Post-Election reactions: Leftists and Liberals

Stella Fetherston, Art Editor

I think it’s safe to say that Joe Biden is probably going to be the next president of the United States. But in light of Biden’s win, there is some tension in primarily left-leaning spheres. While some people are celebrating the president-elect (liberals), others are getting ready to critique the new administration (leftists). Keep in mind that the terms liberal and leftist are broad and not all-encompassing of the American left-wing. 

In an incredibly basic sense, liberals are like the watered-down version of leftists. More specific beliefs, like whether someone is a communist or an anarchist, aren’t well-defined by this category. While liberals and leftists might agree that racism exists in America, they disagree on what the root of this problem is. A liberal might say that the current system needs to be reformed, but a leftist would say the system needs to be abolished and rebuilt. Phrases like “defund the police” and “abolish the police” are good examples of a liberal’s solution versus a leftist’s, respectively. 

After Joe Biden’s official announcement as President-Elect, leftists on social media apps like Tik Tok were emphasizing how the far-left was only settling for Biden. Meanwhile, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are ideal candidates for liberals. 

Did President Trump refuse to condemn white supremacists, specifically the group “Proud Boys” who are active in Portland, Ore.? Yeah. Were LGBTQ+ people’s civil rights under impending threat during his administration? Yup. Compared to Trump, Biden ran a very progressive platform. Under the Trump-Pence administration, the left was pretty much united in its goal to get Trump out of office. But now that Biden is to be sworn in, left-wing politics are divided between celebrating Biden’s win or Trump’s loss. 

Leftists also worry that once Trump is finally out of office, liberals won’t feel the need to support more radical changes, like abolishing the prison system. Following the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement encouraged many white liberals to take the time to educate themselves about racism in America. These same liberals probably see Biden’s election as a return to normalcy. Pre-Trump America wasn’t great for people of color, disabled people, people in the LGBTQ+ community, Jews, Muslims and other minorities. And it still really sucks for these same communities. For white Americans, returning to what was “normal” is just returning to ignorance.

The goal isn’t to immediately shred the Biden administration or divide the left. A lot of people worked hard to get him elected, and I think a bit of rest is well-deserved. But keep in mind, Trump still got around 47.3 percent of the vote. Donald Trump’s 2016 election didn’t just reignite racism in America out of the blue. He had to get voted in. On the same side of that coin, Biden’s election doesn’t mean that all of these problems magically disappear, either. There’s still work to be done.