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I believe in the American voter

| Thursday, October 15, 2020

Donald Trump may be one of the best things to happen to America. Now for those of you who have read my columns before (a number I’m fairly certain I could count on two hands), you know me to be a left wing bleeding heart liberal … and you’d be correct. So my opening sentence may come as a surprise when I appear to have been caught up and hypnotized into the mindless craze of a die-hard Trump supporter. Fear not. Donald Trump is a terrible president and an even worse man, but it’s his awfulness that provides us with this opportunity for progress.

Donald Trump represents an ideology that drives a moral decay of true American values, but usually this ideology stays in the shadows, out of sight from the public eye. Now, thanks to the President, it sits in the White House for all to see. Come Election Day, we finally have the opportunity to address his nationalistic creed head on. 

Trump will turn out his supporters in droves to the polls. He has a significant swath of the electorate who would follow him off a cliff and has managed to co-opt enough of the Republican Party to make him a formidable force come November. But, as I said earlier, this might be a good thing.

I actually want every person who supports Trump’s reelection to vote. I want every person who sees no issue with his misogynistic comments or treatment of women to vote. I want every person who has shrugged off his racist past and allyship with white supremacy to vote. I want every person who nods in agreement when he disparages the U.S. military to vote. I want every person who ignores America’s plummet in world standing to vote. I want every person who doesn’t care that he mishandled a pandemic so horribly that almost a quarter of a million Americans have died, to vote. I want all of them to vote. And I want to crush them. I want to defeat Trumpism once and for all. 

I believe in this country, in freedom and in democracy, but most importantly, I believe in the average American voter. Donald Trump is not good for this nation, and he is an even worse representation of the American people. Americans recognize that too many people have sacrificed too much for him to dismantle our nation from the inside out. A clear, decisive, unapologetic victory at the voting booth this November will spell the beginning of the end for Trump and his ideology. I want all of his supporters to vote so that when we win, there is no question that America soundly rejected Trumpism. 

To my peers at Notre Dame, we have really been taking it on the chin these past few weeks. First Lou Holtz goes off the rails at the Republican National Convention and tries to paint Trump as the more religious of the two candidates (which is the equivalent to arguing that a lake has more salt than the ocean). Then Trump nominates one of our own, Amy Coney Barrett, to be his Supreme Court nominee with the hopes that she can strike down healthcare and revoke the basic human rights of women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. And finally, our illustrious leader, Father Jenkins, ignores his own protocols, contracts the coronavirus, loses any moral high ground he hoped to maintain throughout this year and retreats into hiding. You know, to Notre Dame’s credit, not many institutions could damage their public image so much so fast, but I guess HERE™ anything is possible. 

Ok, so September wasn’t our finest month, but let’s flip that around in October. This is a great opportunity for students at Notre Dame and young people everywhere. A megaphone has been placed at our lips and all we have to do is speak. Voting has never been easier than it is this year, and the stakes for us are enormous. Remember, friends don’t let friends not vote. We have the chance to seize control of our future and vote out systemic racism, sexism and corruption in our local communities, as well as on the national level.

As an important note, while this coming election is an incredible opportunity, it is vital to remember that it’s just that — an opportunity. Beating Donald Trump is no easy task, and he and his supporters are more fervent than ever. It is imperative that we vote in record numbers because that is what it will take to win. This Election Day is a great chance for America, and we as students and young people cannot afford to pass it up.

Clark Bowden is a senior political science major. When he is not sleeping through his alarm or reminding people that he studied abroad, he can be found having heated political debates or watching the Washington Nationals play baseball. He can be reached at [email protected] or @BowdenClark on Twitter.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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