The office of the President of the United States finds itself facing a unique transferral of power. The chair of the President is an embodiment of our national values and determines the respect that our country deserves. Joe Biden and Donald Trump represent two parties with two very different attitudes towards their preferred leader. Joe Biden, a President-Elect who inspired the greatest voter turnout in a century, finds his support to be conditional among many progressive voters. Their support is conditional on the level of urgency Biden has promised to bring to very contested issues. Donald Trump, a man who has awakened a new voice within the Republican Party, finds himself in a very different position. The difference between the types of authority these two men hold among their respective parties is a testament to the growing volume of progressive voices among young Americans.
Biden leads a party that is beginning to accumulate young, diverse, and ever more progressive members. With the Democratic Party beginning to move against the grain of Joe Biden’s more moderate values, we are shaping up to see a presidency that is much more demanding in its expectations. Joe Biden’s voters have expressed their intent to hold him accountable for the urgency he has promised to bring to important issues of racial justice, climate change and health care. This represents a core difference in his position among party members when compared to Trump, whose supporters have facilitated a culture of defense against fake news. With this difference comes the hope of a Biden presidency that prioritizes the voices of the unheard. This is not to say that the Democratic Party is without issues, but instead to acknowledge that the new president represents a party that seeks to “restore the soul of America.” Even so, young progressive voices have made it clear that he does not represent the future of the Democratic Party, but a moderate version of progressive policies.
The Republican Party’s future is more uncertain now that Trump, assuming he will concede the election, will become a private individual. Trump has established himself as the loudest and primary voice among the new Republican Party that has molded around his image. With Joe Biden as President-Elect, the question of how Trump’s absence will affect how the party leads itself must be raised. The chance that the more moderate, anti-Trump Republicans will assume control is possible, but not likely. More likely is the chance that Trump continues to inspire the Republican Party from the sidelines, holding on to power. His Chief-of-Staff has mentioned his desire to run again in 2024, suggesting that he intends to hold a prominent position in the party’s leadership.
The difference in how these leaders hold authority within their party suggests the trajectory of polarized America. In the history of this country, not often have we seen the hijacking of a party’s beliefs on such a large scale, and it is uncertain how these two parties will interact now that the Republican Party’s loudest voice is no longer in power. America has experienced extreme internal conflict in recent years, and this transfer of power is the beginning of how its two parties will continue to work together within a very different relationship.