Former VP Joseph Biden claims victory

A monument in Amity displaying the United States'

Lance Brownfield

A monument in Amity displaying the United States’ “Pledge of Allegiance” is a fitting reminder of the freedom Americans have to vote.

“I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but unify,” 46th President-elect Joseph Biden said during his victory speech in Wilmingham, Delaware.

 

The hope of HSU students is that Biden and his running mate vice president-elect Kamala Harris will uphold this pledge. The American people have experienced great division as of late regarding COVID-19 policies, racial injustices, climate change, and many other topics.

 

“I am very excited and I’m hopeful,” senior mass media major and debate team captain Walker Walthal said. “I think it’s a step in the right direction. We still have a lot of work to do.”

 

The former vice president of the United States has been in the public arena for nearly half a century. The 77-year-old was elected to the Senate for the first time in 1972 where he was re-elected six times after that, overall spending 36 years in the US Senate. Born in Pennsylavania in 1942, Biden first ran for president in 1988, and then again in 2008.

 

Biden served as vice president in the Obama administration, for which he is remembered not just for the work he did but also for the hilarious viral Obama-Biden “bromance” that filled the internet.

 

“I think that he had the best chance of beating Donald Trump,” Walthal said.

A common theme in this Presidential election is that many voters did not like either major candidate with great favor. A goal of voting President Donald Trump out of office was ever prevalent due to his controversial management styles.

“He has set a bad example for our nation,” Walthal said. “I think he has hurt our nation a lot more than we realise.”

Walthal notes that Trump’s obvious disdain towards the news media can be costly, as the press helps keep our leaders responsible for their actions by spreading information. Also, the student believes that Trump’s boisterous ways have rubbed off poorly on his supporters.

“Our nation is really divided,” junior accounting major Austin Murberger said.

 

Kamala Harris is currently a senator from California who was elected in 2016. She previously was California’s attorney general from 2011 to 2017. From 2004 until 2011, she was the district attorney of San Francisco. She is now the first woman vice-president elect as well as the first Indian American and African American to hold the position.

 

“I like some of the things she stands for, but I don’t like some of the things she’s done in the past,” Walthal said.

 

There is controversy surrounding Harris’ time as an attorney, as she has taken part in putting many black people in jail for crimes such as marijuana possession. This raises questions about her legitimacy as an advocate for the Black Lives Matter police brutality movement.

 

“If we want to unite the nation then we need to condemn the things that split us apart in the first place,” Walthal said.

 

Biden will be the oldest President in history, and the fact has been received with backlash. Walthal notes that many elected officials are making decisions that are affecting a future that their old age may not allow them to experience.

 

“For the next election, I think that as America we need to take a step back and evaluate what we want and need as a nation.” Walthal said. “We need more people who are forward thinking.”

 

The student wishes to see a President who is concerned with the advent of artificial intelligence and the future of medicare.

 

“As a kid I had a really bad speech impediment,” Walthal said. “Seeing Joe Biden have a really bad stutter and also become this political candidate is inspiring to me and other kids.”

 

The President-elect’s old age has brought up allegations about a decline in mental health. There are rumors that Biden has dementia due to his tendency to jumble words and for confusions during speeches. An explanation for some of these factors is a chronic speech impediment that Biden has been struggling with since he was a child.

 

“I think that Biden winning the election gives us more hope for a relief bill,” Walthal said. “Also, his wife is an educator.”

 

Biden’s wife Dr. Jill Biden is a longtime educator who currently works at Northern Virginia Community College, where she teaches English. She started working at the college in 2009, just before President Barack Obama’s first inauguration. Before that, she taught at a number of public schools in Delaware, including Delaware Technical Community College and Wilmington’s Brandywine High School, where she delivered her speech for the 2020 DNC.

 

“One thing I always want to do is understand where conservatives come from.” Walthal said.

 

Growing up in a conservative family, Walthal is grateful to have a loving environment to express his opinion and learn republican viewpoints. He notes that his parents are very open-minded and loving.

 

“In other countries they have to have revolutions and pull their leaders out on the street,” Walthal said. “In America we do that every four years. I was very grateful that I had the opportunity to make that decision for America.”