Democratic challenger Joe Biden has won an extremely close US election battle against outgoing president Donald Trump. The election results were finally called on Saturday. Biden will become the 46th US president and leaders around the world have started sending congratulatory messages to the president-elect. Kamala Harris, the vice president-elect, has made history. She will be the first woman, the first black person and the first person of South Asian descent to become VP. Yesterday, she said, “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.”
This US election was different in many ways. From an election held during a pandemic to one of the most polarised election in recent history, it was indeed a nail-biter. The two rivals were neck and neck in a few key battleground states before the final results were announced. According to NBC News, at least 159.8 million Americans voted. The number of votes has been the highest in US presidential election in history while the voter turnout has been the highest in over a century.
Trump’s term has made politics extremely divisive in the US where racism is on the rise. Due to Trump’s policy on climate change, the US became the first nation in the world to formally withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. Trump also gravely mishandled the COVID-19 situation in the US. More than 200,000 people died due to coronavirus before the presidential election.
On the day of the election when millions of ballots were left to count, Trump decided to claim victory. In the same breath, he suggested “major fraud on the nation” without offering any evidence and said he would take the election results to the US Supreme Court. Trump has been crying rigging, an all too familiar word in our part of the world, even before the election. Trump’s campaign filed lawsuits in some states as Trump has also been crying foul on Twitter, where most of his tweets are being flagged by the social network. Biden, on the other hand, was conciliatory in a speech after the election where he called for healing and unity in the wake of the brutal election. “We are not enemies… to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies… we are campaigning as Democrats, but I will govern as an American president.”
We hope that with the end of the four tumultuous years of Trump’s presidency, while the Democrats heal their own country, they do not end up hurting the rest of the world. For all his faults, Trump was not seen as a war-president. We hope that the US will not restart its interventionist policies under Biden.