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President-elect Joe Biden will unite Americans after Trump’s presidency divided them

Joel C. Bautista | The Ticker

After former Vice President Joseph Biden became the president-elect and Kamala Harris became the vice president-elect on Nov. 7, some students from Baruch College shared their opinions on the presidential election with The Ticker. Check out what students are saying, below.

Mail-in ballots and early voting propelled Biden to victory

Arianne Gonzalez

The rallying cries for early voting and mail-in ballots delivered Biden and Harris the votes needed to win the 2020 presidential race.

After a nail biting few days of waiting for the election results, peppered with claims of fraudulent voting or wishes to, “Stop the count,” Biden was officially elected as the 46th president of the United States.

It wasn’t a smooth path to victory, with counts being so close in states like Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. But when Pennsylvania turned blue, Biden won 279 Electoral College votes, above the 270 needed to win the election.

Ultimately, it came down to the mail-in ballots and early voting. Voters were encouraged to vote early either in person or through mail to avoid risking exposure to COVID-19.

It also helped that states expanded their mail-in ballot requirements so that people could vote safer and on time. There was also a record high number of ballots cast during the early voting period.

In contrast, the Republican party was openly averse to mail-in voting, following President Donald Trump’s claims of it leading to voter fraud. This was immediately debunked as election misinformation by many news outlets.

Despite the race being so close, mail-in voting and early voting propelled the Biden-Harris campaign to victory.

Biden changed the mindset of various groups of voters

Jahil Rush

Biden and Harris proved during the 2020 presidential election that they are the powerhouse combo that America needs. The Biden-Harris campaign won the election because the themes of their campaign were “unity” and “moderation.”

A poll from The New York Times showed that Biden was gaining support from groups that normally leaned toward Trump.

Biden changed the mindset of independent voters, a group whose support Trump won in 2016.

Biden’s campaign was the perfect sneak peek into how he and Harris will run their administration and the country.

Polls also showed that in Biden’s quest to pull off modern politics he showcased a rare ability — he got people to like him more.

Trump hid behind economic improvement. For the last four years, he reminded Americans that unemployment was at an all-time low.

Voters were also put off by his aggressiveness. From his constant use of racist language in his tweets to his failure to condemn white supremacy, Americans had enough.

Biden offers unity, while Trump offers divisiveness

M’Niyah Lynn

Many Americans rejoiced on Nov. 7 because Biden promised to restore faith and hope in democracy for those who are tired of Trump’s divisive rhetoric.

Biden has amassed over 75 million popular votes, the most of any presidential candidate, beating former President Barack Obama’s 69.4 million in 2008.

Americans have grown tired of Trump’s rejection of facts, science and the media, such as the lie that COVID-19 is disappearing. He’s mentioned this about 38 times since February, although cases are rising and experts have said they don’t expect a vaccine to be ready until mid to late 2021.

Biden consistently targeted all Americans when he spoke and was honest that fixing America will take work. Most importantly, he centered his message on reunifying Americans.

Specifically, Biden was able to voice his desire for unity “even in the primaries when almost nobody else was doing it,” Sen. Bob Casey said, according to The New York Times.

Biden convinced Americans that he can nudge the country in a positive direction, which he’s shown by nominating Harris as his vice president and by being a sobering voice who prioritizes experience, rationality and reasoning.

A lot must be done to undo the inequalities created by Trump’s presidency

Kari Brabander

Biden’s win is a clear cause for Democrats to celebrate, as it marks the end of Trump’s presidency. However, electing Biden as president does not rectify four years of policy and rhetoric that have damaged the lives of so many Americans.

Some remnants of the Trump presidency are practically irreversible, such as Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s seat on the Supreme Court. Her position in the Supreme Court will continue to put the rights for abortion and the LGBTQ+ community at risk for many years.

Biden ran his campaign on the promise of reuniting the country and restoring “the soul of America” and now he must prove he is the right person to do it.

Biden is not a progressive Democrat and will not push the country far enough to undo the rampant division and inequality that it faces by himself.

That work has to come from the people who must hold Biden accountable during his presidency if the United States wants to reverse the defilement of democracy brought about by Trump.

Trump’s defeat doesn’t mean Trumpism is over

Anacaona Rodriguez

In the new president-elect’s victory speech, Biden called for unity between the parties and across the country. However, the United States is far from finished healing.

In his 2016 bid for president, Trump took the racial and cultural biases of the nation and used them to his advantage. This ideology appealed to many voters then in 2016 and again in 2020, with over 70 million votes and counting for Trump.

With undertones of racism and nationalism in his campaign catchphrase, “Build the Wall,” his evident disdain for Mexicans, the institutionalized xenophobia of Muslims and much more, Trump’s philosophies of isolationism and intolerance will remain in the United States for much longer than four years.

Trump’s success came from dividing a country socially and economically. His inability to denounce white supremacy, his several tax cuts for large corporations, none of which benefited the country’s working class and the severe mismanagement and politicizing of the coronavirus pandemic cost millions of American lives.

Overall, Trump’s perverted ideologies masked as conservatism has left the country with a dangerous identity crisis to face. This leaves the country to take the next four years to decide whether they’d like to keep Trumpism or grow away from it.

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