For five nail-biting days, all eyes were on the presidential election as the world waited with bated breath to see who the next president of the United States would be. The polls are closed, most of the ballots have been counted and the results are in. After having won the key state of Pennsylvania, Joe Biden surpassed the mandated 270 electoral votes needed to beat opponent Donald Trump’s claim to the White House even as votes continue to be counted in several states.
The president-elect offers fresh promise of reversing Trump’s legacy in inequality, criminal justice, healthcare, immigration and controlling the widespread of COVID-19. His plans outline an increase in the availability of free testing, fully deploying necessary supplies to healthcare workers and implementing funds to those who have been most affected.
The Obama-Biden administration emerged into the new age regarding the LGBTQ+ community by making historical strides in supporting gay marriage. Donald Trump has opposed the idea of same sex unions and has (amongst other things) banned transgender individuals from serving in the US military. As president, Biden will eradicate this injustice that contradicts the American promise of equality for all in ensuring fair treatment by collecting data to strategize a course of action to better support and protect LGBTQ+ rights.
America has been at the forefront of global news and not in a flattering way. Since the video of George Floyd’s death went viral it triggered an uproar in the Black Lives Matter movement. Biden plans to root out gender and racial bias in the system and focusing on redemption and rehabilitation for those suffering from substance abuse.
On March 23rd, 2010, the Obama-Biden administration signed the Affordable Healthcare Act, which became a big deal to over 100 million Americans who will no longer be denied by insurance companies for their pre-existing conditions. Over the years, Trump has unilaterally tried to destroy the act in court. With Biden’s presidency he will protect the Affordable Healthcare Act and refine it with more options and reducing cost.
Trump’s obsession with building a wall has done nothing but cost taxpayers thousands of dollars and separated hundreds of parents from their children. As president, Biden will enact polices that improve security and provide a fair system that will enhance the economy and welcome immigrants into the communities.
After Vice President-elect Kamala Harris posted the heartwarming video in which she calls President-elect Joe Biden and says: ‘We did it. We did it, Joe’ on her social media, Harris once again took it to her social accounts to speak on the fact that she is the first woman to be elected Vice President in the history of the United States of America. The position has previously been held by a series (48 in total) of male, white past Vice Presidents. Harris posted a tweet which read: ‘While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last – because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.’ However, Kamala Harris is not only the first female VP of the USA, she is also the first POC VP, the first black VP, the first South Asian VP and the first Indian American VP. Harris’ new position is a massive step forward for women, people of colour, minorities and the entire system of the United States. The new Vice President-elect has become a symbol of hope, power, and change. She has shown to everyone that there is a way through the door, a future in which every single citizen of the country can be ‘the right person for the job’ and that this future is now closer than ever.
For all Americans, the result was a moment of relief after the contested election that took place admits a pandemic. Across the US, Biden’s victory was met with assorted joy, disappointment, and outrage. Biden supporters flooded the streets with celebrations erupting in major cities from New York to Los Angeles as media outlets announced the results. A banner reading “You’re Fired!” Trump’s catchphrase on the apprentice was seen in the crowd. Elsewhere the mood is sombre among Trump supporters who refuse to accept defeat.
As much as there is a continuous mixed reaction towards the results of the election, things were not much different during the count of the votes. The count started with current President Donald Trump declaring he has won in the early hours of election day. He was so convinced in his quick and undeniable victory that he announced it prematurely in a speech before most of the votes were even counted. President Trump hinted at voter fraud which led to some of his supporters to publicly rebel – both on social media and on the streets. Trump supporters took it to Facebook groups and Twitter threads to repeat the President’s claims and theorize on how Trump was being cheated out of his position. Some republicans decided to take things in their own hands by ‘storming’ a Detroit ballot counting room. The individuals had two main demands: they wanted the count to stop or to be allowed to count the votes themselves so they can ensure that no fraud was being committed and President-elect Joe Bidden was not winning unfairly.
Although the outcome of the election has been called Trump refuses to concede peacefully and continue to spread unsupported claims of voting fraud. Democratic judges continue to throw out Republican claims causing Trump’s team major losses in legal battles all over the country. 21 lawsuits have been filed challenging the validity of the results in Nevada, Michigan, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Trump’s campaign lawyers delivered a court order to the PA Convention Centre giving them the right to stand 6 feet away from sorters instead of the allotted 20 feet.
The president has also claimed a win based on a non-existent clause in the constitution, tweeting “700,000 ballots were not allowed to be viewed in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh which means, based on our great Constitution, we win the state of Pennsylvania.” In response to a tweet from reporter, Jesse Watters which questions Biden’s win on the account that “he didn’t really campaign” Trump replied, “He won because the election was rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & silent media & more!”
The count of the votes was a stressful time for many Americans as well as people from all over the globe who were refreshing pages, engaging in discussions and even running simulations. The number of submitted votes, in many states, was almost identical in favour of both Joe Biden and Donald Trump. In some states, the difference was in the thousands and often Joe Biden was granted victory by a narrow margin. However, a huge reason why Georgia was turned blue is Stacey Abrams and her fellow voting rights activists. They have been working hard for years now, developing and executing Stacey’s winning strategy. Her belief is that the running candidates should not try to persuade people to choose Democratic values over Republican ones but rather to persuade them that ‘voting can actually yield a change’. Abrams’s focus is on minority groups, people of colour, and young people, often first-time voters, and her main agenda is to put a stop to voter suppression. Her hard work has been yielding fascinating results – it is now known that she has managed to register 800,000 new voters and have successfully persuaded many that their voices matter and will be heard. People were quick to acknowledge her part in the election and her name has been trending all over social media. Stacey Abrams has really proven that ‘progress is possible’.
The USA 2020 election saw the biggest voter turnout since 1968 with over 150 million votes tallied as Trump continue to sow doubt about the election results with the media reporting news in Biden’s favour. Trump lost support with white male voters but gained support from groups of non-white votes especially those without a college degree. 62% of white men voted for Trump in 2016 which waned to 58% this year along with white women which rose to 55% from the previous 47%. In 2020 voting patterns mirror habits across the US with Trump having white rural areas and record-breaking turnouts in urban areas and suburbs with large black population pushed Biden to victory. Roughly 90% of black voters supported Biden. The President-elect saw a major increase in votes from black women.
Trump made his biggest gain in Hispanic votes particularly in Florida and Texas. Latinos make up more than 23% of the overall votes. Latinos as whole voted for Biden by a margin of 30 points but Florida’s antisocialist Cuban community supported Trump by 55% against Biden’s 42% according to data from the pollster Latino decisions. While both presidents benefit from the Latino vote, Biden received twice the support than Trump. Trump lost support with low income voters but gained with the rich whose incomes is more than 100,000 by contrast of those families making less than $50,000 voted Democratic by a margin of 55% to 43%.
As much as the 2020 election results brought many Americans consolation, hope and joy – which they showed by dancing and singing on the streets or in the comfort of their homes – people all around the world were quick to remind each other that even if things are looking hopeful for the USA there are still many changes to be made and fights to be fought. The American citizens should stay alert, vigilant and active, they should continue to be critical and thorough when analysing the words and actions of their new President and his team.
Keira Brown is a Second Year Creative and Professional Writing Student and P.N Koleva is an English Literature and Writing Student.
Featured Image is from Pixabay.