By Aaron Deering
The US election took place on the 3rd of November 2020 and after five long days filled with anxiety and high emotions, we learnt that Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. would become US President Elect and the 46th President of the United States of America.
For each of those five long days I was glued to CNN and I must give them a special mention for their fantastic election coverage and analysis. A particular shoutout must go to John King of CNN and his ‘magic wall’. Having watched the three previous US elections on CNN it was great to see him get the appreciation he deserved for his fantastic breakdown of how each state is voting through the use of his ‘magic wall’. This US election was like no other because as Biden had stated throughout his election campaign that the ‘soul of the nation was at stake’. This was pretty evident over the last few months as America looked increasingly divided.
Donald Trump the soon to be former President, and his campaign have refused to accept that the election is over, but the truth is his campaign has been over for a long time ever since Covid-19 hit. As the projection of Joe Biden being announced as President Elect came in, Trump was off playing a round of golf. The latest round of golf summed up his Trump Presidency perfectly, below par and floundering in the water on the back nine. Trump has insisted that the election has been stolen from him and has mounted various legal challenges in the states of Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona claiming that only legal votes should be counted and not illegal ones. The fact is none of these legal challenges will change the outcome of this election. I won’t entertain any of his claims of voter fraud in this article because they’re simply baseless and aren’t supported by any evidence. The fact is Trump lost this election through his own stupidity and I’ve no problem saying that. It was Trump who told his voters not to vote through mail–in ballots, it was Trump who mishandled the pandemic that has led to 230,000 people in the US losing their lives and it was Trump’s disgraceful comments on what happened in Charlottesville that led to Joe Biden coming out of retirement and to beat Trump in this US election. This election wasn’t stolen by the Democrats or the system Mr President instead you signed your own political death warrant. Now accept your defeat graciously and move on.
It is was great to see Americans in various cities across the country celebrate Biden’s win but I also thought it was ironic because it was like a scene we had seen before in a far off country were a dictator had fallen, with relieved citizens to the streets to rejoice in their new found freedom. For so long we have associated America with ending dictatorships in various countries, and seeing the joyous scenes play out on our tv screens but this time it was happening in America. I was deeply moved by Van Jones’s reaction to Biden’s projection as President Elect. Jones who is a political commentator with CNN became highly emotional as he took the news in “it’s easier to be a parent this morning, it’s easier to be a dad, it’s easier to tell your kids character matters, telling the truth matters, being a good person matters and it’s easier for a whole lot of people if you’re Muslim in this country you don’t have to worry if the President doesn’t want you here, if you’re an immigrant you don’t have to worry if the President going to be happier having babies snatched away or send dreamers back for no reason. This is vindication for a lot of people who have really suffered. It’s a good day for this country. I’m sorry for the people that have lost for them it’s not a good day but for a whole lot of people it’s a good day”. This was the reality for some people living under Trump for the last four years especially those of colour.
As Van had pointed out for some Americans Biden’s election isn’t good news but one thing I take away from Donald Trump and his presidency is that maybe he gave the system the kick it so desperately needed. Trump was elected back in 2016 for a whole bunch of reasons but one was definitely people’s dissatisfaction with the system and how they were left behind that’s why one of his popular slogans from his 2016 campaign was that he was going to ‘drain the swamp’ was so successful. I hope that Trump has given the wakeup call the system needed and that it now listens to the ordinary working class voter that felt they were left behind after the last economic crash and this has never been more important than now for those people as the economic hardships of Covid-19 hits them even harder. Joe Biden will be that President that brings the nation of America together again and restore its status a major player on the world stage a status it had lost over the years during the Trump presidency.
It is unclear yet whether the senate will remain in Republican hands or switch to the Democrats but even if it remains in Republican hands Biden’s experience in US politics stretching back 47 years now will stand to him. As a senator and Vice-President, Biden was able to work across the aisle and work with Republicans and this experience will come crucial in making sure that the country can heal over the next four years. Biden’s journey to the White House has been one filled with success and tragedy. The loss of his daughter Naomi and his first wife Neilia when he first became a senator back in 1972 and the loss of his son Beau Biden in 2015 were enough to beat any man but one thing Joe Biden has shown throughout his career is his willingness to persevere despite the challenges he faced. This is one characteristic that we can definitely expect from a Joe Biden presidency.
One thing that may have been overlooked in the battle that took place between Biden and Trump for the White House was the importance of Kamala Harris who now becomes the first ever female Vice President Elect. She will not only be the first woman Vice President, but she will also be the first Vice President of colour and of Indian heritage. A lot of firsts for the incoming Vice President. Harris has now become a symbol of how far the women’s effort for equality has come. Giving hope to millions of girls around the world that anything is possible. Harris claimed in her victory speech that she won’t be the last woman in the White House and I for one agree and Harris herself may go one step further in 2024 and become the first ever female President of America. Although this election has come to end and some sort of normalcy will return to the top of US politics, we see that Donald Trump certainly gave the broken system the kick it needed, but Joe Biden, I believe will be the one to fix it.