The coronavirus pandemic, coupled with failed actions by U.S. governmental leaders, has brought our country to its knees. Whether it be the upsetting shutdown of universities or the dread of falling victim to COVID-19, we’ve all learned to fast adapt to this startling reality of locking ourselves up at home and waiting all this out.
While the virus’s risk across individual families may be sincerely devastating, day-to-day life is not the only puzzle that has broken since this crisis began. In the political sphere, the two most evident issues are the current economy and the upcoming election. Both institutions are crippled and threaten the futures and safeties of homes nationwide.
On July 30, the Bureau of Economic Analysis informed the public that in its immediate past quarter, the U.S. economy had declined at a rapid rate constituting the worst drop ever recorded. The data publicized by the BEA is proof that the pandemic has terminated “the longest economic expansion in U.S. history” and wiped out “five years of economic gains in just a few months,” according to CNN. While President Donald Trump has continually attempted to reopen the economy since the end of May, we have witnessed a steady decline in the unemployment rate. It still sits at a whopping 10.2% for the month of July.
In the past, a recession has traditionally been defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline. But the latest staggering hit on our GDP has called for a reinstatement of the term. While Americans fear the outside world, spending is not a priority. This lack of consumption on a prolonged scale can indeed lead to recession — a deep one, at that.
Despite the truth that the economy is in free fall right now, the 2020 election steams ahead. Just over 70 days from now lies one of the most consequential votes in our nation’s history. Amidst the pandemic, both candidates have been forced to take a step back from the tried-and-true route of campaigning we’d typically see just weeks before a presidential debate.
At this point in the race, the incumbent Trump has sunk double digits below his adversary, former Vice President Joe Biden. Data from a July 15 Quinnipiac poll concludes that registered voters support Biden (52%) over Trump (37%).
It’s been proven a challenge for both candidates to construct any influential campaigning. Both parties would ideally be rallying in compact stadiums across major cities, with fans hooting amongst a sea of red-white-and-blue signs. COVID-19 has now marked that concept as dangerous to carry out. Door-to-door canvassing came to a halt, although a commissioner candidate in Miami-Dade County did hang fliers on door handles — clever! The majority of today’s presidential campaigning is conducted via Zoom or mail, but both outlets may eventually prove to be ineffective and impersonal.
The National Conventions — the most politically energizing nights in any election year — have begun and proceeded digitally as expected. The current president is expected to attend the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina this week. On the other hand, Biden, the Democratic nominee, decided against accepting his nomination live in Milwaukee, and all speakers contributed virtually.
These conventions honor the official nominees as well as the selection of each respective running mate. Even though these procedures can easily be done on our phones, the in-person speeches by various party leaders collect a significant loss. Back in 2004, then-Senator Barack Obama presented the keynote address, which propelled him with the momentum and universal praise to win the White House four years later.
President Trump floated the thought of postponing the November election, citing fraudulent mail-in voting ballots as a reason to delay in a tweet on July 30. This is unconstitutional and GOP leaders were quick to reject the notion, yet Trump’s suggestion begs the looming question: How much longer can we survive under this? Our economy is bleeding out, the forthcoming election is under attack and thousands are dying like it’s no big deal. It’s like our country is keeled over, limping on broken limbs toward the finish line of 2020. But does the end of the year really signify the end of our agony?
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