Greylock Students React to Biden/Harris Win

Photo+Courtesy+of+Lamar+University+Press

Photo Courtesy of Lamar University Press

Emma Sandstrom, Managing Editor

On Saturday, November 7th, The New York Times called the 2020 presidential election for the Democratic nominees former vice president Joe Biden and California senator Kamala Harris.

As of November 20th, Biden leads in both the popular vote percentage and in electoral votes with 290 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.

After the election results were called by numerous news sources, The Echo sought insight from Mount Greylock students about their feelings towards these results. In a poll of Mount Greylock students, 67% of students said that the election outcome was what they had anticipated, 13% said that they did not expect these results, and 20% of students said that they had ultimately expected Biden-Harris to win, but not in terms of the popular vote. 93% of students said that they strongly supported one candidate over another, leaving 7% of students who selected “not involved with politics.” 

When asked about their feelings towards the election result, one student said, “I was so beyond happy with the Biden x Harris win, I celebrated [socially distanced] with my friends!”

Another student added, “I feel like I can finally take a breath again and like our country is in much better, safer hands.”

Senior Pablo Santos said, “I am more than happy with Biden winning. Getting Trump out of office is one of the things that will help turn this country around. America’s future is becoming brighter.” 

Many students felt that while Biden was not the most ideal candidate, he was better than the alternative. Senior Charlotte Sanford said, “There was no true choice in this election — it was voting for common decency or the devil himself.”

Other students were not as happy with the outcome. Junior Cam Abel said, “Trump was a bad person, but good president. His policies were better. He was good for the country before Coronavirus. He supports our troops and law enforcement. I’m pretty upset about the results. It obviously is not what I was hoping for. I think these next 4 years are going to be rough. 

Abel also expressed concern about the legitimacy of the election: “One of my biggest problems with this election is the mail in voting. There is a lot of margin for fraud or cheating.”

While acknowledging the possibility of sampling variation errors due to a small sample size, 100% of students who took part in the post-election survey said that they believe current politics should be implemented into the high school curriculum.

Many students said that they would like to get involved in politics but don’t feel educated enough to speak up.

One anonymous student said, “I understand enough to know that Biden is the obvious choice over Trump and that people’s lives and rights are at stake, but I don’t feel confident being politically active because I don’t know about the specifics like the policies and the senate.”

Another student said, “Even though a lot of us can’t vote, it is so so important to be educated about what is occurring in politics. Those who say they don’t care about politics fail to realize that in itself is blind privilege.”

Many students agree that taking a back seat to politics is affirmation of one’s privilege. One student said, “When people say they don’t care about politics because it doesn’t directly affect them — they are really just basking in privilege because they don’t need to worry about their rights being stripped from them. That may be in part because they just don’t know, so they should definitely teach about it in schools.”

Other students expressed a desire to learn more about politics so that when the time comes, they are better prepared to fulfill their civic responsibilities to vote. 

One student that was surveyed said, “Educating high school students on politics not only better 

prepares them for voting, but also teaches them a way to thoroughly analyze candidates to choose government officials who best represent their values.”

Junior Tessa Leveque believes that Gen-Z has the power to influence politics like no other generation before them. She said, “High schoolers are the next generation and I believe that they should have a say in who will be in power once they reach adulthood. Younger generations also provide new insights of a whole different type of world, and educating themselves young can help once they are truly able to have a say.”

Freshman Celina Savage said, “Our teen years fundamentally guide how we make decisions in our future, and politics should be a huge part of our adult life and if we are already educated, it’s less work for us in the future.”

Freshman Jackie Brennan added that “high school is what prepares us for our adult life and politics will be a part of our adult life.”

Another student added that high schoolers need to have the opportunity to form an opinion separate from their parents. They said, “It is important, especially in this election, to form your own views on which candidate is better. I think most students follow what their parents say and don’t form their own opinions.”

Another student conveyed the importance of educating both sides to avoid bias, saying, “I think they should, but the education should be about both sides of an issue which is difficult. A teacher should never press their views on a student.”

However, not all parts of the country feel the same politically. Josie Dechaine, a junior currently studying in Florida, cited the differences of living in the red state of Florida and the blue state of Massachusetts as a wake up call to why we need to educate ourselves early on. 

Dechaine said, “This is the country we are growing up in. All of us, especially the younger generations, should care about the outcome. Whether it be certain rights taken away or the simple well being of the US, it is what we are going to live with (and have to fix) as a generation.”

The election still has yet to be finalized as candidates continue to drag out the proceedings in legal battles in a variety of key states. With the assumption that Biden and Harris remain the president-elect and vice-president elect respectively, time will tell what kind of direction they will steer the country in.