Ciaran Molloy, QUB Postgraduate contributor
Coming from a blue island in a sea of red, being a Democrat was both comforting and uncomfortable growing up. Missouri would never be considered to be at the forefront of progressive movements, but Kansas City is young, liberal, and diverse.
Yet trying to vote Democrat in presidential elections is like trying to shout into the wind, my one vote meaning nothing compared to the countless votes going the other way. That’s the benefit of living in a democracy, everyone gets their say.
But this is the first time I have felt both pride and guilt in voting Democrat. In no other election have I felt that my vote matters in a very real and consequential way. Yet the candidates fielded by the party do little to encourage me about the future of the party.
The result of tonight will only determine if there’s three months of chaos or four years of chaos.Ciaran Molloy, Queen’s University postgraduate from Missouri, USA
Obviously, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will encourage centrist voters, an incredibly important voting bloc, to move to the Democrats. Yet in doing this, they’ve alienated the younger generation who desperately want more progressive candidates.
In this way, the Democrats have sacrificed longevity for a winning formula in this election. A necessary sacrifice? Probably. But it does call into question the future identity of the Democratic Party and if there will be a split between establishment Democrats like Biden and more progressive voters.
Regardless of how the election turns out, it’s unlikely I’ll ever move back to the United States. This isn’t because I hate America. I just prefer Ireland.
But the way things are going, I’m worried for my family and friends. The prevalence of armed militias, or as I would call them domestic terrorists, paints an incredibly grim picture of potential violence on a large scale.
The result of tonight will only determine if there’s three months of chaos or four years of chaos.
Eve of the Election Editorial
I have to thank Ciaran for his contribution as a Missouri native on the eve of the November 2020 Presidential Election. Ciaran highlights the stark divisions which currently plagues America and has dominated this election race, making it one of the most bitterly and rigorously contested in the United States’ 244 years. Racial tensions, hyper-partisan political debate, impeachment investigations, the President being hospitalised for Covid-19 have combined to make this election so extraordinary. US citizens, such as Ciaran, can take consollation in the fact that the strong tradition of democracy is alive and well there, with record breaking turnout and 100 million early votes being cast. The swing state vote, particularly in Florida and Pennsylvania, the rural vote and those emerging from the suburbs will be the one to watch.
Millions of us, outsiders, will be glued to the TV screens and social media feeds tonight, to see who will be the 46th President of the United States.