A week ago, supporters of Donald Trump in pickup trucks blocked a Biden campaign bus in the state of Texas. This week, that campaign emerged victorious in one of the most historic elections of the country.
Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States, after winning the final 20 electoral votes in the state of Pennsylvania by more than 30,000 votes. This was Joe Biden’s home state.
A lot of people said he couldn’t win back the industrial Midwest. But as we saw over the last four sleep deprived nights, democracy spoke. The world watched.
Let’s be fair to the Americans. There was a record national turnout. More than 74 million Americans voted for Biden, while more than 70 million voted for Trump. Biden is also the oldest president to be elected.
Biden broke the record for the most amount of votes of any American presidential candidate in US history. Trump got the second most amount (let’s be fair to him).
But Kamala Harris, Biden’s choice for Vice President, became the first woman and first person of colour to be elected as Vice President. A huge victory for women and people of colour across the country, and the world.
We expect that Joe Biden will deliver more presidential, professional speeches when he takes the oath of office on January 20. He has promised to work for people who didn’t vote for him, as much as people who did vote for him.
But Biden will enter office in an incredibly divided country. And it is important to understand the challenges that are ahead for the USA.
The country is politically polarised. That polarisation was allowed to continue under a divide and conquer rule during Trump’s presidency. It was allowed to manifest into racial issues and attacks on immigrants, POC, women, disabled citizens and LGBT+ folk.
Not everyone will celebrate a Biden victory, but most people will celebrate a Trump loss.
But Biden also has an economy to re-build. He is also dealing with a worldwide pandemic which saw cases reach over 100,000 during the election race over the last 4 days.
What is important for Biden is a number of initiatives and proposals that will win bipartisan support. Developments for a vaccine, and investment packages for people out of work due to the pandemic will likely see Biden put forward proposals to a divided US Senate.
And we can’t forget that the balance of power is exactly that. It is not unhinged towards one binary end. The Senate is divided, massively. In Georgia, runoffs are due to take place in the near future.
The world is relieved to see this historic election result in Biden’s victory. This is because the US is a global superpower and the climate change crisis must be recognised as the biggest threat to humanity.
It also gives world citizens hope for a more equal world, with representation in politics delivering equality for so many people. There is no doubt that a Biden presidency will address the injustices of racism, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, but also for people of colour as a whole in America.
We expect that there will be some hostility to follow. But due to the nature of the coronavirus pandemic, this may not last as long under a Biden presidency, because divide and conquer is no longer the strategy.
Gone will be the days of president tweets normalising bigotry and prejudice across the country. Gone will be the fears that American citizens who immigrated to the country will be asked to leave. Gone will be the idea that we should build walls, rather than bridges.
And to our credit, Donald Trump did one thing good for the country.
He brought the conversation of bigotry, of racism, of injustice into the mainstream. People took notice, and they wasted no time standing up for their American brothers and sisters.
It is the end of an era, but the Trump legacy will live on through those who supported him. Remember, 70 million Americans voted for Trump. We are not going to lose Trumpism overnight.
Therefore, we won’t see the attacks go away. We may see violence. We may not. It’s all a matter of what happens next. And what happens next will be absolutely critical for America.
Americans spoke. Democracy spoke. And now it is time for a new era to speak back to them.
Feature image credit: AFP via Getty images