Editorial: We have to stop neglecting other issues


The ISD Editorial Board believes voters need to look for a candidate that will bode well long term instead of focusing on short-term events. 

Editorial Board

For the last three months, the COVID-19 pandemic has overshadowed nearly every other issue. In April, 45 percent of those who responded to this poll named COVID-19 the worst problem in their life (and rightly so). The presidential race has become about the candidates’ response to the coronavirus and now the new civil rights protests to the point where we are all neglecting other issues when it comes to each candidate. So, how do we decide

In two years, when both issues will be at bay, we will regret choosing the wrong president because of these short-term responses. 

In two years… 

Health care will matter. Foreign policy will matter. Immigration will matter. Environmentalism will matter. 

COVID-19 is not the only influence over our country right now, and there needs to be a more well-rounded discussion about other topics going forward. 

This is not to make light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has impacted nearly everyone’s life in some way. The way the candidates respond to and talk about this issue matters. It’s still important to focus on economic recovery and mitigating the virus; however, we can’t forget there are other issues that still need to be addressed. 

For example, the nation is currently facing wave after wave of protests against police brutality. How have the candidates responded, particularly to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd (Donald Trump and Joe Biden)? Has President Trump done anything substantial to address and peacefully relieve the ongoing unrest and justified anger from protesters? No. He hasn’t. 

Other issues, such as immigration policy, criminal justice reform and environmental protection seem to have fallen by the wayside during this pandemic. And these issues have persisted throughout the last three months while COVID-19 has run rampant (live updates here). 

On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic could be a great opportunity to address issues such as environmental reform and affordable health care because it all ties back to the pandemic.

And this is the moment where people may be most willing to listen. 

There could be substantial changes as a result of this pandemic, but the candidates need to step up and rise to the occasion. No one knows what the world will look like come November, but this pandemic will not last forever. This is the most important time for the candidates to show leadership and vision across a diversity of issues. We need more from the candidates besides tweets and simple statements. How are they going to provide more than substantial leadership going forward? 

Trump recently tweeted police forces need to “get tough,” and his abrupt shift from a tone of understanding to one of law and order within the span of two days is reflective of his inconsistency in certain areas. He has fallen short of admitting there are issues in the police system that need to be addressed and this seems unlikely to change in the coming months. During his candidacy, President Trump has taken a combative tone and focused on what he has done as president, rather than what he will do if elected for the next four years. 

Unfortunately, while Biden has spoken at length about police brutality, he has also failed to actively address other issues in our country today. Both sides have placed too much emphasis on responses to the coronavirus pandemic and not enough emphasis on other issues facing the nation. 

Going forward, it’s important for voters to know how the candidates plan to lead in all areas, not just during times of crisis. It’s easy to say they’re going to make the country better, but how will they do so? The candidates should not use the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid more controversial issues. And we should not vote in that manner either. We would like to hear more from both candidates about other issues and we would like to see all voters consider a wider array of issues. A more comprehensive discussion is necessary for this upcoming election.