Students & Teachers Give Thoughts as to How the Country Proceeds


Photo by White House.Gov

Recently elected president Joe Biden, has the difficult task of unifying the country according to BHS students and staff.

Alyssa DePasqua, Staff Writer

Nearly two and a half months after winning the 2020 election, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was inaugurated on January 20. Though many think that electing Biden as President of the U.S. was a step in the right direction, some still believe that there is still a lot of work to do. The ongoing pandemic, social injustice, and climate change are only a few urgent problems that still need resolutions. Students and teachers at BHS have weighed in on how the country should proceed with a new presidential administration as well as their thoughts on where the nation should go from here.

The U.S. saw record voter turnout for the 2020 presidential election, with more than 161 million votes and a 66.8% turnout rate. Biden also received 81 million votes, the most votes a presidential candidate has ever acquired. 

Many students at BHS, including Junior Shea Hardy, had plenty of opinions about the election in the fall and where they would like to see the country, as a whole, go from here. Hardy said that she would like to see Biden get control of the Coronavirus first. She wants to see “a lot more universal laws about Covid and less state-to-state [regulations]”.  Hardy is confident that Biden will be productive during his time as president; she said “I think Biden was the best candidate to be thrown into our current situation. His agenda is a little bit, but I think he can accomplish a lot in the next four years,” 

Junior Elli Ramos agreed that the Coronavirus is the most important problem, saying that she would like Biden to tackle that obstacle first before any of the others. Though Ramos didn’t support Biden in the primaries, she thinks that Biden will do a good job putting the country back on track. “ [Biden] and Kamala are very determined to get work done. There’s going to be things that he does that I don’t agree with, but he has already done a good job so far,” said Ramos. 

History teacher Brent Jansen said that he was optimistic about the Biden presidency. “I’m hopeful that we can start addressing some big concerns and heal a lot of wounds,” Jansen said. Though a registered Republican, Jansen said that he never voted for Trump. He was surprised by Trump’s campaign run in 2016 and felt that he possibly could’ve brought outside influences to Washington, but Jansen was immediately uncomfortable with the language used by Trump. “I was uncomfortable with the language he used and it only worsened with the things that he agreed with,” Jansen said. 

Though Jansen thinks that Biden, 78, is qualified for the job as president because he’s a career politician and he has built good relationships with people from both political parties over the years, he said that he worries about his health. “I think the better question is his physical and mental health. He’s not a young buck,” said Jansen. He also mentioned that he liked Biden’s cabinet picks, “The cabinet reflected diversity and unity and is run by experienced,”

Biden’s Vice President Kamala Harris, made history becoming the first woman, African American, and Asian American to be vice president. Ramos was ecstatic about Harris being the first Asian American and African American woman VP. “Seeing a woman as VP is awesome,” Ramos said. She also said “it’s so inspiring to all the little girls out there,” Ramos added that even though Michelle Obama was the first African American first lady, “It feels even cooler to have a woman VP who is of African American descent,”

Hardy, who is African American, said that electing Harris as VP was an inspiration for everyone. “It’s a really big step for our country. I think that having more women in politics helps out women as a whole, not just one group of women,” said Hardy. 

Jansen said that electing Harris as the first African American woman VP was long overdue. He also added that it “gave a lot of people hope,” and “it set the right tone for healing,” Jansen said that Harris will also be a very important senate vote since the senate is 50% Democratic and 50% Republican and Harris gets the deciding vote. “Biden and Harris have to cooperate and give in to find a middle ground. They have to find solutions to problems and get people to support them. They have to lead by example,” said Jansen.

With division, hatred, and racism as just a few among the many problems still looming, the question is where do we really go from here? How do we proceed as a country? Ramos said we need to unite if we want to proceed. “It’s going to be a crazy time and nobody is going to be fully on board with everything Biden is going to do, but we need to listen to each other, educate ourselves and others, and be kind to one another,” said Ramos. She also added that she doesn’t want politics to be the divide in our country. “We don’t need to be mad at each other, but rather educate one another,” said Ramos. 

Hardy said she wants to see a lot more unity within the country as well. “Where we really need to go is group understanding and agreeing to disagree,” said Hardy. She added that “we need to help out our neighbor, figuratively and literally, and come together…we really need to put more trust in government,”

Jansen, agreeing with the unity aspect of how the country proceeds, said “It all boils down to the individual and how they change their behavior”. He also said the country needs “a government that leads by example and people that stand up for the values they believe in when they see them under scrutiny.” Jansen also said this is just the beginning and that the country still has a long way to go. He said that Biden has the challenge of keeping all of the balls up in the air. “He’s got to do things simultaneously, and that’s the challenge,” said Jansen.