After three nail-biting, tension-filled days, America has chosen. The votes cast in Philadelphia have finally been announced and the great state of Pennsylvania goes to Biden-Harris, making the former Vice-President the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris the first woman of color to serve as Vice-President. Biden also scored big in Nevada, adding that state to the Democratic side of the ledger as well, bringing his total to 290 electoral college votes. He needed 270 to win.
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Trump began his Pennsylvania watch with a significant lead over Biden on election night. But mail-in ballots had not then been counted, and they were expected to be heavily Democratic votes, thanks in large part to a tremendous appeal by Democrats to vote early. Trump’s campaign reached 214 electoral college votes early, and for the rest of the count did not move.
As the mail-in ballot count started, things changed. Trump watched as the race began slowly shifting in Biden’s favor. He was infuriated and took to the airwaves to vent his frustration. Without Pennsylvania, Trump knew his run to return to the White House was doomed. As the hundreds of thousands of ballots were counted, Trump saw his lead evaporate, then disappear. When Biden took the lead, the Trump Campaign cracked, demanding that the count be stopped in one state while argunig that it should go on in another.
Again and again the former President attacked the process, saying the election was being stolen without specifying how. As Biden’s lead widened, the frenzied cries of supporters restating Trump’s baseless charges of voter fraud and theft moved other GOP leaders to fall in line, apparently fearing a backlash from Republican voters within their own constituencies.
Still, no evidence of wrongdoing was ever cited, either by Trump of his team of lawyers, as the American democratic process– the same process that Trump had no complaint about when he won in 2016– was brought under unrelenting attack.
Biden’s victory amounted to a rejection of Trump’s toxic leadership. An alliance of whites, blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, young people and women– called by some an “unlikely” alliance– was in actuality very predictable, forged by Trump himself in the crucible of chaotic administration, governance by tweet, arrogant divisiveness, lack of leadership, pathological lying and international embarrassment. His defeat makes Trump one of only three elected presidents since World War II to serve only one term, and the first in more than 25 years.
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Biden received the highest number of votes ever cast for a presidential candidate, though to be fair, Trump received the second highest tally. President Biden faces a seriously divided nation in the midst of a debilitating and deadly pandemic, with millions of people out of work. Republicans are in control of the Senate, and it remains to be seen whether or not party members will work with the President-elect to heal the nation’s wounds or spend the next four years deepening the nation’s pains in retaliation for the Trump defeat.