March 1, 2021
By Emma Ferschweiler
Americans across the country have voted, spoken and declared Democrat Joe Biden to be America’s 46th president for the next four years. It was not until Pennsylvania, a state with 20 electoral votes, finished counting its ballots on Nov. 7 that Biden was announced the winner. Along with Arizona and Georgia, Pennsylvania was a target for major campaigning by both candidates and is what pushed Biden to the 270 electoral vote requirement.
“I am a proud Democrat. But I will govern as an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did. Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now,” Biden said in his president-elect victory speech.
Senior and student government president GianCarlo Garcia said he is hopeful for the next four years as compared to Republican Donald Trump’s administration. He said Biden has the power to protect, preserve or embolden LGBTQ+ rights, and America will see if the new president will follow through with climate change proposals and push for a public health insurance option.
“Politics is a mechanism in which I can effectuate the change I want to see in the world… a big part of politics is power, being able to properly wield that power in order to help those most marginalized,” Garcia said.
Similar to previous elections, more people of color voted for the Democratic Party than the Republican Party. The National Election Pool reported 87% of Black Americans, 65% of Latino Americans and 61% of Asian Americans voted for Biden. In contrast, 58% of White Americans voted for the Republican’s party candidate Donald Trump.
This year brought a strong voter turnout never seen before in past elections. According to the AP News, Biden received more than 80 million votes, more than any president in history.
US government and politics teacher Mr. Clifford said the Trump Administration’s lack of consistency in fighting the Coronavirus was helpful to Biden securing more votes. Clifford said the Democratic Party stepped up their game in trying to get people to vote. Although this election was a close call, Biden ultimately got the popular vote.
Among the major reasons for this distinct election is the impact of the Coronavirus. Many voters had to rely on mail-in ballots instead of poll stations. The pandemic also influenced who people voted for.
“The Republican Party was more about not trying to shut down the economy, leaving it up to the states to determine what’s best for them. The Democrats were criticizing them, on the other hand, saying they weren’t doing enough,” Clifford said.
Clifford said Biden promoted the federal government to act more aggressively and pour more money into developing testing centers in the states as well as pushing for a mask mandate nationwide.
Voter fraud was a highlight of this election as states had to adapt to different methods of voting instead of in-person. In a poll conducted by YouGov, 46% of US adults saw voter fraud as more concerning than denying eligible voters, while 45% are more worried about denying eligible voters than voter fraud, 9% are unsure.
“That’s one of the things we’re gonna be seeing in the next couple of years, more investigation and more discussion as to voting procedures for next year’s federal elections,” Clifford said.
Junior Alessandra Alberti said she prefers to look at both sides of politics but leans more so to the left. She said this past election’s votes were not as clear because of mail-in voting.
”I think there could have been a better job with counting votes and overseeing who voted. There was definitely some sense of voter fraud, but no matter who won, the opposing side was going to claim fraud,” Alberti said.
There are many ways for a person to negatively change the results of an election. Some of which include false registrations, duplicate voting and altering the vote count. With these possibilities, allegations of voter fraud have yet to prevail any verdicts or developments.
Along with Biden’s proposed Covid-19 plan, he plans to build upon the Affordable Care Act, modernize America’s immigration system and implement effective border screening, tackle climate change, improve racial economic quality and more as seen on Biden’s official campaign website.
Alberti said, as president, one should try to ensure both sides’ issues are touched upon no matter their individual beliefs.
“That’s one of the things we’re gonna be seeing in the next couple of years, more investigation and more discussion as to voting procedures for next year’s federal elections.”
“I wouldn’t try to implement and advance my own political agenda, rather try to see what would work best for the country as a whole,” Alberti said.
Both Trump and Biden used different kinds of platforms to promote their agendas. Most notably is Trump’s use of rallies and in-person door knocking while also using protocols such as temperature checks and encouraging mask-wearing.
Biden took a different approach with mainly virtual events, meeting with a few journalists, and suspending door knocking. Alberti said the presidential debates have stuck out to her as a unique part of the 2020 election.
“Their debates definitely showed their strengths and weaknesses like prior debates. However, this year’s were pretty out of control with both candidates speaking over each other creating a sense of chaos,” Alberti said.
Around 73.1 million Americans watched in awe of the first Biden-Trump presidential debate. While the speaking topics ranged from the Supreme Court to the economy, what most people took out of it was the demeanor of both candidates. Trump repeatedly interrupted moderator Chris Wallace and his opposing candidate. Data analyzer FiveThirtyEight found 66.2% of debate watchers rated Trump’s performance as poor while Biden’s appearance was judged poor by 39.1% of viewers.
Garcia said he prefers politician Bernie Sanders for office because of his assertive position on topics such as economic inequality, workers’ rights, Medicare for all and other issues. However, he said Biden is a better option than Trump.
“[Trump’s] a fascist… His speeches, his rhetoric, his policies are indicative of radicalizing the people of this country to believe in fascistic tendencies or lean them towards more fascistic solutions,” Garcia said.
Political parties are more divided than ever. Pew Research Center found in a 2019 survey that 55% of Republicans and 47% of Democrats see the opposing party as immoral. More evident of the political division was the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol that occurred on Jan. 6. There, Trump supporters broke into the US capitol in Washington D.C. seeking to disrupt Congress from counting the 2020 presidential electoral votes.
Garcia said this division prevents progress in important issues such as abortion, economic stimulus, systemic racism and LGBTQ+ mental health.
“We need to start being able to… have a healthy discourse around how to properly address the issue but also making sure we can actually address these issues meaningfully,” Garcia said.
Clifford said he hopes the negativity surrounding elections will go away and America can come together in wishing Biden a good presidency. Looking forward, Clifford said Biden may bring a sense of security and less volatility to America because of his many years in government, seeing as he started as a New Castle County Council member in 1970.
“One of my hopes is that from Wednesday, the storming of the capital and from the other riots we have seen in the past year, people… have a wake-up call and just understand that we’re all so different, however, we need to have those values that underscore our differences: free speech, integrity, respect,” Clifford said.
Jan. 20 will be the day when Biden takes office and is inaugurated. Trump is recorded to be the 4th president in American history to not attend the swearing-in of the succeeding president. The event will have a small in-person attendance and a large portion of the audience will be online, mask-wearing and Coronavirus testings are mandated. In history books, the 2021 inauguration will show a presiding present issue and a new president looking toward the future.