The Aftershocks of the 2020 Presidential Election

  In terms of where we stand as a nation, one takeaway for me right now is how divided we are as a society.

Now more than ever, it seems that people don’t respect other people’s political affiliation. If you support Trump, then you’re apparently a racist. If you support Biden, then you’re apparently fine with allowing illegal immigrants to come in. 

   It’s hard to remember a time when people had different opinions and were respected — regardless of the opinions. Another takeaway for me right now is the presence of racism. Racism has been an underlying issue in the United States since the Colonial period. Even with the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil Rights Movement, racism in our country is still evident. 

   It’s upsetting that black people are still harassed, and even killed, just because the color of their skin is different. The death of George Floyd and the shooting of Breonna Taylor in March caused huge unrest. An ongoing series of protests began, and while a majority of the protests have been peaceful, there have been some that lead to looting and riots. There have been more instances of police killing black people, and it seems that we’re in a position we haven’t been since the fifties and sixties. 

   Sadly, it doesn’t seem like racism is going anywhere anytime soon. — Ethan Mack ‘21


Elections are definitely a stressful time of the year. 

   For many, it can cause a lot of anxiety and panic as we all wait for votes to be counted in each state and fear the results, and you may think that nothing good is going to happen anytime soon, but many things have actually been happening to recognize and be happy about. 

   Although plenty of chaos is still happening all over us, take time to learn about changes that have happened since the 2020 election and the good that is currently happening in different inches of the country. For starters, Mississippi voted to replace the Confederate-themed state flag which has been in place for decades, it was actually the last state to change it. 

   Now it is a magnolia flower. The flag was lowered from the State Capitol building in Jackson and replaced due to it’s racist imagery and history. Arizona, New Jersey, and Montana have both legazilied the use of recreational marijuana along with Mississippi and South Dakota which have legalized the use of medical marijuana. In Oregon, they became the first state to go forward and decriminalize drug use, allowing the possession of small amounts of substances, especially when used for a health disorder or disease. This includes small amounts of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs will have smaller scaled punishments similar to traffic tickets. 

   Rather than receiving criminal punishment and jail time, the state has provided addicts to more recovery services. This is a huge change to take notice of. Prop 17 was passed in California which gives felons that are on parole the right to vote again, this is something that has been seriously asked for, especially for this election. This is so important because no one is silenced or stripped from their voting rights because of felonies and past crimes. 

   Florida passed Amendment Two which raises their minimum wage to $15/hour by 2026 and this could possibly increase more by then. This will benefit employees incredibly, especially those working part time. In Utah, the state is removing parts of their Constitution because it is gendered and replacing it with gender-neutral descriptions. The first ever openly transgender state senator was elected in Delaware, Sarah McBride has produly shared her story with thousands and has really advocated and inspired many. 

   This is very important because we are starting to see more representation we’ve never seen before in politics. Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones are the first openly gay black members of congress and Cori Bush is the first women of color to have a seat in Missouri’s congressional district. In the Oklahoma state house, Mauree Turner is the first non-binary state lawmaker in American history, plus the first Muslim in the house. Georgia elected Kim Jackson as their first LGBTQ+ state senator. 

   Many changes continue to take place, in ways our country has never seen before. For once, all types of people with different sexualities, identities, race, religions, and stories are being included in politics and history. I know all eyes are currently on the presidential candidates and the voting ballots, and rightfully so as it’s very important to watch and understand, but some amazing things have been happening statewide since the election and should be celebrated. – Jenna Preston ‘21


   I’m terrified for where we stand as a nation. I’m scared because it currently looks like the future of my rights and many minorities’ rights will be determined by the results of one state. The election can go either way right now, but we won’t know until all of the votes are counted. 

    This could take weeks due to the large amount of mail in ballots this year. I’m also scared because no matter who wins, there will be violence. Major cities started boarding up their windows before the election even started. Trump has said that if he loses, he will not go easy. He’ll call fraud on the election, take it to the Supreme Court, and I honestly don’t know what would happen after that. 

   The Supreme Court does have a conservative leaning, so it’s highly likely they would rule in favor of him. I shouldn’t be worrying that there will not be a peaceful transfer of power in the USA. That says a lot about where we stand as a nation and where we are heading. – Leah Snyderman ’22