Dickinson Community Reacts to Election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

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US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris react as confetti falls, with respective Jill Biden and Douglas Emhoff, after delivering remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 7, after being declared the winners of the presidential election. Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

Deon Rosado '24 and Max Shannon ‘24

The Dickinson community has been reflecting on the Saturday election of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States and the history-making moment for Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, who will become the first woman and first person of color to serve as Vice President. 

Vincent Stephens, director of the Popel Shaw Center for Race and Ethnicity, reflected on the election and what it meant to him. “This is a historic election in the record-breaking turnout and the election of a woman of color to the Vice Presidency.”

In a written statement Saturday, President-Elect Joe Biden said, “In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America. With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.” 

“We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together,” said Biden.

Allan Farfan Canales ’23 was beaming with hope and gratitude when hearing the news that the election had ended. “I woke up to the sound of my brother and mom storming into my room, shouting and cheering that Biden-Harris won. Seeing my Mexican-American family happy and secure [was the] best way to wake up,” he said. 

In his first remarks to the nation as President-elect, Biden claimed that he would be a president that would lead the entire nation, regardless of political party.  

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify — who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States,” he said.  

Jena Blair ‘22 said, “this past year alone has shown me, and hopefully the rest of the nation, the importance of accountability. Although I’m happy for the future, it is still important to hold our leaders accountable.” 

In connection with this, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities,” Harris also thanked Black women, saying they are “too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy.” 

“And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before.” 

This moment was significant for Caitlin Greeley ‘24 who said, “Being a woman and seeing Kamala Harris is very inspiring for me and for the younger generations as well.” 

As of now, President Trump has yet to concede the race against former Vice-President Joe Biden. According to the Associated Press, the Trump campaign has claimed that the election is not over yet, while also propping up unverified reports of voter fraud in several key battleground states. 

While this has been a historic election, there are many people who are dismayed with the idea of a Biden administration. Hunter Omerzo ‘24 expressed, “I am not excited for a Biden administration, there are two ways to look at it, either Biden is actually in charge (which I find highly unlikely) in which case I think he will be ineffective seeing as he accomplished almost nothing for 48 years.” 

Shane Shuma ‘22, president of the Dickinson College Republicans, reflected on the election and its process, favoring the Republican campaign of President Donald Trump and his running mate, Vice President Mike Pence, over the Democratic campaign of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.  

“I believe that Donald Trump was extremely successful this election cycle in diversifying the GOP’s coalition, bringing in record numbers of Hispanic Americans, Jewish Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and women into the party,” said Shuma. He also addressed his viewpoint regarding Biden’s campaign strategy when explaining his decision to support the Republican party this election. 

“Joe Biden’s strategy was to hide and let the election be a referendum on President Trump,” said Shuma.     

“Democracy is not just something we do once every four years. It is only as strong and only as good as we are willing to fight for it,” said Associate Professor of Political Science Sarah Niebler.