The 2020 Presidential Election has people all over the world guessing what might happen to the United States now that a president has finally been announced. Multiple news organizations are projecting former vice president Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election, after gaining Pennsylvania’s electoral votes Saturday.
Biden’s projected win comes after months of division prior to the election including uncivil debates, harassment of campaign officials and supporters and many demonstrations — both civil and not civil. For many, the 2020 election season was a sign of a nation and a people, that needs fixing.
As Biden prepares his administration to take the White House in 2021, some are asking, “Will it get worse?”
Even before the election began, people had resorted to boarding up store windows as the world anticipated what might come.
Shippensburg University political science professor Alison Dagnes felt very strongly about the future of America as the nation anticipates a potentially dangerous aftermath of the election.
“The 2020 elections proved that America is more divided than we have ever been in modern history.” Dagnes said. “Our divisions run deep and feel powerfully personal. We take our political beliefs and wind them so tightly around us, we cannot extricate ourselves from our partisan team.”
Between the division driven by the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer, to people choosing whether or not they would wear a mask during the COVID-19 coronavirus, 2020 has been filled with historical events that some interpret as meaningful change and others as uncontrollable chaos.
As both parties choose to ignore and harass each other rather than accept and respect each other for their own political belief, Dagnes said the members of the nation need to step up.
“Our polarization will grow and worsen as long as politicians and media figures gain from our division,” Dagnes said. “We can slow the progression of our discord if we chose not to take the bait.”
Dagnes said this means actively choosing to not click on emotional social media content that makes one angry and hateful toward neighbors or others. It also means choosing not to watch “loud” cable news programs that further enrage and divide.
She added that to ignore that bait means choosing alternatives such as talking with people with whom one may disagree and choosing to understand that those with a different opinion should not be considered the enemy. As Democrats and Republicans collectively fear about what the future will look like in the opposing party’s control, Dagnes said Americans need to try to willingly come together. Dagnes thinks it is a possibility if the entire nation agrees to step up.
“We can see that we are more than just one thing and find common ground with others,” Dagnes said. “Mostly, we need to unplug and move away from the hostility that serves very few, if only to remember that what makes America special is our political system that allows fairness, representation and compromise.”
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