By Aidan Judge
A history-making election came to a close this weekend in the United States, with former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris being declared the nation’s next president and vice president.
The news of the Biden-Harris victory broke late Saturday morning, after the state of Pennsylvania declared that their twenty electoral votes would go to Democratic candidate Biden, pushing Biden over the necessary 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.
The election proved to be one of, if not the most intense and important election in United States history. According to CNN, over 145 million votes were cast, the most votes ever in a US election. President Donald Trump secured 72 million votes, while former vice president Joe Biden secured 77 million, breaking Barack Obama’s record for the most votes cast for a presidential candidate in the history of US elections.
Without a doubt, the election and the months leading up to it saw more political coverage than ever before on social media and major television networks, with a vast majority of teens (18 and under) making their voices on US human rights and politics heard through platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
The Biden-Harris campaign made a point to appeal to the American people as much as possible throughout their campaign, such as selling merchandise, holding socially-distant events, and creating a large presence on social media, which in particular appealed to the youth of the United States. For the first time, lots of youth spoke out on their beliefs and supported the Biden-Harris campaign. So, what do the youth that supported Biden have to say about the campaign’s victory?
Senior Sophia Serra says, “I feel relieved, more than anything else. Biden’s not much more than a boring, middle-of-the-road politician, but that’s exactly what the country needs right now.”
Senior Jasmine Anderson also says she feels a sense of relief. “We now have a competent president who is qualified for the job. I think that Biden and Harris will protect and unite the American people, unlike the Trump administration,”
It seems even leaders around the world agree with the sentiments of NAHS students. According to the Associated Press, “Relief was a common theme expressed in many parts of the world to the news that his (Trump) reelection bid had failed.”
Although the reaction to the election seems to be positive amongst the student body, there are still a number of expectations and hopes that the future generations of America hope to have fulfilled, as well as concerns they hope to have taken care of. With so many prominent issues being emphasized in America this year, such as police brutality and black rights, as well as new issues such as COVID-19, there is a lot of work ahead for the Biden-Harris administration.
Senior Sean Drew has a lot of concerns and hopes for Biden’s presidency. He says, “I worry that Republicans in the Senate will hinder a lot of the necessary progress this country needs (climate change justice, federally mandated COVID protective policies, etc.). If Georgia and Alaska don’t tie Senate control it might be tough for the Biden-Harris administration to do all of the work that needs to get done.”
Another major landmark of this year’s presidential election is the first ever female VP, as well as first POC VP, senator Kamala Harris. Over the country’s 240+ year existence, not a single woman has served in one of the two major offices, and only one other POC has (Barack Obama). Senior Abi Rajadurai says, “I think it shows we’re making progress and we’re slowly reaching a point where women of color are feeling accepted by society.”
Biden’s position may have only just been confirmed, but work is immediately beginning to ensure that he has a successful presidency. Just this weekend, the former vice president announced his 12-person COVID-19 relief team, announced on Monday, November 9th who will immediately begin work on the day of Biden’s inauguration. The relief team as well as president-elect Biden plan to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the United States utilizing a detailed, government-enforced relief plan until numbers begin to dwindle and a vaccine is widely available (You can read more about Biden’s COVID-19 task force here.)
So as President Trump’s only term comes to a close and a new leader takes on America, there is one thing that can certainly be expected in 2021 and beyond for the United States: change.