Though it’s taken center-stage in the news for the past year, the presidential primary has been pushed to the back of Americans’ minds amid the coronavirus pandemic. This disease has forced the world into a Great Lockdown, seemingly bringing all aspects of society to a grinding halt. Even while the idea of a ‘campaign trail’ has been redefined in the past weeks, the 2020 election rages on regardless. Since the last issue of the Silent Noise, the race has experienced a definitive conclusion and finds itself in the process of moving forward into the next phase. Vice President Joe Biden has emerged victorious over Senator Bernie Sanders, who announced he was suspending his campaign in early April.
The Vice President has attracted endorsements from all corners of the Democratic Party and former candidates, including moderates like Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar and progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Most notably, his old boss Barack Obama has announced his support for Biden. The VP’s ascent to the nomination has been nothing short of controversial – recently, allegations of sexual harassment emerged from a former staffer. While some Democrats eagerly unify behind the nominee, others, particularly former supporters of Senator Sanders, find it difficult to throw their support behind Biden. Joe’s next challenge as the Democratic nominee is to face President Trump on the national stage – and between a sturdy Republican coalition and a divided Democratic Party, it will be no small task.
One trend that emerged with the 2016 election is that the youth has become much more involved with national politics. City Honors is no exception. Students have taken to the news of Biden’s primary victory in different ways. Some were not so keen on backing Biden. “I’m kind of torn. Just like the last election, I don’t think the Democratic nominee would really be a good president,” said announcements anchor Benjamin Lanfear. “But Donald Trump is the worst president in the modern history of this country. Since the best option is out of the race, Americans need to settle for Biden,” he added. Bernie Sanders seems to be popular at our school, and many reactions to his dropout have reflected that.
Junior Liam Gavin Dell considered his options. “Biden has a difficult history, and he’s definitely not promising the same progress as Bernie did.” He lamented this fact but had made up his mind on moving forward. “Progress is still progress. I’d take Biden over four more years of Trump era idiocracy.” Dell’s debate partner, Ben Weinmann, saw things differently. “I honestly think Trump and Biden are both horrible people who should not be anywhere near power. If it was any other Republican than Trump, I would support them in a heartbeat – but right now I’m split between two awful options.”
Many students were never too excited about Sanders anyways, like Sam Farrell. “With Bernie out, at least our country won’t go bankrupt. But I feel like we could probably use some of his ideas to help the economy recover from the coronavirus,” he stated. Weinmann shared some of Farrell’s skepticism as well. “Bernie’s policies would drive us even further into debt. We simply can’t afford the majority of what he’s proposing,” he said. Climate activist Ilyas Khan, however, was more optimistic. “I would have preferred Bernie, but between Biden and Trump, there’s no comparison.” He continued, “Biden’s a respectable person. We need someone respectable in the office of president, not someone selfish and heartless like Trump.”
City Honors students, while they share many values and sentiments, are a politically diverse group of Americans. Each one of them will move forward in their own way in 2020. When November comes around, young people will play a crucial role in determining the outcome of this election. Just like always, the Silent Noise will be there every step of the way.
Originally published in the Silent Noise in June of 2020.