A woman reacts in Times Square after a speech by Democratic US presidential nominee Joe Biden after news media announced he has won the 2020 US presidential election in Manhattan, New York on November 7 2020. Picture: REUTERS/CAITLIN OCHS
A woman reacts in Times Square after a speech by Democratic US presidential nominee Joe Biden after news media announced he has won the 2020 US presidential election in Manhattan, New York on November 7 2020. Picture: REUTERS/CAITLIN OCHS

That noise you heard was the sound of relief sweeping across the US. After several days of counting votes and nearly four years of a corrosive regime, voters chose character over corruption, unity over division, truth over lies — and elected Joe Biden as the 46th US president.

It was fitting that Philadelphia was the place to push Biden over the top — the cradle of US democracy became the city that may restore the national honour tarnished by Donald Trump.

Biden, who served eight years as Barack Obama’s vice-president after a long career in the US Senate, was lifted in his third run for the White House by a coalition that reflects the diversity of America: black voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Pennsylvania, young Latinx voters in Arizona and Nevada, Native American voters in the Southwest — the very people most harmed by Trump’s policies.

Under Trump, we have suffered through racial strife and civil unrest, a pandemic that has killed 240,000 Americans, an economic crisis that has left millions out of work and struggling to put food on the table, a diminished international reputation, the separation of thousands of children from their families — and the coarsening of public discourse. The 45th president spews insults at his political rivals and anyone who challenges him, encourages his supporters to hurl ugly chants at reporters and anyone perceived to be on “the other side” and encourages racist fearmongering.

True to form, Trump released a statement on Saturday accusing Biden of “rushing to falsely pose as the winner” and vowing to start “prosecuting our case” on Monday. But his claims of fraud have proven baseless and it’s not clear what avenues his lawyers have left to challenge results.

Biden, who will win the electoral and popular vote by wide margins, represents the polar opposite of Trump’s divisive instinct. Throughout the campaign, he spoke of unity, of healing, of treating our fellow Americans as family, not the enemy. In the end, Biden’s message of reconciliation and empathy won over Trump’s toxicity and ugly diatribes.

Under Trump, the soul of America has been wounded, but with Biden in office the US now stands a chance at redemption. /Houston, November 7 

Houston Chronicle

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