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P.E.I. residents relieved to see Donald Trump go as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are inaugurated


Camille King, an American student studying at UPEI, spent inauguration day split between schoolwork and watching the news as she experienced a range of emotions.

“I would say probably relief would be the most strong feeling, and it’s probably a feeling lots of other Americans are feeling as well,” said the 21-year-old from Waitsfield, Vt.

Robbie Robinson, who plays for the Island Storm basketball team, worried about his family back home.

“At the same time, I’m overjoyed to see the ending of a horrible term and hoping Biden can bring real change, so I would say a bunch of mixed emotions leading to today.”

Originally from the Inland Empire area of California, Robinson said he is hopeful about a Biden presidency.

“I feel strongly that he’ll be able to spark change. Just the symbolism of him and Kamala Harris being in office, I think, will spark change.”

Robbie Robinson, pictured, thinks Biden and Harris mark a positive turn for US.
Robbie Robinson, pictured, thinks Biden and Harris mark a positive turn for US. - Contributed

King also looks forward to a fresh face in the White House.

“I think it says a lot about our country the fact that, number one, he was actually elected and, number two, that Kamala Harris was elected, not only as a woman but as a woman of colour,” she said.

“I think it says a lot about where the majority of our people’s hearts lie and about what direction they want our country to go in.”

Leading up to inauguration day, King was worried.

Trump did not attend the inauguration, and some were on edge given the storming of the country’s capital on Jan. 6, but things went ahead calmly.

“It’s just nerve wracking, the whole thing is. You have a president who doesn’t condemn domestic terrorists, and then you have a new president being sworn in. And of course it’s terrifying.”

One of Trump’s last acts as president was grant 73 pardons and commute another 70 sentences.

King compared Trump to a child.

“Personally, it makes me laugh because I think of a little kid at a candy store and his mom is like, ‘OK, we have to leave in five minutes,’ and so he’s trying to shove as much candy into his basket as he can before he leaves.”

Robinson sees it as Trump trying to save face and as a final insult to the office of the president, he said.

“His term, his presidency was such a mockery of democracy. You had literally a following of people that tried to try overthrow democracy to keep this person in power. That’s really scary.”

Robinson watched the assault on the Capitol building earlier this month in disbelief.

“That day that it happened, my wife and I were really bugging out to just imagine wow, they were able to storm the capital! That’s got to be taking it back to medieval times … right now I still can’t put it into words because it was unfathomable to me.”

King was dismayed watching the news from P.E.I., she said.

“It’s sad. It’s kind of heartbreaking to think about historically how many lives have gone into protecting that building and then how easily all that went away.”

Even with such violent division, King believes Biden and Harris have a chance to reunite the country, though knows it will be an uphill battle, she said.

“Moving forward I think we’re in for hopefully a better four years. Nowhere to go but up.”

In the meantime, she planned to celebrate Trump’s departure once she finished her schoolwork.

Robinson is just thankful he’s gone.

“Me and my family are just happy it’s over.”

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