Opinions & Features Workshop (Oct 26th)

Photo by Tiffany Tertipes/Unsplash

After long election night, big challenges await the U.S.

By Luis Armando Sanchez Diaz, November 29 2020—

Well after the polls closed, the United States presidential election was finally over. Americans decided that the United States wasn’t going in the right direction. Joe Biden, former Vice President to President Barack Obama, won the presidency by scoring victories in the Midwest and restoring the Democrats’ blue wall. He’ll become the 46th president of the United States and be sworn in on Jan. 21, 2021.

Biden was leading the popular vote count as of Nov. 7 by almost five-million votes. The final tally might not be known for a while as thousands of votes are yet to be counted around the country — particularly mail-in ballots which appear to heavily favour the Democratic Party.

Election night was a long one just as many pundits had expected. Vote counting was slow in many crucial states, due the huge amount of mail-in-ballots.

President-elect Biden wasn’t able to declare victory right away on election day. He came out to address his supporters at the campaign’s headquarters in Delaware, around midnight. 

“We feel good about where we are, we really do,” said Biden to his supporters as he talked from the podium along with his wife Dr. Jill Biden.  “We believe we are on track to win this election.”

He and California Senator Kamala Harris, soon to be the first female, first person of color and first Asian-American vice-president, will make up the presidential ticket to earn the most votes in the history of the United States, surpassing the previous record set by the Obama-Biden ticket in 2008 after gathering almost 70 million votes nationwide. They will have a mandate to push forward a pragmatic and ambitious agenda to bring the United States to the right side in multiple issues that range from climate change and income inequality, to reforming the criminal justice system and investing more in America’s infrastructure.

President-elect Biden and his administration will have the enormous challenge of restoring what Biden himself has called “the soul of the nation” as the outgoing administration has done close to nothing to reduce the levels of polarization and divisiveness among Americans. He will also inherit an economy that is in shreds with an unemployment rate of 6.9 per cent. Biden urgently needs to further efforts containing the increasing surge in cases of the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected around 10 million Americans of which almost a quarter of a million have unfortunately passed away. 

In the afternoon of Nov. 4, Biden, side-by-side with Harris, told supporters it was very significant that they had “won with the majority of the American people” — as the popular vote count swung his way. Biden poked at president Donald Trump by expressing that “only three presidential campaigns in the past have defeated an incumbent president. When it’s finished, God willing, we’ll be the fourth.” 

In the following days, Biden and his campaign dominated the narrative both on the various social media platforms as well as the coverage made by the networks and newspapers, sinking, to some extent, President Trump’s “stolen election” claims. The President-elect addressed the nation expressing a message of hope and unity — the governing message that will be coming out of his White House. 

“Keep the faith, folks,” he tweeted on Nov. 5. 

After the election was called by the Associated Press, leaders around the world began congratulating the newly-elected presidential duo. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, in a public statement, expressed his willingness to work with the U.S. in many matters that currently affect the world, which signals that the deteriorating relationship between the neighbours will re-emerge and resemble the one that existed prior to the Trump administration. Trump’s administration seemed to distance the United States not only from Canada, but from many of its crucial allies worldwide. 

The time has come to produce the change that the population so eagerly wants. Polarization and divisiveness need to be tackled from the roots that are causing them — it’ll be a joint job between the government and all citizens going forward. I urge every American, particularly young people, to continue being engaged and to participate in the democratic processes that await in the future. Now more than ever, critical thinking is needed by individuals so that the Biden-Harris administration is held accountable for their actions and a better future is made possible.

In their winning speeches, Harris and Biden expressed something that wasn’t present in the political dialogue of the current administration — civility. They both remarked that hope and unity need to be chosen over hate and division. President-elect Biden emphasized that he will govern for all Americans, with the tone of a true statesman. Both politicians have decades of experience working in the government, which will prove to be helpful to undo the damages that Trump inflicted upon America. 

A new morning in America is on the horizon. It will be hard at first to imagine how a bright sun can shine over the U.S., but it will ultimately happen. If the duo works as hard as they have said they will, then it is just a matter of time before we see a renewed country with its promise restored. If Biden achieves his most ambitious proposal, he will go down in history as the president who overcame one of the most difficult moments in American history. 

“A nation united. A nation strengthened. A nation healed,” is what the future commander-in-chief wants to create as part of the first chapter of a new American reality.

This article is part of our Opinions section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet’s editorial board.


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