Saturday, July 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

The historic election of January 6th 2021: What it now means for America

January 6th 2021 will go down in history, not only because it was the first week of a new year after a disastrous 2020, not only because it was one of the deadliest days in American history as white supremacists, those white ‘terrorists’ stormed the Capitol building further demonstrating their white privilege to the whole world. But what has now been overlooked is the success the Democrats had in the special run-off elections in Georgia.

The run-off elections in Georgia were due to the fact that there was not enough of a majority in the General Election back in November with neither candidate gaining over 50% of the vote and therefore not clearing the state mandate to be able to claim victory. In this case it was the two Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock; for the Republicans it was David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Ossoff is now the youngest member in the Senate at 33, the youngest since 1973 and Warnock is the first black Democrat for Georgia and the fourth Black Senator for the deep South. Both of these are historic elections and are a demonstration to not only the American people but the world that they are slowly overcoming systemic racism. This was then overshadowed by the attack on Capitol Hill, where white supremacists seemingly took order from the President of the country and showcased that for all the steps they make going forwards it can all be retracted by what Biden has called ‘domestic terrorists.’ But what must be remembered is that Biden has been formally declared the winner of the election as Ossoff and Warnock are now the senators for Georgia. 

Looking at what the new senators stand for: Jon Ossoff supports gay marriage, supports free tuition at state colleges, is pro-choice and wants gun reform. Raphael Warnock, a reverend at a Baptist church, is also pro-choice and supports gay marriage. Both of these candidates are true to themselves in their beliefs and they are the sort of candidates that can uphold the rights of American citizens as well trying to pave a better way for them. Neither candidate allows for their religious beliefs to dictate their decisions, but instead understand that in the 21st century the best sort of candidate is those that support those most forgotten and most discriminated against. 

This election is also important because it means that the Democrats have a majority in the Senate. With 50 senators for each party, Kamala Harris will be the tiebreaker and, as a Democrat, that will most likely swing in their favour. The first 100 days that a president spends in office will lay out how the remaining days of his presidency will go, it will show to the American people whether or not this president can get through the legislation and the policies that they elected him for. Now, with a majority, this has a better chance of happening. It has been four years since the beginning of Trump’s presidency, and not only will he be leaving the White House but there is not a remaining Republican majority that will block some of the changes that need to be implemented in America.