“If you don’t participate you have no impact at all:” Politically active community members discuss the 2020 presidential election

“If you don’t participate you have no impact at all:” Politically active community members discuss the 2020 presidential election

With the presidential debate right around the corner on September 29, the SIU community discussed their political leanings, thoughts on public policy and opinions on the presidential candidates. Partisan divisions seem to be greater than ever, yet individuals on the left and right found some common ground. Scott McClurg, a political science and journalism professor at SIU, identified the most important issues to people on both sides of the political spectrum. “The most important issues to Democrats are race relations, COVID-19, health care, immigration,” McClurg said. McClurg said younger generations with left leaning values tend to focus on environmental issues regarding climate change, and social justice issues like LGBTQ rights, and police brutality. “Conservatives are an interesting case. They care about economic freedom, immigration and the idea of America First,” McClurg said. “The President talks a lot about relations with other countries.” McClurg said younger generations with right political leaning tend to focus on second amendment rights, and pro-life candidates. Emily Caminiti, the chair of Young Democratic Socialists of America at SIU, defines her political beliefs as “achieving the end of capitalism through electoral means.” Caminiti said prominent figures in the Democratic Socialist party have tried and failed to get into the electoral system, citing Bernie Sanders who ran in the Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses in 2016 and 2020. “Social democracy is the main focus of Democratic Socialism,” Caminiti said. Zachary Meyer J.D, former candidate for state representative and SIU Law school alumnus, aligns his views within the […]

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