Biden’s historic win
Perhaps the most tortuous election in recent US history has been concluded. Although the counting is not over yet in all the states as of writing this editorial, almost all the major channels and election watchdogs have declared Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. Donald Trump is only a few of one-term US Presidents and the third since the end of WWII. Although Trump has refused to concede and, as predicted, threatened legal recourse, the results are so conclusive that they are unlikely to be overturned. We congratulate President elect Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris for a historic election victory.
The 2020 US election is unique and has several firsts to its credit. It was held when the country is reeling under the most debilitating pandemic in which nearly a quarter of a million Americans have lost their lives and ten million have lost their jobs as America faces a severe economic downturn. Joe Biden, in certain ways, has defied tradition and created history by selecting a black woman, a second generation US citizen of Jamaican-Indian descent, to be his Vice President. This is the first time that not only a woman but a woman of colour will be the second most powerful person in the US. This election has also set a record of voter turnout, as well as votes by mail.
Many have ascribed the puerile handling of the pandemic as the factor that led to Trump's downfall. We would like to believe that there were other equally more compelling reasons for his defeat. We think that it was also a vote for social order and against chaos and divisive and exclusivist politics; it was for civility, truthfulness, honesty and transparency. It was a mandate against a person driven by the compulsion for perpetuating power, and with a pathological disregard for science and logic.
But the election result tells us more than just the winners and losers. It lays bare the deep divide in US society, exacerbated even further by Donald Trump's race and religious baiting comments and actions. The figures reveal a disquieting American reality. Biden has tallied more than 74 million votes, more votes than ever before in US history, but more people also wanted Trump to continue as president. Not even the nearly quarter million Covid-19 deaths mattered to them.
Thus Biden and Harris have a tall order to fulfil. At home, they have to put together what Trump has so recklessly destroyed, starting with social cohesion. Biden has made his intentions clear. In his victory speech, he promised to work for all and remove the Blue and Red divide when it came to the interests of the American people, bringing integrity and transparency in actions.
People in America want change and Biden and Harris have been given the formidable responsibility to bring that change by 75 million people of America. As Biden said in his victory speech, it was a battle for the soul of America. We wish them both the very best of luck in their onerous tasks ahead.