Courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr under CC-BY-SA-2.0

As this year’s tumultuous election comes to an end, so does the formidable Trump administration—paving the way for a new era of politics in America with President-elect Joe Biden. While Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ win shook the U.S. after a tension-filled week of ballot counting, Democrats should not see this as an opportunity to relax. Keeping the left unified and engaged while managing all the work that comes with a presidency will be an uphill battle. Holding the Biden administration accountable in a deeply divided American is extremely important if we are to avoid yet another disappointing presidency. 

The nation was on the edge of their seats for a week, constantly checking up on the status of battleground states that were going to determine the outcome of the election. Mail-in ballots came in favor of the Biden campaign, and ultimately, changed the course of the election. This election has shown that if Democrats were just as unified and involved as Republicans are, they could easily overtake an election.

Shamefully, it is highly unlikely that President Trump will concede graciously; he has already released a statement claiming that he will contest the election. Regardless, Biden has won with significant margins, and there is no substantial evidence of voter fraud that will hold up in court. Although America celebrates the results of the election, it is important to remember that Trump is still going to be president for the next two months, and this is enough time to do a lot of damage to an already suffering country. Recovering from Trump’s temperament and any potential destruction will rest on the shoulders of the Biden administration. Therefore, it should be made explicitly clear that political participation and accountability during the next administration is extremely necessary in order to undo the many mishandlings of the Trump presidency. 

It is concerning that people might soon become less involved now that Trump is out of office. Celebrities, for example, might stop talking about politics and utilizing their platforms now that Biden has been elected. Diminished political involvement will impact the nation in a negative way. If people stop caring and take a break from politics, Biden will not be held accountable when he needs to be. We are rebuilding a broken system and a divided nation, so now is not the time to sit back and relax. Democrats have a lot of work cut out for them when it comes to reconstructing the party and keeping people engaged with or without a man like Trump in the White House. 

Biden and Harris’ moderate stances will most likely not bring about the progressive change many people hope for, but instead mark a return to Obama-era policies. Therefore, this is not a time to become complacent. If the American people want to see more substantial change, they need to pay attention and demand that the Biden administration is making do on their promises, especially when it concerns pressing issues such as climate change, coronavirus relief, policing and immigration reform. The first 100 days of his presidency are going to show whether or not real progress can be made, so citizens need to make sure that they are paying attention and protest when their elected officials are not meeting their expectations. 

More crucially, Democrats need to refocus on voters of color, instead of just white moderates, if they are to remain competitive in upcoming elections. It is important that the Democratic party acknowledge how people of color helped increase the margin of votes, allowing Biden to flip many battleground states. In recognizing this, political participation for Democrats will greatly increase. Most importantly, people need to constantly criticize the administration that is intended to work for them. If we do not shift our treatment of politicians from celebrities into actual civil servants, real change will be impossible. We cannot stop petitioning, protesting and participating in grassroots campaigns just because the U.S. has a Democratic president. 

It is now up to the American people to determine whether or not they want real progress to be made. The course of life in the United States from here on out lies in the continued participation of the people in the political process. Now is not the time to turn a blind eye. Americans need to hold their elected politicians accountable in order for the Biden administration to make meaningful progress.


  • The Editorial Board

    The Highlander editorials reflect the majority view of the Highlander Editorial Board. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Associated Students of UCR or the University of California system.