Casting Your Vote

by Max Cook, MBA President and CEO

Max Cook, MBA President & CEOIt was a rare moment that was both surprising and refreshing.

In New York City on Sept. 11, 2020, Vice President Mike Pence and former Vice President Joe Biden crossed paths while attending ceremonies honoring the men and women who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A photo captured the two bumping arms as they briefly chatted.

Under normal circumstances, this would seem natural. Two people who have served as U.S. vice presidents attend 9/11 memorials and engage in friendly conversations. However, 2020 has been anything but normal. 

Pence and Biden wore face masks. They didn’t shake hands; they bumped arms. All this was done to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to climb in the U.S. These two men will wear masks and most likely greet each other with arm bumps if they see one another again this fall. The pleasantries between them, however, may not be so nice. 

As Election Day nears, presidential campaigning will intensify between the Republican incumbent, President Donald Trump, and Biden, the Democrat
challenger. It is possible that we may not know the outcome for days or weeks … remember 2000 and the “hanging chad?” Many have said this is the most important election in our lifetime. It very well could be.

To me, every election is important because every election has consequences. Your vote determines what course of action you want our elected officials to pursue. This holds true at every level of government — local municipalities, county, state and federal. Rather than listening to the “noise” this election season, do this instead.

  1. Know the issues. What issues are important to you? Where do candidates stand on these issues? Use nonpartisan sources that show a candidate’s stance. Study voting records. If possible, ask the candidates. It is imperative elected officials understand the banking industry’s role in strengthening economic growth. 
  2. Discuss the issues. Often, we can learn more from talking with others. However, we shouldn’t limit these conversations with only those who agree with us. Rather, discussions with individuals who may not hold our views can lead us to consider or understand another perspective. 
  3. Encourage others to vote. Only 66% of Missouri voters cast ballots in the November 2016 general election. This is admirable, but what about the other 34% of Missourians? This election, MBA has focused efforts on “Get Out The Vote” messages and encourages banks to do the same. A toolkit at mobankers.com offers resources to share “Get Out The Vote” messages.
  4. Vote. The polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, and close at 7 p.m. Visit sos.mo.gov for more information about voting in Missouri.
That moment captured between Pence and Biden at the 9/11 memorial was reminiscent of another time … a time when individuals with opposing views were still courteous and genuinely concerned about one another. It seems that this is a rarity these days.

I don’t know how this election will turn out, but I do know that I will be casting my vote this November. It is my sincere hope that each of you does the same. 
The Missouri Banker
Fall 2020