The US presidential election this year has been dramatic in ways that nobody could have predicted. The country heads to the polls amid a global pandemic, in the grip of severe political strife. Whatever happens next will have global implications, and will be watched closely both in the UK and around the world. But for those who call the United States home, these world events are uniquely personal. Accordingly, Wessex Scene reached out to some university students studying in Washington DC, asking for their views on the election. Here’s some of what they had to say.
Mady (22), Virginia.
“I’m a registered Democrat from Fairfax, Virginia. This election has been draining, infuriating, and a very loud call to action. I’ve been eagerly waiting to vote Trump out of office because it has been embarrassing being an American for the last 4 years but just voting is not enough this year. He has ruined everything he’s touched and is currently destroying what was left of our democracy and it’s made me much more aware of everything that needs to be changed in this country…
…Though I’m hopeful that we’ll have a big turn out for Biden/Harris, I know another Trump term is very likely. In 2016, I was sadly surprised by the results, but one thing his presidency has made clear is that it isn’t the loud extremists that you should be worried about, it’s the silent Trump supporters. The ones that preach about respecting everyone’s political views and say that it’s the left that is tearing the country apart by ‘ending friendships over political beliefs’. But it’s not just political views anymore, it’s about voting out a racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist man who has had a hand in the 225,000 (and counting) deaths because of his complete mess of a Covid-19 response. And this election has made me realize just how many people I thought I knew who are now going to compromise on basic human rights because they don’t want their wealthy families to pay more taxes. I’m very scared of what the results of this election may bring because Trump has outright threatened to not peacefully transfer power and his rabid base of extremists are ready to start a conflict. I mean for goodness sake, there has already been an attempted coup in Michigan in the past few weeks. But sure, let’s respect everyone’s political beliefs even if that means stripping your friends of their basic human rights.”
Anger, frustration, concern; feelings that all of America has felt over the past year. Elections are intended as a means of resolution, of peacefully ending disputes, but whether this is achieved in this most turbulent of election years remains to be seen.