• Isabella Monet Mendoza and Benjamin Adams

The Debates

On Wednesday, January 20th, 2021, president-elect Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America. He and Vice President Kamala Harris have since made many changes: lifting President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military and involving the US in the Paris Agreement again to help alleviate the issues of climate change. All of this change and progress has made me recall a time when President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were elected for their current roles.

Remember the debates from last year? The year 2020 has been memorable due to COVID-19 and the fight for social justice, yet it was stamped as “unforgettable” by the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates at the end of the year. Audiences were shocked. Past debates had set a precedent for how 2020’s debates would run, but previous notions about debate etiquette and regulations were seemingly thrown out the window. Many were disappointed and dumbfounded by the Presidential Debate. What some saw on TV regarding candidate Joe Biden and President Trump was pure chaos. The American public accused both sides of name-calling, dodging questions, and dishonesty.

To follow, the Vice Presidential Debate seemed to perform astronomically better than its precursor. Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris debated topics like abortion and COVID-19 with more complacency than the first debate was thought to have. Many audiences agreed that this debate was more digestible than the last one. And if not to make 2020 more memorable, a highlight for many (including A-list celebrities) was a fly that had landed on Vice President Pence’s head in the middle of the debate. Increased public attention arose from this, offering some humor (such as memes) to the handfuls of political division experienced throughout the past year.

Despite some public attention, people were still discouraged by the outcome of these debates. They had envisioned candidates building a case for their ideology instead of multiple attacks.

Since the debates, increased awareness for voting has been promoted. More obviously, American society lives in a new day that is governed by President Joe Biden and the first female and African-American Vice President: Kamala Harris.

While we have only the past and present in our hands, America has elected a future that has promised to impact the trajectory of American society towards a unified nation.

Photo Credit: Hansjörg Keller @kel_foto

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