The 2020 Presidential election is all about tangibles

The 2020 Presidential election is about five months away as of press time with two candidates standing. The incumbent President, Donald J. Trump, is seeking a second term in the White House. His opponent will be Joe Biden, who served two terms as vice president under former President Barack H. Obama.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming election has enough polarization from both candidates to motivate eligible Americans to cast their ballots. I’m not going to go down the list of the pros and cons for Trump and Biden, as you can figure those out for yourselves while making your selection. But I will espouse on one sticking point of importance: reparations.

Reparations is the elephant in the room, the one subject that presidential candidates shared a unified opinion on. They have either sidestepped the issue or have offered an outright refusal to grant reparations to Foundational Black Americans, or FBAs. Slavery was the most abhorrent factor of American history, a travesty that needs no other explanation than verified FBAs need to be monetarily compensated for the blood, sweat, tears, and pain their enslaved ancestors endured to build America from the barren wasteland it was to the enriched nation we recognize today.

It’s an uncomfortable conversation to have, but not a fraction as uncomfortable as it was for the people enslaved to build America. While it’s true that no living American had a hand in slavery, it’s still a debt that must be paid because slavery wasn’t volunteer work.  Trump and Biden haven’t gone on record saying that they will give reparations (read: cash in excess of $16 trillion) to FBAs. Maybe it’s time for FBAs to withhold their vote until someone that will act in their best interests comes along.

Withholding the vote sounds counterproductive to the American democratic process. On the contrary, it’s what democracy is all about. Why vote for someone that won’t give you anything but the same benign neglect policies that you’ve grown used to for ages? Elected public figures work for you, not the other way around. When a demographic gathers its resources to support a candidate for any office, they expect that candidate to work for them and get things done. If not, that candidate won’t get reelected.

Many FBAs are fed up with the benign neglect policies enforced by their local, state, and federal officials. Let this be the standard for the Presidential election and all future elections: no tangibles for FBAs, no vote from FBAs. So while celebrities urge FBAs to vote in the vein of campaigns like “Rock the vote!” and “Vote or die!”,  it’ll be interesting to see if there’s anything to vote for. 

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