By Ian Croft
With the US election over and Joe Biden being declared president-elect with 290 of the electoral college votes, many people are relieved that the uncertainty of who will be the next President of the United States is over. Yet during that period of uncertainty the Advance asked several people throughout southern Alberta what their views on the election were.
“From what I hear from friends down south, doesn’t matter who wins, it will take a while to get a competent president in place,” said Josh Potvin from Lethbridge.
“I have been tracking it live every hour I’m awake since the morning of November 3,” said Molly Laliberte from Lethbridge. “I know that there is so much anger and hostility on the Internet right now so I have been trying my best to spend the days watching news sources like CNN, CBS, NBC and catch up on the news in the evening. I started tracking politics in around 2015 when John Oliver started covering Trump and I thought it was hilarious. Before the election I kept telling myself that it’s not my president and not my country, but as soon as the votes started piling in I didn’t realize quite how invested I have become — like the sadness and anxiety when Trump gets votes and the happiness and relief when Biden does. One thing that continues to disappoint me is that [I] did have this foolish belief that the margin at this point would be larger, meaning that there are more Biden supporters and less Trump supporters, but you also have to wonder what voter suppression efforts were actually accomplished too.”
Laliberte also expressed her concerns on how this election could affect other countries than just the United States.
“America sets an example, good or bad. And that’s not even considering things like climate change, the Paris Accord, funding and the World Health Organization. I am watching the TV and they are showing the boarded up business, Biden supporters and Trump supporters protesting on the streets with a fence in between them, people in important government, political and legal positions screaming pure lies through a megaphone.”
“Overall, it’s a turning point in the world. I am lucky to be old enough to fully understand everything that is happening, privileged that I have an educated opinion, but powerless and frustrated that we are powerless to the entire thing, even though we are so close to the U.S. that my husband and I literally walked to the American border every weekend while camping this summer.”
Last week, Taber’s Karen Feist was still hopeful of a Trump win.
“I personally am hoping the Republicans win, and the reason is, I feel it is in the best interests of Alberta because Trump has already shown that boosting the recovering economy and creating jobs is a higher priority for his administration than climate change. He has already extended to Alberta opportunities to help facilitate our oil and gas energy programs to aid in our provincial economic recovery whereas the Democratic Party in the United States has flat out said that they have no plan other than to phase out oil and gas in their own country and definitely will not help Alberta in any way, shape or form. So in my opinion since our own federal government has done everything in its power to destroy Alberta’s energy sector, our best hope for recovery is working with Trump and his Republican Party.”
Ryan Meier from Taber had this to say when asked about the election: “I really haven’t cared to follow the election all that much so…. All I think is regardless the next four years are going to be all about Trump again, either him being a sore loser or back to the chair.”
When asked for comment Elizabeth Sinclair-Feist stated, “I’m pretty wound up because I know that no matter who wins there is going to be backlash, and that backlash may very well be riots (I know Portland, Oregon is preparing for just that), and that things aren’t going to get better before they get far worse. I’m actually hoping Trump wins, if only because it’s better to deal with something we already know than a whole new monster, especially with how bad things are right now. Honestly? There is way more anxiety about this election than I want there to be, but I get how important this will be. Mostly I’m just waiting to see what we’re dealing with, and hoping we don’t end up capsizing in the process.”
The Advance also spoke to people from the United States to hear their opinion on their own election.
“I seriously think Trump would make the world worse for everyone,” said Ian Hagman from Indiana. “He needs to not win, he needs to be kicked out along with his VP because both are bad. Yes, the Democrats and Biden have their problems. But the worst they can do is nothing. But Trump could cause so much worse. We could stop being a democracy and become racists, bigots, and fascists under his rule. He is actively trying to stop votes. And he has been treating us like we’re nothing.”
Hagman also had this to say: “Lastly, if you want another reason Trump doesn’t care about anyone but himself, here’s this. Texas had an incident where Trump supporters rolled up to a Biden political party bus that had a police escort. With guns of their own. This wasn’t just one or two, but practically an armada of their own. They basically followed that bus for a good while. The next day, instead of reprimanding these people, he calls them ‘patriots’ and said they were ‘escorting’ them, when it was clear that they were not doing that. They were basically threatening the people on that bus with their presence. If he truly cares about us, he would of scolded, yelled, and told them off for what they did. But no, [Trump] supported the people that threatened other Americans.”
“Personally, I am surprised it is so close,” said Jackson Wood from Portland, Oregon. “No longer do I believe that other members of the country I reside can be trusted to think critically and care for those around them even when presented with overwhelming truth that beliefs they hold are fundamentally flawed and built upon lies.”
“As for other opinions on the events, I would say they might be too numerous to count. The biggest opinion, however, is that an age of reason and facts is teetering on the edge of oblivion,” added Wood.
When the Advance asked about riots in Portland, Wood stated many Americans in the state were expecting more.
“There was a riot on election night. It was found to be right-wing associated and potentially linked to a group actively inciting violence in hopes of a civil war. I think folks are preparing for terrible outcomes, especially here in Portland, OR, but I don’t know how likely that action actually is and I think that uncertainty is definitely scary.”