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What We Want, How We Feel: Post-Election Hopes & Thoughts

by Dayanara Almon, Fatra Hussein, and Sofia Elena Heron

As a follow up to the election reaction that was published on our blog a few weeks ago, we decided to ask people of the Seattle area what their thoughts are about the upcoming administration. Over the course of a few weeks, we compiled video and written submissions from youth and adults from a variety of backgrounds asking them questions on what they hope to see from the Biden administration, how the election affected them, and their thoughts on voting. We asked for their honest opinions and created the video above with the responses we got as well as compiling these written pieces below:

Eva Sheree Herdener, 16

How do you think the political climate might change now that Biden is president-elect? Do you have any worries about these next few months?

I think Biden’s win was a huge relief to a lot of people; me included. Trump’s presidency was extraordinarily chaotic and I think really highlighted the profound issues our country faces for a lot of people. I am not fond of President-elect Joe Biden or Kamala Harris, I don’t hold the same values as them, and I find that Biden is just a glorified Republican. I fear that as Biden’s presidency progresses, a lot of white liberals will go back to remaining fairly silent because they are now comfortable. The issues that existed during Trump’s presidency still exist and aren’t going to disappear with Biden in office. One thing I noticed when Biden won was everybody started putting up their American flags again because they believed it was a celebration of our democracy. To me, that’s a back step. People are already going back to ignoring the horrible things that our country has always represented and the issues that we are facing. I wonder if there will be any true action on the defunding of our police. I fear that a lot of the white non-leftist left will go back to being ignorant and blindly compliant with our new Democrat president.

If you can’t vote, who would you have voted for and why? How do you feel as a non-voter, what was not being able to vote like for you?

I would’ve voted for Biden. With a level of urgency that this election was to get Trump out of office, I wouldn’t have voted for a third party. Frankly, I am really glad I wasn’t able to vote this election. I really value the right to vote, but it would have been really difficult for me to have to vote for somebody like Biden. Being a Communist, I think it will be really unlikely for me to ever see a presidential candidate that truly represents my values, so in reality I will always have to settle. It’s sad that Biden is what represents the left, when in reality he is so far right.

What do you want from the upcoming administration? Is there anything specific that you would like to see happen?

I really would like to see some heavy action on climate change and COVID-19. The pandemic has been so poorly handled throughout the past many months. I think that if Covid hadn’t existed, then Trump would’ve won the election. His failure to handle the pandemic properly made him lose a lot of centrist voters as well as right wing Republicans. Throughout Biden’s campaign he talked a lot about Covid, so I’m hoping that he sticks to his word and cracks down so that the country can safely reopen. With climate change, we’re running out of time so quickly, which is incredibly concerning especially for my generation. In the first presidential debate Trump was criticizing the Green New Deal for costing too much money and Biden stated that he didn’t support the Green New Deal, but in reality the Biden Plan. I have no idea what the Biden Plan is, but I’m hoping that his administration dedicates a lot of time to aiding our planet.

How has this election changed you? How will it influence your actions in the future? How has this election process changed your perspective on politics and social issues in your community and on a broader scale (if it has)?

I frankly strongly dislike our government. I think the two-party system is so problematic and unproductive. I don’t think this election really changed me, it just further highlighted the same issues that we’ve been seeing since, well forever. Honestly, in the future hopefully I won’t be living here and will have the opportunity to explore different parts of the world and look at the US from an outside perspective. I hope that all these people that have been protesting and fighting for months aren’t just suddenly shunned. Trump being racist didn’t bring about new racists, it just made people comfortable and confident in their racism which has brought a lot of danger for minorities in this country. I hope that Biden can be aware of that and focus on bringing true change, but I’m not confident he will.

H.A., youth

How do you think the political climate might change now that Biden is president-elect? Do you have any worries about these next few months?

Now that Biden is President-elect, the political climate is a little tense due to Trump and his attempt to discredit the votes. At this point in American history, I don’t have any worries because I have confidence Biden will turn things around, pass laws, and make thorough decisions.

If you can’t vote, who would you have voted for and why? How do you feel as a non-voter, what was not being able to vote like for you?

If I could have voted, I’d have voted for Biden. The main reason being that between the two candidates, he deemed more fit to progress our country in ways that represent the population. As a non-voter, all I could do was hope that the adults could make it happen, meaning, end Trump’s career as President.

What do you want from the upcoming administration? Is there anything specific that you would like to see happen?

I personally want the upcoming administration to pass laws consistently that’ll evolve and shape our country for the better. Especially focusing on the major issues in our country and meeting the needs of citizens.

Lydia Valentine, adult

For the adults: how has voting in this election affected you? Has it felt different than past elections?

I have always considered voting to be an incredibly important responsibility given the many people who fought and lost their lives to enable me - a black woman - to exercise this right. I have also always been aware that certain candidates represented my interests better than others, and in other elections I have had serious concerns about how certain outcomes would negatively impact my life, my children’s lives, and the lives of others in marginalized communities. As we approached the nominations for the election in 2016, I was a Bernie delegate, but when Bernie lost the nomination to Hilary, I of course threw my support behind her. I could not believe how many people simply brushed aside the concerns of communities of color and of LGBTQIA* folx that Donald Trump was gaining a significant level of support. For this election, my perspective on voting did not change, but I think that many people realized that they could not leave things to chance in the same way that they had in the past. In 2016 and this year, I felt and feel like the racism, classism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and white supremacist ideology that are both a part of the foundation of this country and a part of the day-to-day oppression for too many of us were and are on display for the world to see. In 2016, the normalization of blatant disregard for other human beings had not risen to the level that it has at this point after having four years of it demonstrated in the highest office in the land, so I didn’t feel as unsafe then as I did and do now. Many people only worried about getting Trump out of office via the vote. However, getting him to actually concede loss and vacate the office is something that people need to recognize might not be that easy. Also, people need to remember that-even after the election-we will still need to continue our fight against excessive force of the police, government corruption, nationalism, white supremacists, and a whole host of other serious issues that are killing American people and crippling this country.

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