The countdown to election day is progressing faster than anyone could anticipate. Amidst tumultuous and slightly embarrassing debates as well as the constant plot twists this year is throwing us, there is so much weighing on this year’s presidential election. In such a diverse school politically, ideologically, and ethnically, two Republicans, an Undecided, and two Democrats have given their opinions as to why they are voting for their candidate and how they feel about the current political climate.
Nick Cabrera is a first year student who wants to major in Astronomy. This year “in regards to the Presidency,” Cabrera supports President Trump. “Based on results,” Cabrera points to low unemployment rates in minority communities and job creation which “come close to home” for him as a Puerto Rican-American and his family. Additionally, he supports the replacement of NAFTA with USFCA because it supports the farmers of this country who are “often overlooked”. However, Cabrera did think Trump behaved a “bit rude” during the debates, but Cabrera reasons that he votes “based on policy rather than professionalism.”
Fourth Year Psych major, Grace Leffler, intends to vote blue for former Vice President Joe Biden. They believe “the past four years have not been going well”. “A lot of people have been exploited” and Leffler wants to vote for Biden to try and remedy this. Leffler is also aware of how the UVA community and even the social media world can “impact… your view point” in respect to political beliefs. In terms of debates and campaigns they think Trump “hasn’t explained anything”, but Biden “has explained what his plans are, but [they] wish he explained more” rather than jab back at Trump’s remarks.
The next person wanted to be anonymous for the purpose of this interview. They support President Trump “because he speaks his mind…and doesn’t try to play to people’s emotions”. They want to support a President who has a “pro-America agenda” because “every country that does well has a pro-their-country agenda” and for Anonymous, Trump does this. They also say they “can’t support a candidate who doesn’t condemn ANTIFA”. Another thing they like about Trump is how he is “savage.. Who doesn’t like that? It’s hilarious!”. They rated Trump as an “eight” out of ten during the debates. Anonymous does admit that Trump should “bring up the statistics and reality of what’s going on… and call out Joe Biden”. The only thing Anonymous said that would deter them from voting for Trump would be if “he turned into Joe Biden.”
Adam Cooper is another fourth year who is en route to getting a Major in Political Philosophy. He is also a co-founder (alongside Hugh Jones) of the Decency Project which is “dedicated to providing young (ages 18-29), pragmatic, left-of-center voters with the necessary tools and information they need to realize the stakes of this election”. With this said Cooper is voting blue this November. In Cooper’s eyes not only is Biden a “decent human being”, but the former Vice President also speaks to science, DACA, his broad base of support, “student debt and most importantly climate change”. Cooper believes that if Biden doesn’t address “current social issues, COVID-19, and climate” in the first months of his presidency, he will be rather disappointed, but would still support Biden over Trump.
The last student I spoke to, Sam Wong, is a third-year studying Media and is undecided so far because “both candidates are a bit disappointing”. On one hand Trump “has made some legit changes, but at the same time there have been a lot of things he has done wrong”. She notes that both are “kinda old” and consequently pays attention to the Vice Presidents because “there has ever been a time where Vice Presidents matter so much.” Her family and friends are also quite split between the two which influences her opinions. To Sam, “the economy is a huge thing that needs to be talked about.” Currently, Sam works with New Yorkers filing for unemployment and she notes how some “are in pieces”. With the election nearing, she would like to see more policy explained and assurance that the future state of this country will be taken care of better than it has been.
Undoubtedly, this election is unlike any other. What we should remember is that beyond political beliefs, our community at UVA should be supportive of each other. We must be a united front against injustice, prejudice, hate, and struggle within Grounds, Charlottesville, and beyond. In a time when bipartisan division is fueled with anxiety and aggression, UVA must remember that everyone has a right to vote for who they support for whatever reason they support them.