Perspective: Where The Debates Won't Go

Oct 14, 2020

Like many other Americans, I suffered through the presidential and vice president debates. In my humble opinion, the presidential debate was a complete debacle and embarrassment to our nation as two men in their seventies argued like children on the playground during recess. The vice president debate was slightly more controlled yet yielded little as questions were dodged and Mike Pence constantly talked over his time and over Kamala Harris.

While the topics ranged from the economy, foreign policy, COVID-19, racial unrest, police brutality, the Supreme Court, and the integrity of the election, there was a topic missed in both debates: Helping the poor in our nation. Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris are all wealthy; millions in the United States are not. According to the 2018 Census, 38.1 million Americans, or 12% of the population, live in poverty. For children under the age of 18, 17% of them have been identified as living in poverty. This may be considered low by some standards, but for me, in the richest nation on the planet, this is unacceptable.

I want to hear how we support and lift the most vulnerable in our society. How do we ensure those in poverty are not relegated to poor healthcare, education, and air quality? How do we create opportunity through paying a living wage, granting access to a college education and/or trade school, and humane housing practices? Nelson Mandela once said: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is an act of justice.”

I’m Joe Mitchell, and this is my perspective.