Harris vs Pence: Who Will Be The Bigger Asset To America?

Josie Estes

On Wednesday, October 7th, both Vice Presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Mike Pence took the spotlight and engaged in a televised debate. Just the week before the debate, President Donald Trump tested positive and was hospitalized for COVID-19. Information about the President’s health was dominating the news and social media. But for the few hours when the debate took place, the world seemed to abandon all attention away from Trump. People all around the country were tweeting about the issues discussed in the debate, snapchatting their favorite moments, and of course, making memes about the fly that happened to land on Mike Pence’s head. 

Every four years when the general presidential election comes around, there is one Vice Presidential debate. Typically, these debates are more in the background and many go without being a national news story. This year’s debate, however, was an exception. The VP debate made several headlines and sparked many heated arguments on social media over who the public thought “won” the debate. At the end of it all, there was no agreement as to who would be crowned.

Being the first woman of color to be nominated for national office by a major party is a huge deal for Kamala Harris and women of color d everywhere. If elected, Harris will be the first woman, first African American, and first Indian Vice President in history. These factors had a lot of influence on her demeanor as she was debating against Pence. She spent the entirety of the event reserved and almost as if she was holding back, possibly in an attempt to avoid sexists comments about being too controlling of the conversation. While these traits left her coming off as less interesting to voters, she answered every question the moderator asked of her eloquently. Pence, on the other hand, received a lot of backlash from several news outlets and large numbers of Democratic voters for his inability to answer questions clearly. He was also criticized by many women for repeatedly interrupting the moderator, a woman named Susan Page, and Harris throughout the debate.

This debate proved to not have a large impact on who people will vote for in the upcoming election. The 2020 election has been and will forever be one of the most polarizing in the country’s history. At the point of the VP debate, less than 30 days from November 3rd, the vast majority of the country had already decided on who they will be voting for. In fact, according to CNN, so far more than 17 million people in the US have already voted. Despite all of the division and hatred of others’ opinions, one thing that is irrefutably important to all voters across political parties is getting their votes in. There is no question that the pandemic has made the election process more difficult and complicated. Safety is compromised when voting in person, and there is a threat of votes not getting counted in time when voting by mail. There is no best option, but there is no other way to ensure a fair and ethical election. 

On the surface, this debate may have not seemed to make a difference to the results of the election, however, both parties should remember that every moment in this election will make an impact on what the outcomes are. This election is going to count more than any have before. More people are registering to vote, more people are voting early, and more people are eager to see who their next president and vice president will be. This past month’s debate was just one part of a much larger campaign that will change America’s future forever.