The Election, The Results, & The Insurrection: The Impact of the 2020 Presidential Election

This Election’s Impact Goes Beyond Just Politics.


Rioters scaling a wall on Capitol Hill.

As the political climate in America begins to cool down, the effects of the past 90 or so days are still immensely palpable. The 2020 United States presidential election was a remarkably divisive event, and easily one of the most divisive in the country’s history. It was the most participated-in election for a federal officeholder in history. Both candidates smashed many records in their respective races to outperform one another, but Joe Biden ultimately swept many key swing states and won the presidential race.

President Biden’s victory over the incumbent, Donald Trump, was not without controversy. Particularly from the perspective of the former president, who immediately began a large-scale operation to overturn the results. Trump claims that voter fraud was not only rampant in this particular election, but pervasive enough to outright steal the result from under him, even as Biden lead the popular vote by a number just shy of 6 million. These claims, to this day, remain unsubstantiated, and have been called many things from every side of the political spectrum from a laughable attempt at undermining the democratic process, to a downright attempt at a coup d’etat.

This tirade is what ultimately culminated in the insurrection that took place as the US Capitol on January 6th. After the riot, Trump was the immediate target of allegations that he explicitly incited the violence and vitriol that lead to the event, something he denies despite continued belief in the idea that the election results were the product of a political sabotage. Needless to say, it didn’t paint a much better picture of the outgoing president during his final days in office, and his refusal to take responsibility resulted in his permanent removal from Twitter, who says the decision was made to prevent, “risk of further incitement of violence.”

This was shortly followed by the house of representatives passing new articles of impeachment pertaining to the former president, making him the only federal officeholder in history to be impeached twice.

“When the U.S. Capitol was attacked I was in class, and I questioned if what I was doing was even worth it anymore as my world felt divided. I worried about my future. Unfortunately, I was not surprised by this result.” said senior Tina Jagmohan.

“When the election started I honestly felt very worried. With all the intense competition between everyone and the things being said or done, it just made me very antsy cause It was a lot, and it all seemed to be getting worse. Once the results came around I was actually quite ready for much worse. Though I don’t think anybody quite expected the extreme violence that would come later with the capitol riot.” said senior Sarah Dean.

The ripple the capitol insurrection sent through the country was immediately felt. Many were disappointed, but admittedly hopeful for the future, even in the wake of the violence as Biden was days away from being sworn in.

“[The election] made me laugh a little bit because it seemed like both of the candidates acted extremely childish. And the aftermath was slightly appalling honestly, with people storming the capitol, news stations only covering the bickering between both political parties, and a lot of people in my own life getting a bit rowdy with what they said. From the months of November until now the tenseness was palpable in my own home and anywhere you stepped foot. I wasn’t much worried about how the U.S. would fare though, it’s been through things like this before and always bounces back so I didn’t think anything terrible would come from it long-term.” said junior Wyatt Adams.

“Looking back at the events that lead up to the election, I was really anxious about what would happen next given how crazy the past year has been. When we finally got to the end of it all, I felt rather hopeful of things looking up for our country. I wasn’t sure of my expectations for this election, since time has proven that you never know what will happen next. I suppose I kept them low for that matter. I’m sure the tensions were present for everybody during these times. But I have a feeling of certainty now that the final decisions have been made and are all now a present reality.” said senior Carlos Ferrufino.

This hope was especially palpable when pertinent to Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which many saw as less than adequate. Many hope that the Biden administration will do a better job of mitigating the impact of the virus and defeat this pandemic for good.

“Towards the start of the election, I was hopeful. After Trumps negligence with COVID-19 and how things were handled, I knew the United States needed a stronger leader. I remember keeping track of the electoral college votes on the phone with my friends. I remember during this time that tensions were extremely high, but I maintained my optimism.” said senior Faith Juarbe.

The impact of the 2020 election goes beyond just political affiliation, influence, policy, and beliefs. The aftermath of an election meant to unify the citizens of the United States has, ironically, split the populous more severely and viscerally than ever. There’s no real way to tell what’s going to come next from American politics and it’s influence on people’s will to act. But we can, at the very least, hope more good will come of it than bad, and that the people will be able to find common ground sooner rather than later.