America Decides 2020: Our Post-Election Day Thoughts

November 5th

Anderson: 

I got so stressed out about the election that I woke up with chest pains Tuesday and Wednesday. I stress cleaned and moved all of the furniture in the upstairs part of my house on Wednesday. For some self care and mental sanity I removed all of the Trumpies from Facebook and other social media (which led to very few family members remaining with access to my profiles). The responses from Trump supporters to the mail-in ballots is so absolutely horrendous that I have to laugh a little in horror. 

Jordyn:

I’ve really never felt more overwhelmed by an election than I have today. The fact that the race is so unbelievably close really makes me lose faith in a lot of the country. I found myself constantly checking the electoral college votes and watching the actual numbers rise and fall consistently. I really thought that more people would have voted against Trump and seeing how many people actually voted for him is so disheartening after everything he’s done. I’ve tried to stay away from social media to keep my head up a little bit, but my anxiety made me constantly worked up about everything. I could not sleep at all.Everything happening just really messed with my head a lot honestly. 

Kailey:

I feel like this is never going to end. It’s so confusing and frustrating and discouraging. On Tuesday night, I was riled up.  My boyfriend and I really got going and ended up staying up way too late.  We were just ranting and having good conversations with little breaks to laugh at memes. I was so hyper I could not fall asleep — it felt like Christmas Eve but like… in hell.  I woke up the next day and was shocked that nothing really happened over night.  I never would have imagined we would make it DAYS before having any direction.  It’s gotten to the point where I feel like I’m checking the scores of a football game - I have to keep reminding myself of what’s really going on. I just feel very confused and lost.

Shannon:

I agree with you, Kailey, that it feels like it is never going to end. While it is obvious based on the predictions I have seen based on the mail votes that are being tallied that Biden is going to win this thing (though certainly not guaranteed), the anxiety that Trump could clench Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, or Nevada, even if unlikely, and take the Presidency is real. I have had the New York Times and 538 open since Tuesday night, and have been turning CNN on and off periodically so that they can continue to explain the counties and stuff where they’re getting data. This has been the most reassuring for me, which is to see the experts explain this thing and see their educated estimates play out in places like Wisconsin and Michigan as they did on Wednesday morning. If anyone needs to feel a little better, I recommend tuning into the 538 Live Blogging of this or MSNBC/CNN live coverage of the election as these are real experts who are being straight, honest, and open with the America public about the way this election is going.

I am someone, however, who has not removed all my Trump relatives. This is probably going to be a controversial take for me to have, but I feel it needs to be said now. I did delete a lot of my Trump family 2016 but I find this year does not warrant it as much. While I am in disgust that they support this man, I also feel that cutting off that connection if Joe Biden wins would be in error. These are people I do still love and the strongest way I can show that love is by trying to reach out to them and slowly getting them to let go of the hate they feel by exposing them to new ideas. Looking at the fact that half the country has voted for this man, it is nearly impossible to cut these people out of our lives — they are not a minority. The right clearly capitalized on the isolation these people feel in their hatred and that is what spoke to them and why they came out in droves for Trump. People change their minds and vote when they feel heard. Is there a way we can make them feel heard in the upcoming Biden years that does not capitalize on things like racism, sexism, and other prejudices? I believe there is. Maybe I am an idealist but I am willing to try harder in an environment that is not as hostile as the one Trump has been fostering as President.

November 6th

Shannon:

Biden has pulled ahead in PA and GA, and is carrying NE and AZ. I feel as though this election is over, especially since Vox has called it for Biden already. A new day in America...honestly. 

Allyson:

I honestly have become too overwhelmed by constantly checking who is in the lead every 10 minutes. My boyfriend will periodically check on the results throughout the day and let me know what the latest is because I just get too stressed, to the point where I won’t be able to focus on my schoolwork that I need to get done. I have stayed away from social media as well, since it has become an influx of toxic comments from both sides. Just like you mentioned Kailey, I am shocked that it is taking so long to get any sort of concrete results. The absentee ballots still need to be counted, and I think because this is my first time being able to vote and I did so via absentee ballot, as well as COVID still happening and more people also voting this way, I am worried they won’t all be properly counted and some may be rejected. I just hope that whoever wins will be held accountable for the changes they promised to institute, and that people will continue to work hard for that change and not simply stop advocating for it as soon as we have a new president. 

November 7th

Kailey:

Well, we finally have some results!! Nothing is concrete, of course, but things are looking good! I’m having a hard time formulating any cohesive thoughts, but I am certainly excited to see where this whole thing is going to go! There is work to be done and always will be, but we have hope and that’s all we can ask for right now.  Alexa, play “Party in the USA”!!!!!!!

Shannon:

I think we should be very clear that Biden has won this election. There is no path back for Trump— his time is over. I am so excited to see this and the elation and relief is incredible. I have never been more proud of this country for pulling ahead for what I see as humanity. Kamala Harris becoming the first woman and the first black and Asian person, and the first black and Asian woman to be elected to the Vice Presidency is so beautiful. She makes me so proud. I have never been happier with who our Vice President is, especially considering that as a bisexual woman, Pence’s presence in that office angered and scared me.

Kailey:

Does the electoral college vote in December? Or am I wrong? I know that it’s very likely that the electoral college votes will align with the pop ular votes, and that Biden has a lot of wiggle room, but isn’t there still time for shit to hit the fan?  I could be misinformed - I honestly don’t know.  Either way, thank you, Shannon, for bringing up the huge win in terms of representation across the board! Besides VP, several other positions have just been filled by women, POC, and people from the LGBTQ+ community. I am so happy to see such an increase in diversity in our government and think this is a huge turning point in our nation.  

Shannon:

This is so important to understand because the electoral college is such a weird system, so I understand the confusion. Yes, the electoral college votes in December —however, looking at the current map in the counties that are still coming in, Biden has taken the lead in all of them and continues to at a significant point difference to Trump. The reason the race has been called is because Pennsylvania gives the 20 minimum votes needed to get Biden to 273. His lead in Nevada and Arizona were enough to get him to 270 even without PA or GA (which is headed into recount territory). That said, if he clenches every state (which is very likely right now) he will get to 306. It’s just the fact that he is definitely going to win PA which means the race is over and he has won. 

This is important info to have and ask about anyway! We will be doing this again in another 4 years (sigh).

Kailey:

This system is so broken in so many ways, but we need to take this moment to celebrate as much as we can.

Shannon:

I totally agree. What is funny is that Nate Silver (the head of the polling aggregator 538) tweeted either last night or two nights ago about the fact that many working in politics, news, or statistics were very sure Biden was going to win the election but were puzzled as to why so many people — even people rooting for Biden — thought it was some big tossup still. I think a lot of people weren’t ready for the reality of how this election would play out because of the pandemic. However, I think mail-in voting should be much more widespread. It is so much more accessible. In talking about how the system is broken, the fact that mail-in voting isn’t as accessible as it should be in normal elections shows that people at the top know it would lead to increased voter turnout. 

ANYWAY, I am so happy. The relief, the joy. The fight isn’t over though and it’s super important to note that we are going into a Presidency in January that will have one half of the country against him. We need to continue to keep the Biden administration accountable as well. We need to keep reading the news and paying attention. 

Sam:

To say I’m relieved is an understatement. I had a feeling with the mail in ballots that Biden would come out on top due to Trump telling his supporters not to vote by mail. I agree with Jordyn, I was very shocked and disappointed in how many people voted for Trump with all that he has done. I am finally so hopeful for our country’s future. We still have so much we still need to do for POC, the LGBTQ community, Immigrants, Native Americans, and women’s rights. We can’t stop the fight now, we must demand this change for the better. I can’t believe we finally have a Vice President who is not only a POC but is female! We made herstory today. 

Shannon:

Wow, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s speeches were beautiful. I know this article is mostly over but I have never been more thrilled to see something so inspiring. Sam, you are completely correct and I am so glad you brought up all the marginalized groups that this win really is for. We shouldn’t stop fact checking and paying attention to what this new administration will do, because no doubt, they will make mistakes or do things that they should not. We also need to keep an eye on the judicial system that Trump corrupted from the bottom up by appointing a slew of unqualified or deeply conservative judges, including to the highest court in the land. We have to get those two Senate seats in Georgia filled with Democrats by winning the run-off in January. However, we know that the Biden administration is not hostile to our existence and that they actually care about mending this country. That is what makes me so exceedingly happy, that we will finally have a government that wants to help.