Graphic by Emma Cypressi
I woke up on the morning of November seventh and unlocked my phone, not quite conscious yet, to see quite a few tweets and texts on my homescreen. Each notification was the same: Former Vice President Joe Biden had become the perceived winner of the 2020 Presidential Election on that morning.
“[This] election reveals deeper divides between red and blue America,” according to Phillip Rucker’s article in the Washington Post. (See pages 10-11 to read about the perspectives of Las Lomas student Trump supporters.)
Many news sources have covered the nationwide, and even worldwide celebrations of Biden’s victory, but The Page was more interested in student views. I formally interviewed four students on campus, each on a different side of the Biden support spectrum. They described to me their stance on Joe Biden and how they felt when he won.
Senior Ani Jamgotchian supports Joe Biden because he is “more liberal than Trump” but more importantly because “he is a respectable man who understands the people he is representing.” Jamgotchian’s reaction when Biden won was encased in newfound hope: “Biden’s win gives me hope that our country will be able to heal and move toward a just and productive way of being.”
“It’s not every day that a nation manages to overthrow an authoritarian, wanna-be autocrat through democracy,” said my next interviewee, Senior Martin Valubena. He explained that he originally supported Senator Bernie Sanders, but now supports Joe Biden “in an excited way.” He said, “I trust Biden to be an ally. I trust him to lead with empathy first and foremost. I trust him to fight for us, and most importantly, I trust him to listen.” Vaubena expressed excitement regarding Biden’s push for same-sex marriage back in 2015 and his current views on immigration policy. Speaking on his feelings after the election, Valubena said, “Biden’s victory brings me joy. It shows that goodness and kindness wins. Some might find themselves frustrated that it was even close, but I think it’s important to think from another perspective. Despite four years of a president with a cult of personality who has inflamed inter-party and interracial tensions, created an environment where lies are truths, and done everything in his power to demotivate, discredit, and disenfranchise voters, Biden still won.”
A quite different perspective is held by Junior Moxie Marsh. She described to me how she has stopped supporting Biden since the election and said, “Now that the election is over and it’s clear [Biden] has won, I’ve moved away from supporting him because of his past actions while in power.” Her emotion ever since November 7 has been concern. A continued worry: “I worry about far right groups fighting for Trump’s continued presidency especially as January and the transition approaches and [Trump] continues to dispute his loss.” Marsh also expressed worry regarding the Biden administration’s future impacts on queer people and people of color.
My last interviewee was Senior Jacqui Rojas. Her view of Joe Biden is heavily impacted by the causes that he supports: “I feel better having a president that actually believes in climate change…I like his [stricter] policy about …gun laws …he’s pro choice and pro lgbtq+ rights, [and] also he wants to raise minimum wage.” I was not the only one with my eyes glued to my phone in early November: “The election week was very stressful, checking your phone every 2 minutes to see if some electoral votes got added was so tiring, but it was all worth it. I was very sure Biden was going to win but when I saw that he actually did it, I was so happy I can’t even find the words to explain my feelings that day.” She then described her feelings as “a mix of relief, joy and satisfaction.”
These four do not depict the views of the entire Las Lomas student body, and I did not expect them to have similar feelings or views regarding Joe Biden’s win. As Rucker stated in his article that I referenced earlier, there is a deep political divide right now, but as Valubena said, “[Biden supporters] should be proud.”