By Ian Krietzberg
Arts & Entertainment Editor
In the days and weeks leading up to what has become one of the most contentious presidential races in modern American history, a wide variety of different polls showed, both nationally and at the state levels, Joe Biden with a tangible lead over the incumbent President Trump.
Even after pollsters accounted for the potential errors that lead to their miscalculation in 2016, many Democrats were under the impression that Nov. 3 could very well have marked a historic, landslide victory for Biden.
As the last 24 hours have shown us, this optimistic hope was not the case.
Trump and his campaign did what they had to do, keeping Florida and Texas red, and making it increasingly difficult for Joe Biden to re-establish the “Blue Wall” that Obama built in 2008, which Trump toppled in 2016.
At this point, the race could go either way. Votes are still coming in, and will likely continue to be counted through the remainder of this week. Joe Biden has a path to the White House; so does Donald Trump.
But the interesting thing is that the margins by which either might win the White House are minute.
Essentially, the race has divided the country almost exactly in half — despite Trump’s unpresidential behavior, impeachment last year and mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis, we have not seen a fully-fledged rebuke of the current president.
Even though Trump’s approval rating has, for the most part, stayed stagnant in the low 40s for the duration of his time in office, just about half of the country voted for him.
Regardless of who ends up in the Oval Office, the country is clearly saying something. We have to listen.
America has been walking the road to greater division for the past several decades — this division was brought to a clear head with Trump, but it long seemed that Trump’s base did not make up more than a third of the country. With half of the country voting for Trump, it raises a problem that a democratic Executive branch will not solve: fear and discontent among all Americans.
Our next and greatest task resides in the area of facilitating a calm discourse between Republicans and Democrats, and finding out where each party’s discontent, fear or hatred is coming from so we can create solutions amidst a more bipartisan era.
While the fact that the race is so close might very well have Republicans and Democrats alike feeling anxious, this result is good. This is a result that is beyond foreign interference or miscounts — it is indicative of an evenly divided country. Even division means that there is a concrete undercurrent that is driving people to either vote for or against Trump. Understanding this takes us as a country one step closer to being able to address it, which should be able to finally bring about greater unity rather than division.