The presidential campaign for the 2020 election is one that will be talked about for years to come. No matter who you support, or who you cannot stand, all parties running have had their shares of newsworthy moments. In the past year alone, we have seen countless headlines go viral, effectively transforming American politics into a reality freak show.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties have had their share of blunders that went viral. Whether or not you watched the vice presidential debates, most Americas did see the fly that landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head and countless memes and sound bites of former Vice President Joe Biden's verbal blunders that make you question how he has a profession involving public speaking.
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While some of the election has been quite comical and a great source of entertainment during the endless quarantine, it raised real concerns amongst Americans. In an interview with Charlamagne tha God on his show “The Breakfast Club," Biden said, “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or for Trump, you ain’t black.” The comment sparked controversy across the country and many finding the comment racially insensitive and demeaning to Black voters, particularly in a time when racial equality is so fervently fought for.
Biden was obviously not alone in campaign mess-ups and President Donald Trump is known for his highly controversial one-liners and unimaginably bold tweets. In an interview with Chris Wallace, one of Trump’s comments made national headlines. When discussing whether or not the president would accept the results graciously, regardless of the outcome, he responded with “I have to see." The response concerned millions of Americans and threatens the presidential election process entirely.
As if the outrageous and concerning comments were not enough, the campaign process was filled with false information and yes, fake news. Biden, in an interview in August 2019, shared a story of an experience he had presenting a silver star to an American hero in Afghanistan. Following the interview, The Washington Post released that most of the story was falsified, and the heroic act, location and medal were all incorrect.
On the other side of the partisan divide, the president of the United States is taking to Twitter daily to make false and offensive claims about his political opponents. Roughly two months prior to election day, Trump retweeted a tweet that read "We can beat them at their game .. #PedoBiden" which included a gif of Biden. The insinuation that Biden is a pedophile is baseless and was just one of many tweets by the president lacking any evidence or facts whatsoever.
It was funny in the beginning, but as we approach election day, looking back on the campaign trail leading up to this point is nothing but a bad fever dream. The country is undoubtedly in a delicate time, with tensions between Americans running higher than ever. Citizens are developing a hatred for the opposite partisan side, racial tensions and demand for equality is reaching a long-overdue boiling point and the pandemic seems like it is going to last forever. The actions of the political campaigns are only adding fuel to the fire.
In days where there are people, specifically QAnon supporters, who believe that American "elites" (meaning Democrats) are engaged in a child trafficking and cannibalism ring, it is time to think about what is going wrong. Turning our decision for the leader of our country into a media-fueled reality TV battle is misguided when you really think about it. Political races with such important consequences need to incorporate a sense of diplomacy and decorum. I think that we can all agree the country is much too vulnerable at this moment for us to continue to not take the presidential election seriously. Enough of the battle to become an internet sensation; there are many more things that should be considered important criteria to be the president of the United States.
Lauren is a political science major from Baltimore. Follow Lauren Borelli on Twitter