American on P.E.I. and Islander in U.S. weigh in on 2020 Trump-Biden election

·3 min read

Joce Reyome believes that P.E.I. is more progressive than the United States.

"There's still work to do," Reyome said. "But I feel like P.E.I. has the ability and the opportunity to do that work safely and in a just manner."

With ballots for the 2020 U.S. election still being counted as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, The Guardian spoke with an American who is currently living in P.E.I. and an Islander living in the U.S. to get their thoughts on the spectacle that was gripping the world.

Reyome, a musician originally from Massachussetts, moved to P.E.I. in 2016 and prefers to go by the pronouns they and them. Reyome was in high school during the 2016 U.S. election when President Donald Trump first took office

At the time, many people Reyome's age weren't as aware as they should have been about how Trump's presidency could affect them. While Reyome didn't vote in this election, they're hopeful Trump doesn't win a second term. The musician referred to the incumbent president's supporters as "general hooligans."

"It's not OK. It's scary and it's uncomfortable," they said. "He is so not for the general population."

As a person of colour and a member of P.E.I.'s queer community, Reyome says they are thankful to be living on P.E.I. because they feel a bit removed from what has been weighing heavy on the minds of many across North America.

"Without fear of being attacked or having my rights taken away for just existing."

They're currently applying for citizenship on P.E.I. simply because they love the Island.

Meanwhile Stephen Montgomery, a teacher in Texas, who is originally from P.E.I., has been an American citizen for over 15 years.

He believes Trump's policy has been tremendous for the country up until this point, and therefore voted for him.

"(But) he's a clumsy person with his words, there's no question about that," Montgomery said.

While he is hopeful the president wins a second term, Montgomery was concerned that might not happen when former vice-president Joe Biden captured the vote in Arizona.

Montgomery is holding out hope that if Biden wins, the Republican party holds onto the U.S. Senate. The idea of a Biden presidency has him worried, one reason being Biden's tendency to dodge questions.

He also sees media outlets as having performed irresponsibily throughout Trump's presidency and both elections, namely by blowing Trump's negative traits out of proporation and minimizing the policies, he said.

"I'm very frustrated by the media coverage, or lack thereof," Montgomery said. "They're very much a part of the story, rather than just covering it."

Montgomery has been engaged in politics since he was young and values having honest and civil conversations with people. While he's used to this not always being the case when it comes to discussion on the election, he would like for that to change, he said.

"Show me the perfect candidate and maybe I'll consider voting for them."

Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian