Remember: we have work to do

Biden’s victory is first step of many towards a better nation

The+Associated+Press+declared+that+Joseph+R.+Biden+is+the+46th+president+of+the+United+States.+The+Sidekick+executive+editorial+page+editor+Camila+Villarreal+urges+Americans+to+remain+critical+of+political+leaders+despite+political+affiliations.

Ava Gillis

The Associated Press declared that Joseph R. Biden is the 46th president of the United States. The Sidekick executive editorial page editor Camila Villarreal urges Americans to remain critical of political leaders despite political affiliations.

Camila Villarreal, Executive Editorial Page Editor

When Joseph R. Biden was declared the projected president-elect of the United States, supporters took to the streets to celebrate the end of Donald Trump’s presidency. 

However, the events leading up were tense and unpredictable. The first presidential debate left American citizens across the political spectrum uncertain of just who had won it. 

Naturally, when Biden won the election, the majority of the country was satisfied. Many view Biden as the destined hero of the nation, others rejoiced as Kamala Harris became the first woman of color to be the vice president-elect and some simply sighed in relief after the whole ordeal was over. 

I am here to ask that you please hold your breath.

Politics has been slowly evolving into an unspoken war between political sides. It didn’t begin with Trump, but tension between those who support him and those that do not has grown thicker throughout the last four years. It is more than simple disagreement – it is pure hatred.

In 2016, Trump ran on a campaign that drastically polarized American citizens. His “us versus them” strategy stoked the fire of division, and he attempted that same strategy in this presidential election. It wasn’t just Trump himself. His supporters showed an unforeseen kind of loyalty, refusing to withdraw support no matter what troublesome and anti-Democratic things he did.

“There is a huge ‘stan’ culture in politics nowadays,” New Tech High @ Coppell senior Rocio Arguello said. “It’s harmful to the political world because now any policies a certain politician stands for can reflect on the supporters, too.”

However, no amount of hyping up crowds at rallies could cover for Trump’s racist, misogynistic, homophobic and facist-like actions and remarks before and during his term. This could have been a key point that ultimately cost him his victory.

We should consider this the blueprint for what to avoid when Biden is inaugurated. 

Idolization of political figures is un-American. When we venerate politicians, we are no longer allowing the government to work as it was intended to, which is for the people. For all the people, not just the ones that show support for a particular candidate. For a democracy to stay true to its definition, the citizens have to be just as crucial to it as any other branch of government. 

“We have to remember that politicians are human,” Coppell High School senior Nick Lane said. “We also have to look at both sides of [political issues] so we stay as close to the truth as possible. In the past, when world leaders have had blind followers, it hasn’t gone very well.”

To accomplish this, we must remain critical of our leaders. We must remind ourselves constantly that true equality is the goal. Justice for all is the goal. These are ideologies that America was founded on, and although much of what was decided over 200 years ago is outdated today, these basic principles are easy to agree with no matter where you fall on the political spectrum. 

There are many days when I am ashamed to say I was born in this country, but I love America just the same. Because I love America, it is my duty to point out a flaw when I see one and advocate for improvement. It is not enough to say this is the best country. We have to earn that title.  

I had this mindset during Trump’s presidency and I have no plans to change it during Biden’s. In fact, I will be twice as critical during Biden’s presidency. I voted for him firmly believing he is the lesser of two evils and I agree with a multitude of his policies on environmental preservation and advancements on LGBT+ rights. With an election as intense as this one, I expect the result to meet or exceed my expectations.

“There was a whole campaign around voting for Biden because he was the only option,” [email protected] junior Brendan Raley said. “Now it’s time to negotiate with Biden and make him hear us.”

Biden’s victory is the first step of many left to be taken. There are innocent Black men, women and non-conforming people who have not received justice for being victims of hate crimes. There are Hispanic children who have not seen their families in months. There are over half a million homeless people in America, a country that is home to 630 billionaires

Now that we have seen what the power of voting means in this country, we can utilize our right and elect local leaders that benefit more than just the economy, but the people, too. 

We have work to do. Let’s get to it. 

 

Follow Camila Villarreal (@fliipthewriter) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.