For This New Utahn, Racial Injustice And The Coronavirus Pandemic Reinforce His Democratic Vote
There are a lot of races on the ballot for the November election — and a lot of issues that may impact the way people vote. This week, KUER is bringing you profiles of voters from across Utah to see what’s on their mind as they look toward the election.
Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
|Lives in:||Occupation:||Registered Party:|
|Salt Lake City||Unemployed; former software product engineer||Democrat|
How do you describe your political identity?
I’m a Democrat, a liberal and very left-leaning.
What issues matter most to you this election?
The biggest ones would be economics, the coronavirus response and racial equality.
[President Donald] Trump's response and the Republican response to the Black Lives Matter movement has been completely off putting. I was not considering voting for them in the first place, but their refusal to acknowledge the goals and aims of it and the fact that it's not a bad organization. Even if I was neutral before, as a Black man or even if I was white, I think I still couldn't vote for that.
As far as coronavirus impacting my vote, it's how they reacted to it. Trump downplayed it for months, and that allowed it to get worse, whereas if we had implemented these lockdown measures earlier and more strictly, this whole thing could have been over, and we could’ve reduced the death toll tremendously. To me, that's very callous. So, again, I was already going to vote Democrat, but that was another nail in the coffin.
How has your life experience impacted your political views?
Throughout my teens and early 20s, I voted left-leaning. But I began to become more aware of some instances where I would meet people, much of the time in the Republican Party, [whose] view on minorities, women, immigrants was so disgusting and so disrespectful. As I've gotten older, I've become more aware of the complete lack of respect and view of others as human, [which] has kind of pushed me [further left in my politics].
In my time out here [in Utah], I've mostly interacted with a crowd of people who are very open and accepting, partly by design. I live in Salt Lake City, not in the suburbs or rural areas. But I have noticed a lot of passive-aggressive behavior from people here. Like a lot of dirty stares, a lot of the service workers will greet the person in front of me and behind me, but not me. It's things like that. I haven't had anyone yelling racial slurs at me as I’m out in public or whatnot, but it’s kind of the vibe I get every now and then.
What do you want people to think about this election?
Over the past number of years I've met a lot of young people, particularly, who just were not interested in voting. They would say, ‘Oh, I just don’t get into politics.’ To me, that's the dumbest thing to say, because people fought for you to have these rights, and you're not using them.
If you don't like what's going on, you have the power to go and try and change it. So, I just want everyone to get out and vote and take an honest, hard look at what's going on and how you think it could be improved — and then vote for people who can help change that in the way you see fit.