Op-Ed: Please, at least pretend to care

Tate Kautzky, Senior

This Op-Ed was originally written Oct. 27.

Imagine yourself faced with one of the hardest decisions you have ever been asked to make. Maybe it’s moving out of state, or even out of the country? Deciding when to start a family? Figuring out how to care for a sick or dying loved one?

Now, I am going to give you two potential confidants, in which you will have to choose who you believe will be able to offer the best advice, with just the right amount of empathy, and help you to make the right choice for your future.

Joe: Male, 77 years old, white (parents of English and Irish descent), raised in middle-class Roman-Catholic family of five, oldest of three siblings, graduated with an undergraduate degree from University of Delaware 506th of 688 in his class, graduated from Syracuse Law 76th of 85, managed properties for an extra income when initially becoming a public defender, has worked in law and politics ever since, net worth is approximately $9 million, income for 2019 is approximately $985,000

Donald: Male, 74 years old, white (parents of German and Scottish descent), raised in upper-class Presbyterian family of seven, fourth of five children (second youngest), due to family trusts a millionaire by the age of 8, graduated with an undergraduate degree from Wharton (class rank kept private), became president of father’s multi-million dollar real estate business at the age of 24, businessman and reality tv show owner and star, net worth is approximately $2.5 billion, income for 2018 approximately $434 million.

Who did you choose? Do you want more options? I surely do. Donald Trump and Joe Biden do not represent the diversity of our nation; therefore, neither of them should be chosen to represent this nation to the rest of the world.

These individuals have life experiences so far from our own that it is impossible for them to give the advice and guidance we need in our everyday lives. Do you feel this way? Then vocalize that. You certainly are not alone in wishing there was a better choice for the President of our nation. There is no way these individuals can empathize with the variety of needs of all the citizens that make up our nation.

In no way do our priorities and values match those of a white, male, millionaire politician. So why do we have to choose one to make potentially life altering choices for us?

Is there a solution? With the election weeks away, no.

While a lack of solution for this term is disheartening, especially understanding the importance of this election in terms of the unity of our nation, it is critical to remember this feeling. No citizen should have to pick the lesser of two evils when choosing the person to which will dictate the way in which one’s life progresses. Four years from now, we should not have to feel this way.

Hopelessness and fear have governed many lives over the last four years, and we have done little to ease the hearts and minds of Americans with their choices for the next four years.

Politicians have national power and make decisions that affect our future every single day. So in saying this, my plea to the average American voter, as well as powerful politicians, is to please at least pretend to care. While some of these nation-wide decisions may not affect you, they have very real consequences for those who are not represented by an older, rich, white man.

Don’t choose to be politically active only in an election year. At that point, decisions have already been made as to who will represent us. Our choices will have dwindled and we will again be pushed to choose between the lesser of two evils. Open your eyes, ears, and mouths prior to game time. Choose to care because as these decisions may not affect you directly, they surely affect those you love and care about both in the present and in the future.

Empathy is hard to come by in the current political climate, and I’m not sure there is a solution to this problem without focused empathy and active participation, from the start. So, please, at least pretend to care.