Column: It’s Been a Week Since Counting Began: A Breakdown

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Zoë Sandvigen Beaver's Digest Assistant Editor

Well, we’re in the midst of a heated election and debate over our new President-Elect of the United States. As I see it, we’ve all been struggling to shift through the sudden mass of media covering the ongoing election. 

The night of November 3 was a stressful one for everyone–especially given that by the end of the night some of us were still left with more questions than we started with. Watching the election unravel showed us that one, the opinion of the political climate has shifted over the last four years, and two–democracy works. 

What I found most riveting about these last 7 days are the swing states that had us biting our nails. When looking at the Trump versus Biden votes cast it, was seldom a landslide. A lot of the final states to finalize where their electoral votes went was a close game. 

For example, Nevada. According to the New York Time’s most recent poll, Nevada came in at 50.2% Biden and 47.5% Trump. Even more astonishing is Pennsylvania coming in at 49.69% Biden and 49.02%, showing us a very small margin. I think this is one of the most important notes of the election. Not neglecting all the other factors at play, but that our newest president wasn’t and still isn’t a complete shoe in. 

As of today, we’re still missing a few states: Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina. Meaning that Biden isn’t technically the president yet, but predictions show that objectively he is. I’m not here to account all the events of the last week because I’m sure most of you have already been watching, but I do want to touch on the beauty of democracy for a moment. 

I had a lot of doubt going into this election because last year I felt somewhat jaded when thinking about the results. Not that I don’t respect the electoral process, but I was shocked when Trump took office because it was the opposite of the popular vote. Going into this election season I felt that same sense of dread and deception. 

Waking up on the morning Biden was declared President by prediction my heart smiled. Not only because of our new President and first female Vice President who happens to be of color, but because it gave me hope that our system isn’t entirely broken. We can still depend on voting to drive our country in the direction the people choose. There was talk that Trump would lead us to dictatorship, while others believed that his methodology was fitting for the future of America. 

Knowing all this we look to the tumultuous future we’re about to endure as we begin to transition President Trump out of the oval office and let Biden begin what he believes to be an  immediate reconstruction of what Trump diminished in eyes of the Democratic party. Biden and Kamala have declared four major focuses going into their term: climate change, the global pandemic, ending systemic racism in the US and economic reform that has begun to fall as a result of all of these factors.

 As stated by Biden, controlling COVID-19 and working towards an effective vaccine is their first and foremost priority. What a relief that feels like after Trump continuously blamed the world-wide pandemic on China and other immigrant people who are arguably the most at risk.

I’d like to note in here that there is so much more at stake in our country than political views. Yes, this column is written left leaning, but we’re no longer dealing with just red and blue anymore. Whether you voted for Biden or Trump this season, there are many more avenues of change that require all of our attention.

I think if I could say anything about what I think, and I don’t know much at 20, but we are not only in the midst of a heated election but a global pandemic. As a result of the election we see ourselves in an economic regression and a mental health crisis across the country. We’re beginning to see the diminishing effects of climate change on marginalized communities while being all tied up in a technological era that has begun to deconstruct our society as we once knew it. 

This is no longer about red and blue, but a fight against these bigger more pressing issues that are often overshadowed by what’s in front of us. Maybe that’s why we neglect to prioritize them. No one or many presidents could heal our country on their own. And no tax policies and regulations can save us from what’s to come if we don’t redirect our attention.