A week after election day has passed, the nation has become divided as more and more states have finished their counts and been called. As the election results have officially come out last week of the newly elected president, Joe Biden begins his transition into office half the country is parading with joy while the other half wallows in disbelief.
Senior Anton Nguyen is an officer in the newly formed Cinco Social Advocacy Society. This was his first election as a voter. Texas received the highest turnout rate among the youth since 40 years ago.
“I heard that the number of people who showed up for early voting was a historic high,” Nguyen said. “I think the pandemic definitely made this election special because this is sort of an unthinkable event. We haven’t had a plague ‘seriously’ hit the world since the middle ages, and I think this election might have had a different result without it. I think this special situation and all the racial tension in our country was essential in bringing out younger voters and contributed to making this election definitely stand out.”
Nguyen is a second-generation Vietnamese American. His heritage and ethnicity have given him an insight into the increased tension in the Asian American community due to the divide in the older and newer Asian generation caused by the election.
“I don’t think it’s going to be an end to the Trump period,” said Nguyen. “ I think the Trump Administration will have a long-lasting impact on future generations whether they like it or not. Politics has become a very mainstream topic due to most people having to worry about who is in power. However, I have high hopes for the future of this country. I think the Biden Administration will steer it on the right path.I don’t think this is going to be easy in a couple of months and I don’t really think that the Biden Administration is going to be able to deliver on their promises as quickly as many people hope, but I do have hope in their potential.”
Senior Kelly Zhang is also an officer of Cinco Social Advocacy Society alongside Nguyen. She works with non-partisan organizations like Mi Familia Vota, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and OCA-Greater Houston. She is a second-generation Chinese-American citizen and politically more aligned with the Democratic party.
“I feel like wishing for the results of the election is like waiting for your test grade: full of anxiety and stress,” said Zhang. “The Best method to counter that stress for election results, which is like countering your stress for grades, is to wait for the final results to come in and then stress about it or manage it as best as you can. Before the election, I felt pretty desperate for people to vote for the Democratic Party and Instagram really fueled that because they had all these facts and statistics against Trump. It was disturbing. Trump’s downplay of COVID, his mannerisms, his policies, and the “ignorance” of blind supporters for Trump seriously infuriated me. There was desperation. Lots of it, especially because Texas usually is republican and the winner takes all makes voting seem even more in vain. And the fact that I couldn’t vote made this election just that much more stressful.”
Reese Johnson is also a senior who is busy with finishing his college applications. Both he and his family are also of the Christian faith and conservative Republicans. He has several family members who are currently police officers.
“The election outcome was not what I would have favored personally. “I would have voted for Donald Trump. I just trust that the amount of Americans that vote for Biden knew what they were doing. I think neither of the candidates is going to harm the US in a way that it won’t come back to. As for the Biden administration, I partially agreed with their environmental stance and how transitioning and encouraging more use of clean electricity is important. But in the same way, I’m also kind of against it because of their radical approach to it in my mind. The entire idea of we’re gonna get rid of gas vehicles in 10 years is not realistic to me. With President Trump, his pro-police platform really resonated with me as I have a family that’s the police. Same with his view on the economy.”
Like Johnson, Harmonie Cantu is a freshman and she also has family members in the police force. she is busy trying to juggle her school load with her other extracurriculars like softball and yearbook into her hustling schedule. Although she can’t vote yet, she still keeps an eye on politics. Her family is Christian, Republican, and voted for Trump in the 2020 election. She herself is also a Trump supporter.
“I felt shocked. I only had my eyes on Texas since everyone was like, ‘Oh my god, is Texas is gonna turn blue?’ and all this stuff,” said Cantu. “I was actually kind of concerned because we’ve always been a republican state and I was hearing all these things on social media. I was kind of just shocked about how Biden won. I expected more people to turn out for Trump.”
As the newly elected president Biden begins his journey through the transitioning in the White House, the nation will begin its new chapter into the future.
“In general, everyone in my family is very politically active,” Johnson said. “Everyone was ready to go and vote. It doesn’t really matter what their opinion is. They just wanted to participate. It’s your political view and everyone has one. It’s not really my place to judge someone else for it. There are great people in America who don’t really care what your political view is, they won’t talk to you differently or treat you differently because of it.”