After days and days of watching television news, trying to follow the electoral math, and feeling anxious about the final result, all of the major news organizations called the American election in favor of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Saturday morning U.S. time.
Although it appears that Donald Trump has not accepted the result of the election and is still ranting about an unproven conspiracy against him, the United States is moving on. On Saturday evening, Biden and Harris declared victory in Wilmington Delaware, thanked their supporters and the thousands of people who worked through the week to count the ballots, and promised to serve all of the American people regardless of who, they voted for.
You can see the excitement, joy, and pride in Harris’ face as she makes her remarks. She spoke about how the American people had made a choice of hope, unity, decency, science, and truth. She also stressed the historic nature of her election as the first woman who is also African American and the daughter of immigrants to the Vice Presidency. She urged girls around the country to “dream big” and to “see what can be, unburdened by what has been”.
Joe Biden actually trotted up to the podium to give his speech and echoed many of the themes he has been talking about during the campaign. At one point in the speech, he paraphrased Ecclesiastes 3:2. He said “The Bible tells us, “to everything there is a season: a time to build, a time to reap, and a time to sow and a time to heal.”. He then said, “This is the time to heal in America”.
In my view, his reference went beyond Sars-CoV-2 that is continuing to spread across the United States. Biden was also referring to the stark divisions in the country which Donald Trump did not create but has systematically exploited for his own political gain.
For Biden, we stand at “an inflection point” and have the opportunity to choose between the “better angels of our nature” or “our darkest impulses”. He offers more than a different political party or program than Donald Trump. Even more than a different style of leadership or world view. Biden is a different type of man.
Biden is a man with deep religious faith and the political conviction that politics is about listening to the other side and finding common ground. If the Republican party maintains control of the Senate as it is likely to do in Georgia next January, he will have to find that common ground.
In terms of the major themes of environmental sustainability, Biden will certainly bring the United States back into the Paris climate agreement. His version of the New Green Deal calls for rebuilding American infrastructure, retrofitting its buildings, and putting the country on track to eliminate fossil fuels by 2050. He will also appoint new leadership at the Environmental Protection Agency and work to re-establish its former capabilities.
As regards geopolitics, I posted a few weeks ago why I thought that Biden and Harris will make the world a safer place. He said last night that he would not use the example of (America’s) power, but the power of (its) example in world affairs.
I have family in New York who saw first hand the spontaneous celebrations that sprung up there and across the United States when the election was called on Saturday. It reminded me of the scene in the Return of the Jedi after the emperor is overthrown with scenes of celebration across the galaxy! Biden said he was “suprised and humbled” by the outbreak of joy all across the country.
I and many others feel like a great weight has been lifted off of our hearts. We can again be proud to say we are from the United States of America and look to the future with hope.
Joe Biden decided to run for President to restore the soul of the United States. His victory in the election is the first step in that process.