marriage equality, healthcare access, and military access for members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Basically, they both suck. 

The list detailing both candidates’ ignorance, violence, and hatred practically never ends, making it increasingly difficult for people, especially those part of marginalized groups, to look at this election as a symbol of hope for the future. 

“I am involved in politics no matter what because now they literally involve my unchangeable identity and what rights I can have. That’s another element that makes all of this very frustrating,” State High senior Ginger Baxter said. 

Sure, Biden is probably the lesser of two evils: he’s willing to listen to people, cares more about the impact of his words (though remains consistently tone-deaf), and will bring a slightly more human cabinet, senate, and house. He kind of has a plan for climate change, believes COVID-19 exists, and somewhat advocates for healthcare. But despite that, I’m not going to sit here and tell those that have been and continue to be hurt by his words and actions that their hesitation, or refusal, to vote for him makes them bad people. Neither candidate is optimal. We deserve better.

As Delta sophomore Miranda Marks said, “Obviously, he [Biden] is better than Trump. But I want to tell people, no matter who wins the election, you need to be in the streets, you need to be organizing, you need to be fighting. You can’t just look at this election and say, ‘here’s my activism.’” 

With a sense of urgency I’m sure many can relate to, she added, “Regardless of who the president is, we’re in a lot of trouble.”