By Andrew Dacuba
With all states now reporting the vast majority of their ballots cast, the 2020 presidential election has been called for Joe Biden, defeating the incumbent Donald Trump. Chief among this year’s issues were the COVID-19 pandemic and police brutality against African-Americans. According to The Associated Press, Trump’s opponents criticized his response to the coronavirus as many Americans have died and many more have lost their jobs, along with his calls for “law and order” amidst protests against police brutality.
With such important issues at stake, voters this election may have turned out in greater numbers than any election in the last hundred years according to early estimates. Vox reports that an important part of the vote was America’s youth, with “53 percent of eligible youth voters [casting] votes in this election versus 45 percent in 2016.”
Here at STAC, many of these young voters agreed about the significance of voting and the importance of the younger generations in politics.
Sophomore Ryan Leiter expressed how, in America, “we are fortunate enough to have the freedom to express our opinions in a way that matters,” and it is not a freedom that should be wasted by not voting. Leiter feels the influence that young Americans have such as through social media and organizing protests will only increase.
However, he is disappointed about the divisiveness of the current political climate.
“There’s no such thing as friendly debates anymore,” Leiter said. He explained that this is terrible because people who do not share beliefs instantly want nothing to do with each other.
He also lamented cancel culture, and how it “furthers this divide…[because] If someone believed something in the past, but grew past that and changed their beliefs,” they are judged for who they were previously rather than as a changed person.
Despite this, Leiter hopes “that when the time comes for the next presidential election, our society will reunify as one, and we
can pick someone who’s actually qualified for the job.”
Sophomore Franklin Praschil shared his thoughts on voting and the election as well.
“It’s important to vote mainly because you’re able to get your opinion and voice heard and sometimes, there’s a candidate who is exactly who you’re looking for,” Praschil said.
Regarding the younger generation, he felt that they are one of the most influential voting groups because they are much more aware of the issues compared to four years ago.
Praschil voted for Biden, but always hopes there can be “moments where both sides can put aside their differences… for the greater good.”