At a time when a pandemic is gripping the world, China is undermining democratic movements in Hong Kong and abroad, Russia is working to disrupt elections in Europe and the United States, global climate change looms as an existential threat, and immigration continues to be at the highest level since World War II, the global dimensions of the 2020 US election could not be clearer.
But right now Indiana is in the bottom ten states in voter registration and voting. It’s time to change that. Through the fall the Hamilton Lugar School will be putting on a series of events and programs across campus to drive registration, education, and voting in what is one of the most consequential elections in US history. The deadline to register to vote is October 5th, and you can do so here. You can also request an absentee ballot if you are not voting in Monroe County. Election day is Tuesday, November 3rd.
Voting is not a spectator sport and, as our namesake Rep. Lee Hamilton reminds us, “Whether we believe our country is rising or declining, our obligation is the same—to do our part.” Casting your vote is the first step, and you can check out the GetHLS hub for more resources on how to #votetogether.
The Democratic and Republican Nation Conventions in the past two weeks showed how the parties are framing the debates and arguing their cases on national and international issues.
At the RNC, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley praised President Trump’s actions in global politics, arguing that his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, aggressive trade position with China, and sanctions on North Korea have all benefited the US as part of his “America First” policy.
“President Trump moved our embassy to Jerusalem, and when the UN tried to condemn us, I was proud to cast the American veto,” said Haley of one of Trump’s actions.
Speakers at the DNC, meanwhile, argued that the US under Trump has ceased being a leader on international issues ranging from nuclear nonproliferation to trade to global climate change to the pandemic response. This lack of leadership has thwarted attempts to solve global problems and ultimately hurt the US.
Former Vice President Joe Biden took a particular hard line on Russian attempts to influence domestic politics, saying the he would “not put up with foreign interference in our most sacred democratic exercise: voting.” (The New York Times, CNN, and other outlets fact-checked the DNC and RNC.)
The importance of voting is nothing new to the Hamilton Lugar School community. Last March, during the conference on America’s Role in the World®, academics, journalists, and policy experts debated how the 2020 election would influence foreign policy. While they differed on certain topics, they agreed that the 2020 election will significantly determine how the US views its role in the international community—regarding nuclear weapons, public health, trade, the climate, and many other issues. The conventions showed how differently the major candidates view that role.
Early voting, mail-in voting, and day-of voting are possible options for IU students, faculty, and staff. Day-of voting on November 3rd ends at 6 pm. The Hamilton Lugar School is already a leader in global affairs. Let’s make it a leader in voting, too.