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Vote. It’s the only way to save America

Zurie Pope/YJI

Piqua, Ohio, U.S.A. – The United States presidential election is only a few days away. Nearly 60 million Americans have already voted, shattering early voting records.

In less than a week, millions more will go to the polls and cast their ballots, their checkmarks deciding who will oversee the most powerful country on Earth.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden is ahead in the polls by 10 points, and is leading to varying degrees in 10 swing states, with every poll making it clear that this election is his to lose.

Republican incumbent Donald Trump watched his lead collapse over the span of months, with even some of his base turning against him.

The Trump campaign team appears to have all but thrown up their hands and admitted defeat. USA today reported on an Axios story quoting Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, telling his aides in private that the best they can do is “land the plane safely.”

The various rats scurrying around the once fearsome dreadnought that was the Trump administration are now darting about, seeking a way off the sinking ship.

Of course this series of events set the media atwitter with gossip and proclamations of praise. There’s speculation on a slew of names in relation to Biden’s cabinet, and already Trump’s political obituary is being written in the op-ed pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Our winter of discontent is over, made glorious summer by this son of Scranton. It is exactly that type of complacency and hubris which allowed a Trump victory four years ago and may necessitate one again if we’re not careful.

To believe that Trump will go gently into this good night is to disregard everything we know about his character, replacing that knowledge with the vain hope that, at the last minute, he will subscribe to decorum.

The reality is this: Trump is more dangerous now than he ever has been, and is more than willing to rip this nation apart in hopes of clinging onto power.

Trump has made clear he will refuse to concede. He has insinuated the fraudulence of this election many times and insisted his supporters “watch the polls very carefully.”

His supporters have taken this advice, and instances of voter intimidation are cropping up across the country.

Courts in Texas and other states have ruled against increasing drop boxes for absentee or mail-in ballots, and Amy Coney Barrett – an ardent opponent of voting rights – is newly confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Finally, the hordes of right-wing extremists on the ground – emboldened by the president’s rhetoric – claim they will take to the streets if Trump loses.

With his words, actions and policies, the president has brought the United States to a point of societal unrest not seen in decades.

Our nation is a powder keg, and November 3rd may be the match to set it all ablaze.

Only by turning out to vote can we blow out that match and bring our countrymen back from the abyss.

Zurie Pope is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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