History continues to be made with the presidential election, and the Oct. 7 vice-presidential debate was no exception. Despite their differences, both candidates have the potential to make American history.
Looking at the debate itself, the differing views of Democratic nominee Sen. Kamala Harris and Republican nominee Vice President Mike Pence are stark. The debate, while not quite as disastrous as the Sept. 29 presidential debate, still brought on lots of frustration from both myself and the participants in the debate. Pence continued President Donald Trump’s trend of lying to the public and interrupting his opponent to input his own opinion. Harris was more hostile towards her opponent, and while many credible facts were made, she frequently brought up her own personal achievements where they were not necessarily needed.
Out of the many topics presented to the nominees, the one that stood out to me the most was climate change — more particularly, what both nominees discussed with climate change. Harris presented the Democratic plan to combat climate change first, drawing attention to the large amounts of fossil fuel consumption that the country has partaken in, as well as the forest fires burning throughout the West Coast. Harris also discussed laid-out plans to cut back on carbon emissions and have the entire country run on mostly renewable energy by 2050. Pence, on the other hand, proclaimed that America has some of the cleanest air in the world and that states should take up better forest management practices. He also claimed that the Trump administration has listened to science, but stated that the United States has reduced greenhouse emissions through fracking, which has been scientifically proven to actually harm the environment. Now, Harris did not condemn fracking either, but her administration has a larger eco-friendly plan that would set the CO2 emission levels in the right direction: down. Not only that, but Pence also claimed that fossil fuels are not the problem, and the Green New Deal will set the United States back in renewable energy creation. This blatant contradiction between not only ideas but outright facts should be quite concerning for voters and the population in general.
With the frequent contradictions of the coronavirus, the failing economy, basic human rights that shouldn’t be political, and international relations added on top of the discussion, tensions between the two parties could be considered significantly high. However, it became clear to me that the biggest difference between Harris and Pence was their plans and strategies to overcome what was deemed America’s greatest current issues. Harris presented many plans and strategies to appeal to the public, and while she was quite hostile towards the other candidate and the moderator, she still knew what she was talking about and had a variety of plans and ideas that were formulated with former Vice President Joe Biden to help America. She assured everyone watching that both Biden and she planned to listen to science, facts, and credible sources to find the solution to best benefit the general population. Pence, on the other hand, after evading the questions asked of him, contradicted the claims of many renowned scientists, and even himself. He floundered to find ideas and frequently attacked the Biden campaign to drive the attention away from his inability or unwillingness to answer the questions asked.
I personally believe we have to take into account the personal beliefs that both candidates hold, for it may very well affect the way the next four years are governed. Before you cast your ballot, fact check what the candidates are saying, and do some research on what both candidates are fighting for, what it would mean for the future of America.
Please, vote if you can. Voting is the most important thing someone could do at this moment.