The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

I still remember the day that Joe Biden was declared president-elect in 2020. I was in my room checking the election results for the 40th time that day, reloading my Safari page every second, when I saw a headline projecting his victory. I was ecstatic. I was only a senior in high school at the time, but I felt a sense of massive relief; the big, bad Donald Trump was done. Gone for good, or so I thought.

In the years since, that hope has slowly withered away. As the Democrats struggled to actually solidify their power (despite their majority in the legislative and executive branches for the first two years of Biden’s presidency), they missed out on crucial opportunities to significantly advance progressive and meaningful agendas such as universal healthcare, canceling student debt or even legalizing marijuana (Biden could do the last two without any help from Congress).  

In 2021, it seemed to me that there was a general idea that the party would use its position to advance its platform, yet it failed to deliver on some of the biggest promises made. Sure, there’s the argument that Republicans having control would have led to even further regression in progressive ideals, but this is a stalling logic. 

I think this country is trapped in a discussion of blue vs. red, and it’s hindering any chance we stand at making real strides towards actual change. The Democrats have taken advantage of the two party system to mobilize voters with the resounding theme that the Republican party needs to be defeated. They center their voting rhetoric around all of the things that Republicans need to be stopped from doing; it’s essentially just fear-mongering dressed up in a liberal agenda. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s website boasts their wins, and even a close loss, before telling the reader it is up to them to "take back the House." That’s great, you think, "Republicans suck and I want them gone." But then you think about how little Democrats accomplished when they did have a majority not even two years ago. The party couldn’t even pull itself together enough to end the filibuster in the Senate, when doing so would have allowed Democrats to actually codify Roe v. Wade into law. If this were the case, the conservative presence in the Supreme Court wouldn’t have had such profound effects on abortion restriction. 

The party who has vowed to stop Republicans from taking away abortion rights is the very reason that this was possible in the first place. When your entire presence in the legislature is built around preventing other agendas then you’re not actually pushing your own. This defensive strategy is pathetic. It isn’t mobilizing, it's banking on voters hating Republicans more than they like, or even dislike, Democrats. 

I’m tired of hearing about Trump. All the Democrats can muster up the courage to say anymore is inflammatory rhetoric around him. What about how bad these Democratic candidates are? Biden himself has spent the past few months voicing support for Israel, a country actively bombing unarmed citizens. Not just this, but also proposing a $14 billion dollar package in aid of that bombing. What about instead of increasing funding for a country participating in a genocide, Biden focused his attention on the universal healthcare he promised four years ago?

I’m not telling you that Biden is worse than Trump. Or that Trump is worse than Biden. I’m just saying that the polarization of the two party system in this country has convinced you that these are the candidates you should be voting for. They aren’t.

Stop voting for candidates who aren’t fulfilling their promises. If your congressional representative promises something for your district and fails to deliver? Don’t vote for them! I’m done hearing an argument about the lesser of two evils and how it's privileged not to vote. That’s what the Democrats want you to think. They want you to feel compelled to vote for no other reason than to stop Republicans. Don’t you want to vote for people who actually do what they promised you they would?

I don’t want to vote for Biden just because I hate Trump, and I certainly don’t want to vote for Trump. The way you approach this upcoming election is up to you, but we can’t keep allowing politicians to trap us into voting for them with talks of a “lesser evil.” Moving forward, we need to demand more of the people we elect and not allow them to fear-monger us into voting for them. Four years ago I sat ecstatic in my room seeing that Biden won, now I sit and dread the day I’m forced to decide between if I want the next war criminal running this country to do so in a red or blue tie.

@dthopinion opinion@dailytarheel.com

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.