'This election has certainly brought out people’s true colors': students respond to the unexpected stance in the presidential election

Being two days into the ongoing 2020 presidential election, LMU students elaborated on their most recent opinions and perspectives involving the tight race between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden.

First off, Simone Soublet, a senior communications major and journalism minor, gave her input on how the election has represented the voices of voters and how the results will impact certain communities.

Emilia Cordova (E.C.): What social justice issue do you personally believe will be the most affected by the results of this year’s presidential election?

Simone Soublet (S.S.): The Black Lives Matter movement will be deeply affected by the results. If Biden-Harris wins, we will no longer have a president that is completely against our race. If Trump-Pence wins again, an impeached president mind you, then chaos will happen and our country will be even more divided than it already is. I also believe the Black community at LMU and other people of color at LMU will be deeply affected by the results.

E.C.: So far, do you believe that this presidential election has accurately reflected the voices of voters from various racial, social or political backgrounds?

S.S.: So far, I don't believe that this presidential election has accurately reflected the voices of voters from various racial, social and political backgrounds. Voter suppression is still very much prominent and people have lied to others when asked who to vote for because they're embarrassed to tell people they've voted for Trump.

E.C.: What are your immediate reactions to the present stance in the presidential election?

S.S.: I think Trump is being childish, wanting to stop the vote counting because he thinks he's won already. Also, for him to threaten to take this to court if Biden wins proves he's a sore loser.

Next, Lainey Chi, a freshman journalism major at LMU, expressed how she believes the presidential election may impact the future physical and political state of the LMU community.

E.C.: Considering the results as they are now, how do you believe the outcome of the presidential election will impact the future of LMU students and their return to some form of normalcy on campus?

Lainey Chi (L.C.): I’m hoping that the coronavirus will be contained with a switch of leadership and LMU staff and students can return to campus. However, I think there will still be a sense of division. This election has certainly brought out people’s true colors regarding social justice issues and I think that it is important to foster an environment of growth and understanding. It’s crucial that we respect one another and be willing to teach why the welfare of others is more important than anything else.

E.C.: How do you predict the outcome of this election will impact the LMU community politically?

L.C.: This election is definitely a good opportunity to grow as a school. I think in preparation for conflict, staff and students should take the responsibility to learn more about issues they’re passionate about so a productive conversation can take place. Everyone has witnessed shouting wars that consist of only noise, but to actually get somewhere we should lift up voices of those who experience social justice issues (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrants, women, etc) and make sure they are recognized.

Yinka Akinlade, a freshman ASLMU senator at LMU and film and television production major, went into detail on a few of her predictions regarding the future president’s impact on social movements and the reopening of college campuses.

E.C.: What social justice issue do you personally believe will be the most affected by the results of this year’s presidential election?

Yinka Akinlade (Y.A.): The social justice movement I feel will be most impacted by this election is the Black Lives Matter movement. Whichever way this election ends up going, there are going to be serious impacts for this movement. If Biden wins, I feel as though support from white and non-POC allies is going to drop significantly. Many people view voting Trump out as the solution to racism but the problem is much deeper than the Trump administration. The problem lies in the systemic racism that’s written into the fabric of our country. But Trump has become a convenient scapegoat for allies so I feel as though many will drop the BLM cause as soon as Biden is announced winner. On the other side of the coin, Trump winning the election would add fuel to the BLM movement. The anger and upset people would feel at this result would spur people to continue pushing for change throughout the next four years of his presidency.

E.C.: Considering the results as they are now, how do you believe the outcome of the presidential election will impact the future of LMU students and their return to some form of normalcy on campus?

Y.A.: As of now as I’m looking at my TV, Biden is in the lead. With him as president, I feel as though policies and restrictions around coronavirus are going to be significantly tighter. That being said, the future of LMU students in response to this new presidency could either go two ways. The first way is that Biden works efficiently with Dr. Fauci in order to mitigate the spread of coronavirus during the first half of 2021. If this happens then I think LMU students will be able to return to campus, albeit with some EIBC (Excellent Infectious Behavior Control) measures, for the fall of 2021. The second way things could go is that this new strictness on coronavirus would lead to Biden taking an extremely conservative approach and suggesting colleges remain mostly virtual for the fall. I’m hoping that the latter isn’t true but those are the ways I could see the election impacting the lives of LMU students.

Lastly, Garrett Tomlinson, a freshman economics major, explained how he believes the future implications of climate change will be impacted by the election’s results. He also reflected on his initial predictions of the election results versus the reality of the results.

E.C.: What social justice issue do you personally believe will be the most affected by the results of this year’s presidential election?

Garrett Tomlinson (G.T.): There was obviously a lot riding on this election, from women’s and LGBTQ rights to the COVID response, but to me the biggest issue on the ticket is climate change. We have a unique opportunity to join the efforts of the rest of the world and turn around the fate of our planet, but we don’t have time anymore to deny or delay this issue.

E.C.: What are your immediate reactions to the present stance in the presidential election?

G.T.: Maybe it was wishful thinking, but I definitely did not see this election being as close as it is. I was under the impression—or at least hoped—that most people on both sides of the aisle were ready to move past this administration and all the unprecedented drama and deceit. So it’s concerning to see how truly [divisive] it is in reality and the willingness to support this administration. But regardless of which side you are on, it’s really revealing to see how tired people are of the status quo and historically hollow promises, at least in their own opinions even if not always validated.

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