Reflections on the US Election

Looking forward to the next four years

By Courtney Campbell, a second year BA Politics student

This article is part of our series ‘Reflections on the US Election’

It is hard to believe that we have lived through almost four whole years of Donald Trump’s presidency. Between building walls, the Russia investigation and becoming the third president to be impeached, this madness that began back in 2016 with Trump’s unexpected win against Hillary Clinton does not appear to have subsided just yet, even weeks after the presidential election itself. With Trump’s Twitter storms and claims of alleged electoral fraud, this year’s election looks set to be historical on a similar level to Bush v. Gore in 2000. However, I am happy with Biden’s win and feel confident that he will deliver during his upcoming term in office. 

As an enthusiast of politics in the United States, I have been following the elections since the end of 2019, during the Democratic nomination process. Initially, I was a supporter of Elizabeth Warren; I would have especially loved for a female to be on the presidential ticket. With her slogan of “I’ve got a plan for that” and prospective reforms in healthcare and education, I really felt that she had a shot at the nomination.

However, this of course was not to be. Although Joe Biden was not at first my preferred candidate for this election, it cannot be denied that he is very well qualified, being first elected to the Senate at the age of just 29 in 1972. He has an impressive record both in the Senate and beyond as Barack Obama’s Vice President – and after four years of madness, I was pretty much happy whoever the Democratic nominee was going to be. “Vote blue, no matter who” appears to have been the attitude of many Democrats this year, with even some Republicans turning against their party to endorse Biden. 

After staying up late to watch presidential and vice-presidential debates, on the 3rd November I was prepared for what I knew was going to be a long night of watching red states and blue states be declared, whilst eagerly awaiting toss-ups such as Florida and Pennsylvania to be called. After witnessing Trump win in swing states including Michigan and Ohio, previously called for Obama in 2012, I knew that this election could be set to be a close call. 

Of course, I was correct – after watching CNN almost constantly from Tuesday right through until Saturday, patiently waiting for Joe Biden to be declared as the next President of the United States, the result we had been waiting for was through. I am sure that a sigh of relief was heard across much of the US and beyond; in these uncertain times, I believe that Biden will handle the tough situations that the world finds itself in.

With Kamala Harris as the Vice President-elect, I am also delighted that a woman, not least a woman of colour, is finally on the way to breaking the glass ceiling that has been present in American politics for so many years. As a female politics student, this gives me some hope knowing how far we have come since even fifty years ago, with more people coming to recognise the importance of female and minority representation in politics.  

Although the US still faces a level of uncertainty, with Trump’s legal action, various protests and accusations of rigged postal ballots, I am happy that some calm is going to be restored to the White House – with Biden’s experience and respect for American values, I believe that he will make his best efforts to build upon the advancements made by Barack Obama during his two terms. He has a difficult road ahead of him – becoming a President amidst a public health emergency and economic crisis is not easy, but I look forward to what lies ahead for American politics during the next four years.