The US Election: Heading for Division or Harmony?

Will there be a continuation of unconventional governance not tied to established values and a society with citizens divided, or will diversity be acknowledged with unity as a goal? The November presidential election represents a crossroads as yet unseen in American society.

The ruling Republican Party’s national convention has ended; former Vice President Joe Biden has been chosen to face off against Donald Trump.

Trump has gained support by holding that the strong economy has attained the best results. Even at the convention, he publicly proclaimed in his speeches that he will make America great and that they will rebuild the economy to be the best in history.

However, the spread of COVID-19 has directly impacted the economy, and the longest recorded economic expansion ended in February. The reputed low unemployment rate has become a thing of the past.

His biggest governing mistake of his first term was his handling of the pandemic. As a result of his optimism and lack of countermeasures, the U.S. has been the worst hit in terms of deaths. It’s undeniable that he is looking for a scapegoat by repeatedly blaming China, the origin of the virus.

Furthermore, regarding the killings of Black men by white police officers, which has attracted attention both in the U.S. and abroad, he never stated that he would fight racism. In fact, he actually sent the military under the pretense of “law and order” to suppress some of the demonstrations.

Naturally his quality as a president is being questioned. It could be a sign of trouble for him that many influential Republicans are proclaiming one after another their support for Biden.

Nevertheless, Trump remains steadfastly popular among his supporters. He has garnered support through inciting fear and hatred by labeling illegal immigrants as the “enemy.” His behavior stands out as being far from any national harmony. It is difficult to imagine a reduction in the division if he is reelected.

On the other hand, Biden criticized the Trump administration as a “season of darkness” during the Democratic National Convention. He also made his stance to take initiative in reconciliation clear by saying, “I will work as hard for those who didn’t support me as I will for those who did.”

It is also symbolic that Senator Kamala Harris, a Black woman and daughter of immigrants, was chosen as Biden’s vice presidential candidate. If elected, Harris will be both the first Black vice president and the first female vice president. It is a powerful message affirming the diversity of American society.

The Democrats suffered a surprising defeat in the previous election. This time, they are consolidating their party and eagerly making the election about the ethics of Trump’s presidency. I would like them to present a specific policy to reduce economic disparity and racism and what kind of future they envision, instead of just staunchly denying the current situation.

Trump has pulled out of various international frameworks with his “America first” policy, increasing tensions in various places, such as in the Middle East. How will Biden, who is advocating for international cooperation, demonstrate his leadership in the major nation? We also want to pay attention to the debates about America’s role in the post-pandemic international society.

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