A recap on the 2020 presidential election

Alex Hopper, News Editor

Sometimes in the world of politics a situation becomes so polarizing and divisive that even those who often opt out of the discussion are turned to their news with undivided attention.

The Nov. 3 presidential election became such a situation. 

Over the past four years of the Trump administration, the divide within the country has grown more severe with every headline explaining the president’s position on national issues. 

His supporters became more steadfast while his opposition moved further away. 

Though Trump’s entire presidency has been one of contention, the unexpected events of 2020 were especially influential in America’s vote on Nov. 3. 

Firstly, President Trump’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic was widely criticized. Many thought he didn’t prepare the country enough for the threat of COVID-19. 

President Trump’s early comments concerning COVID-19, such as making continual claims that the U.S. has COVID-19 “totally under control,” led many of his supporters to downplay the virus.

While many democratic politicians urged the public to take the utmost precaution against the spread of COVID-19. 

The division within the U.S. turned from theoretical to visual when something as simple as wearing a mask in public could dictate your political beliefs for you.   

As summer came, and the theorized “end of COVID-19” did not come, the U.S. was hit with another monumental event, the death of George Floyd. 

As yet another black man fell victim to police brutality the country was in turmoil and sides were taken.

Peaceful protests were seen around the country in response to Floyd’s death and like causes. Counter-protests were mounted in favor of police. Riots ensued after many protesters felt their claims were not being heard. 

President Trump’s comments were once again debated. 

President Trump referred to the rioters fighting against police brutality as “thugs” and “anarchists.”

His supporters then took similar stances on the events while many BLM supporters thought his comments were close-minded and dismissive of the peaceful protests that also took place. 

Once again the country was visibly divided and the impending election was at the forefront of everyone’s mind. 

In June, Joe Biden became the democratic nominee and the two possible futures of the U.S. were laid out. 

By Aug., Kamala Harris was announced as Biden’s running mate, making her the first ever Black female on a presidential ticket.

The election was shaping up to be a monumental one, and Nov. 3 could not come quick enough. 

Trump supporters wanted to ensure his re-election while democrats wanted to usher in a new view-point into the white house. 

Biden’s campaign took a completely opposite stance than Trump’s re-election campaign. They agreed on very little, mirroring the sentiments felt around the country. 

Biden took the side of racial justice, environmental protection, and stronger defenses against the spread of COVID-19.   

President Trump took the side of a healthy economy and law-and-order. 

The fight for power in the country began. 

However, that fight did not lie solely on the presidential election, as in Sept. a Supreme Court nomination took place. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a trailblazer for gender equality, passed away on Sept. 18 and President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett in her place. 

With this nomination, the Trump administration set a record as being the only majority party to confirm a life-time Supreme Court appointment so close to an election day. 

Democrats argued against the confirmation because of both the circumstances and ideological differences. 

Between Sept. and Nov. Americans, impatiently, waited for election day and led a push for voter registration that eventually set a record. 

In 2020, more Americans voted in the presidential election than had in 120 years. Precisely, 2-thirds of the eligible voting population. 

This 2020 election was certainly a historic one. 

Biden and Harris’ victory on Nov. 7, reached another landmark as Harris became the first black woman to hold the vice presidential office. 

The results of the election were argued heavily in both public opinion and the judicial system. 

Another historical aspect of this election was the widespread alternatives to in-person voting, as a precaution to COVID-19. 

The push for vote-by-mail fueled concerns of voter fraud, spearheaded by President Trump. 

Many lawsuits were filed by the Trump administration questioning the validity of the election results. 

As President Trump continually commented on the “stolen election,” the anger within his supporters grew. 

That anger, and a push from the president himself, led to an insurrection at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. 

President Trump told his supporters at his rally to march on the Capitol in response to the confirmation of the presidential election. The protest quickly turned to riot, as Trump supporters stormed into the Capitol. 

After the events at the Capitol, both republican and democratic politicians are moving to impeach President Trump because of his involvement. 

Trump has lost support from even his most loyal constituents, as they have publicly condemned his actions. 

With Biden’s inauguration only days away, and with so much unresolved, the American people are holding their breath, waiting to see which turns the country will have to endure before the president-elect takes over.