Notizie dagli USA: le elezioni americane e l’assalto a Capitol Hill. Le interviste agli studenti

Le versioni integrali delle interviste degli studenti che hanno condiviso con noi il loro pensiero sulle ultime vicende che hanno coinvolto il loro Paese.

Puoi leggere il nostro articolo sulle elezioni americane e l’assalto a Capitol Hill qui.

Alexa Campbell
24 anni, studentessa di psicologia forense, University of Denver (UD)

What do you think about the latest elections?
The nature of the latest elections are indicative of a culture entrenched in outlandish conspiracy theories and pathetic entitlement. Trump’s cronies within the Republican Party consistently disregard the data and findings collected by numerous, reliable agencies signifying his loss in this election. Rather than accept his defeat and return to the political arena with dignity, Trump and his followers behave worse than petulant children who were denied a candy bar in a grocery store. As an American citizen, these behaviors are not only embarrassing, but concerning: how worried should we be that this will become a new norm in massive elections?

As an American citizen, what was your perception about what happened at Capitol Hill?
Regarding Capitol Hill, I was completely frightened but not entirely surprised. Watchdog organizations and civil rights institutions across the country have warned the public about the steady rise in hate crimes and domestic terrorist groups over the past four years. I blame Trump’s and other politicians’ bigoted and unfounded rhetoric for the events that unfolded that fateful day.

What is your hope about the new administration?
My hope for the new administration is that we can formally condemn the outcomes of Trump’s term and delegitimize the politicians who upheld his beliefs and messages. Although I have my qualms about both Biden and Harris, I acknowledge they will bring back the professionalism and presidentialism we desperately need to bring some peace into our unsettled nation.

Charles Carlson
22 anni, venditore AI (Intelligenza Artificiale)

What do you think about the latest elections?
Penso che le scorse elezioni siano state due cose. La personalità di Trump e come Trump ha gestito il COVID. Sappiamo tutti che Trump ha un temperamento unico per un presidente degli Stati Uniti, ci sono molte persone che sono d’accordo con Trump sulla politica, ma che allo stesso tempo credono che Trump sia inadatto per l’incarico che ha, e quindi non l’hanno votato. Anche quelli che non sono d’accordo sulla politica di Trump pensano che il suo carattere lo renda pericoloso e una minaccia per l’America. Questa è una motivazione molto forte per votare contro Trump. Penso che la maggior parte degli elettori ha votato contro Trump o contro Biden e non per qualcuno; è simile a ciò che è accaduto alle elezioni del 2016. Non credo che sia un bene per l’America. Qualcosa deve cambiare o le cose peggioreranno.

As an American citizen, what was your perception about what happened at Capitol Hill?
Ovviamente penso che ciò che è successo sia stato una cosa orribile. Penso anche che non sia stata totalmente colpa di Trump. Penso che lui abbia fatto cose brutte, ma credo la rivolta sia sintomatica di molti altri problemi che stiamo avendo in America. Sia sintomatica della crescente diffusione della violenza politica. L’abbiamo già visto qualche anno fa a Charlottesville con gli Antifa, con le rivolte di BLM (Black Lives Matter), con il complotto per rapire il governatore Gretchen Whitmer, e con le sparatorie al membro del Congresso Steve Scalise. Penso anche che la rivolta a Capitol Hill sia sintomatica della totale sfiducia nei media e nelle nostre istituzioni. Trump ha amplificato questi problemi e li ha sfruttati per il proprio guadagno. Ma questi problemi esistevano prima di Trump e continueranno a esistere dopo di lui. Dobbiamo affrontare questi problemi ma ho paura che troppa gente penserà «Trump è andato e tutti i nostri problemi sono andati via con lui!». Quando in realtà i nostri problemi che riguardano la sfiducia nelle nostre istituzioni, nei media, nel governo e nella economia, insieme alla diffusione della violenza politica, continueranno ad aumentare, a meno che le istituzioni ed entrambi i partiti politici tornino insieme e lavorino per dimostrare che loro hanno in mente gli interessi dei cittadini.

What is your hope about the new administration?
Spero che Biden possa unire tutti noi. Non sono ottimista che questo accada, ma lo spero.

[Charles ha risposto alle mie domande in italiano]

Jack
28 anni, programmatore

What do you think about the latest elections?
I think it was handled poorly by the state and local governments. They should not have counted thousands of votes in the middle of the night without election observers present. They also shouldn’t have ignored signature matches on mail-in ballots. I think the outcome is not as credible as it could be.

As an American citizen, what was your perception about what happened at Capitol Hill?
People who broke into the building should be punished. However, I think the media companies are highlighting a small number of troublemakers and ignoring the complaints of the thousands of peaceful protestors who want a thorough audit of the election.

What is your hope about the new administration?
I hope the new administration will continue to build on the successes of the Obama administration and the Trump administration and not govern in a hyper partisan way.

Kristen
24 anni, digital marketer

What do you think about the latest elections?
I think it was the messiest one yet.

As an American citizen, what was your perception about what happened at Capitol Hill?
It’s disappointing and it’s scary.

What is your hope about the new administration?
I hope it’s less like reality TV and the new president will use Twitter less

Thomas Blackburne
22 anni, studente di geografia, University of Mary Washington (UMW)

What do you think about the latest elections?
I am relieved it is over! In the U.S. the primary elections (which choose the candidates for the Democratic and Republican parties) begins two years before the general election (every four years in November when the two parties run against each other). U.S. elections are long and the media speculation is so intense.
Recently, the last two elections (2016 and 2020) were unusual due to the lack of decorum brought on by Trump. There used to be respect between the two major candidates but Trump really changed that. He often criticized his opponents on a personal basis rather than on policy or political differences. 
I was very worried Trump would win a second term. He proved himself incapable of governing or even comporting himself with basic decency. The Trump presidential cabinet was filed with incompetent corrupt bureaucrats that did not do a good job of running the government.
Before the coronavirus impeachment for a quid pro quo with Ukraine, the child detention policy at the U.S-Mexico border, the Trump tax cut, and the Trump administration’s plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act from the Obama administration (U.S. healthcare law that regulates health insurance companies and expanded coverage).
Now with the coronavirus, Trump spread misinformation about the virus and failed to institute a nationwide plan to tackle the issue. The disorganization of the Trump administration proved to Americans that he was an ineffective president who was solely concerned with his ego and enriching himself while in office. This is why he ultimately lost. Joe Biden presented himself as a moderate candidate that a wide range of Americans could accept. Trump appeared as fringe and inept.
I was pleased with the results of the election. However, I was still shocked that Trump managed to win 74 million votes. States that normally are conservative and vote republican, especially southern states like Arizona and Georgia voted for Biden. This marked a major change in the electorate and Biden won a large geographic range across the country. However, the urban vs rural divide is still present in the U.S. The vote was very split with large numbers of young, Black, Asian, Black, and Latino voters voting for Biden and rural, old, white voters voting for Trump. These racial and geographic divides are just equally important as the ideological divide of conservative vs liberal.

Here is the total vote:

Biden: 81.2 million votes (51.3%)
Trump: 74.2 million votes (46.9%)

The numbers in the map are electoral votes for the electoral college. The larger the number the bigger the state’s population (California has 55 votes because it is the most populous state). Three votes is the lowest number a state can have.

What was my perception of what happened on Capitol Hill?
I was horrified by what the attack on the capitol. The misinformation about the election clearly led to this. Millions of Trump supporters do not accept that Trump lost. Trump was able to convince his supporters that the election was stolen from him or that the system is rigged against him. To me this was clearly a terrorist attack. The U.S. has long stood as a force of stability and democracy around the world. Seeing the U.S. capitol taken over my domestic terrorists that wanted to have a coup was really shameful. The lack of security was also concerning. Now that Biden is president I feel a sense of calm knowing that things will be alright. The attack showed that democracy is fragile everywhere even in a 244 year old democratic republic.

What is your hope about the new administration?
I am hoping the new administration will be able to get a handle on the coronavirus. Already, President Biden has used federal dollars to order millions of vaccines. In addition to having more vaccines some states have not done a good job at distributing the vaccine. Having a state by state vaccination policy has led to really uneven procedures. Biden wants 100 million people vaccinated in his first 100 days which means 1 million Americans vaccinated every day. We are still behind on that goal so state and federal governments have a lot of work to do to reach this goal.
When the COVID crisis begins to improve here I think the U.S. should help the developing world get vaccines and improve the global economy. I think the U.S. may have to save a lot of industries that were hard hit by the virus. Similar to the bailouts of big banks in 2009, the U.S. government may have to act to help nearly bankrupt industries.
I also want the U.S. government to invest in and support green energy so the U.S. can begin to lead the transition to more sustainable energy. The U.S. has to fulfill its part of the Paris accord before we tell other countries what to do.
I hope that President Biden has a productive administration. If he can do well it will prove that Democrats are effective at governing. So far, his executive action on the COVID-19 crisis with vaccines, returning to the Paris climate agreement, and protecting federal lands from drilling for oil.

Walter
24 anni, programmatore

What do you think about the latest elections?
The latest election was carried out in a way that was doomed from the beginning to be divisive and non-credible no matter the result. Many states changed their rules regarding voting procedures very close to the election and many people on the right perceived the changes to be unfairly beneficial to Biden. On top of that, there were many peculiarities on election night including pauses in counting in key states and statistically improbable batches of votes being reported. Perhaps more importantly, after the election was decided any questions about the fairness of the election or counting processes were shot down and called baseless conspiracy theories rather than properly investigated and analyzed.  A good-faith investigation and audit of the 2020 election would have gone a long way to restore faith in the election process for the large percentage of the country that has doubts about the fairness of the election. Whether or not there was fraud at a large enough scale to change the outcome of the election, by simply refusing to properly scrutinize the election and insisting that anyone with complaints was lying or misled, we now have a large percentage of the country that believes that President Biden may have stolen the election.

As an American citizen, what was your perception about what happened at Capitol Hill?
The riot at Capitol Hill was a protest that got out of hand. President Trump is largely at fault for leading the protesters to the capitol and then leaving a group of angry people in front of the capitol building without any direction.  The police in Washington DC were also not prepared to handle such a large group of people in a peaceful and effective manner. However, a group of people breaking into a building is not the same thing as a coup. The protesters were angry that they felt that the election was stolen, or at least non transparent, but they were not trying to overthrow the US government. I hope that anyone who committed violent acts against anyone else in the Capital is held accountable and that the country can move forward.

What is your hope about the new administration?
So far President Biden has been very unifying in his public speeches. I hope that going forward the actions of President Biden and his administration are compatible with his speech rather than retaliatory towards people who did not support him. I also hope that President Biden and his administration are successful leading the country through the covid pandemic and the economic impacts of the lockdowns. I hope that he governs in a moderate way and is able to be a unifying leader for the United States.

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