A person laying in bed fretting with their computer open looking at the polls. A calender in the background indicates it's Election Day.
Illustration by Madeline Cox

Election results bring relief but the work is far from over

It is time to get off the couch, clean up those empty pints of ice cream, put away that weighted blanket and celebrate the defeat of President Donald Trump. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are heading to the White House in the new year. This past week had us on the edge of our seats, biting our fingernails and wondering what the future of this country would look like. Now we know. We should take this moment, heck these next few weeks, to celebrate this incredible victory and path towards a democratic country. However, this victory should not overshadow the turbulence that is yet to come. The Biden administration has a lot it needs to accomplish.

Trump is not going to leave the Oval Office without a fight. The President has already announced that he is taking this election to court and filing for recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada. So far, Georgia is the only state undergoing a recount because of Biden’s slim victory. It is highly unlikely these other battleground states will be recounted since Biden holds a sizable lead, but this is just the beginning of Trump executing tyrannical strategies to retain power. 

One possible theory shared on social media that has come to the surface following Trump’s loss is that he will resign so that Pence can pardon him and his crimes. While it is unclear whether Trump, and his massive ego, will carry out this plan, Trump and his administration will do everything in their power to protect him from prosecutors the moment his chopper lifts from the White House lawn one last time. We, being informed LC students who value justice and reform, can neither overlook nor downplay Trump’s avoidance of consequences. 

While we can celebrate the results from the general election, the runoff elections for the Georgia Senate seats should be a top priority for Democratic voters. Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff will face Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue in a runoff election this January, determining who will be the next senator. Rev. Raphael Warnock will run as the other Democratic challenger against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler for the second Senate seat. The current demographic of the Senate is made up of 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats; if Ossoff and Warnock win the runoff, the Senate will swing to the left and Vice President-elect Harris will secure the passing of Democratic legislation. Without Ossoff and Warnock in the Senate, Republicans will be able to block President Biden’s legislation and counter the progress the Biden/Harris administration intends to achieve. 

If this election has proven one thing, it is that this country needs to abolish the Electoral College. In the past seven elections, the GOP has lost the popular vote six times, indicating that the Electoral College is the only constitutional feature keeping the Republican Party alive. One of the primary reasons the Founding Fathers created the Electoral College was to count enslaved African American as three-fifths of a white man’s vote. This system, deeply rooted in systemic racism, is one of the many features of American politics that enable racism and voter suppression to persist. So far, Biden has beaten Trump by several million votes in the popular vote. Many historians and political scientists have argued that the popular vote is a true reflection of American voters and their voices. In this election, the American people have spoken, and have voted to end the Trump presidency. 

This win is a huge victory for so many Americans in this country, but there are still so many issues on the line. Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s recent nomination puts reproductive justice at stake. Even after eight months, this country is still seeing a rise in COVID cases and the mortality rate. Prisoners are one of the many populations vulnerable to the coronavirus, and many have been denied their release because of the pandemic. Our country’s healthcare system is in desperate need of reform as millions of Americans live without the basic necessities to survive and be healthy. The climate is worsening every minute, and if there is no world, then there is no us. These are merely a few of the concerns Biden and Harris will have waiting for them on the Oval’s desk come January. 

There is an incredible amount of pressure already resting on the upcoming administration’s shoulders. Yet, this administration has already made history, having elected the first South-Asian-American and Black woman to be vice president of the United States. We must continue this march of progress and tackle these fundamental issues that have forced Americans to doubt the leaders we chose. Let us hope that President Biden and Vice President Harris will rid this doubt. Now, let us get to work.

This article presents opinions held by the author, not those of The Pioneer Log and its editorial board.

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