Three students offer perspectives on political turmoil

Raymond Vasquez, Staff Writer

After a unique transition of power, the United States saw Joe Biden assume the office of the President. Westmont students watched the Capitol riot and the subsequent inauguration, and they now offer their perspectives on the events.

As future leaders in their own right, three Westmont College students gave their opinions based on their varying political backgrounds. First, there’s sophomore Nancy Saltamachio speaking as a Democrat. Then there’s junior Jacob Orme speaking as a Republican. Lastly, sophomore Matthew Loke shared his perspective as an Independent. 

When asked about his or her opinion on the Capitol Hill incident, each had very similar views. Saltamachio stated that she was “stunned” when she first heard about what was happening that day: “I didn’t know what to think.” 

When asked about the incident, Orme said that the invaders “violated the integrity of the Capitol itself.” He further denounced the event, calling it an “incident of domestic terrorism.” 

Loke stated that the event represented the “lowest point of the Trump presidency” and “sickened [him] to the stomach.” Regardless of party line, each interviewee denounced the actions of the rioters as unacceptable.

As in prior instances of political turmoil, the US persevered, the vote was confirmed, and the United States had a new president. In the midst of the pandemic, a successful Inauguration Day came, and a new president was sworn into office, along with his vice president Kamala Harris. 

When asked about the events of Inauguration Day, Democrat Saltamachio was “relieved” about the completion of the process, feeling that he is “secure to lead us.” 

Republican Orme, on the other hand, was “disappointed with the results.” However, he was more disappointed “with the choices given,” feeling like both candidates were far from the ideal candidate for either party. 

Independent Loke added that he is happy that President Biden won and believes that he will “bring some dignity back to the presidency.” 

After hearing these three responses, I inquired about each student’s thoughts on the completed term of former President Trump. Saltamachio believed that President Trump directly led to the “divide in the country.” She was feeling extremely “fed up with the feeling of hostility” that she felt was inspired by the words and actions of the former president. 

When asked about this same topic, Orme answered that it will be “some time before history will be able to judge [President Trump] in his entirety.” He further believed that, while Trump made many improvements on the economic market, his “impact on the American psyche was the most negative” outcome of Trump’s presidency. 

“One of the worst periods in our current political climate” was how Loke viewed former President Trump’s completed term. He is “happy” that the Trump administration has come to an end.

Through all of this, however, there was an air of hope from all three students about the future of the United States, both on the national and international level. They are all tentatively optimistic about the direction President Biden will lead the US. Only time will tell where this current administration will take us. Whether Democrat, Republican or Independent, we can all hope for a brighter tomorrow.

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