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Welcome Joe Biden, Goodbye Donald Trump

Rayhan Ahmed Topader:

 

 

Joe Biden now 46th president of the United States. He briefly worked as an attorney before turning to politics. He became the fifth-youngest U.S. senator in history as well as Delaware’s longest-serving senator. His 2008 presidential campaign never gained momentum, but Democratic nominee Barack Obama selected him as his running mate, and Biden went on to serve two terms as the 47th vice president of the United States. In 2017, at the close of his administration, Obama presented Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Two years later Biden launched his campaign for U.S. president and was elected as the 46th president of the United States

The victory of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., who forged a 50-year career as senator and vice president from his Delaware homestead, is a full circle moment that comes more than 30 years after his first presidential campaign.

Biden’s life of tragedy he buried his first wife and his first daughter, and his adult son Beau, who died in 2015, survived two brain aneurysms and stayed in politics after two failed White House campaigns shaped his image as a man of resilience and decency. Those qualities made him America’s choice as a president who could shoulder the grief of a nation traumatized by the loss of more than 234,000 citizens to Covid-19, with millions unemployed in an environment of intense economic uncertainty.

Biden’s victory means that Trump’s rage-filled presidency powered by his nationalism, toxic racial appeals, incessant lying and assault on democratic institutions may come to be seen as a historical aberration rather than a new normal. Democratic candidate Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., was elected the 46th President of the United States on November 7, beating incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump, by securing more than the required 270 of 538 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. Mr. Biden’s running mate, Kamala Devi Harris, a U.S. Senator from California, will become the first woman and first Indian- and African-American Vice-President of the country. Mr. Biden will inherit, from President Trump, a deeply divided country, battered by the coronavirus pandemic, facing high levels of unemployment and fraying race relations. Associated Press, and the New York Times started projecting Mr. Biden as the winner, celebratory shouts, car horns and festive music was heard on the streets of Washington D.C.as Americans had waited more than three full days to hear who their next President would be. Similar celebrations were reported in other cities across the country including New York.

As the result was finally called, the end of his presidency confirmed, Donald Trump teed off on a crisp.

But many false claims Trump has made over the past four years lying about the size of his inauguration crowd, lying about the trajectory of a life-threatening hurricane, lying about the deadliness of the coronavirus the lies about this election are the most farcical and grotesque.A growing chorus of world leaders, some members of the Republican party, and tens of millions of Americans have already begun to move on. Trump cast a lonely figure as he returned to the White House after golfing, his motorcade met on the street by hundreds of protesters who simultaneously gave him the middle finger. In 2018, I sat in a federal courthouse in McAllen, Texas, and watched a man named Ramón Villata, an asylum seeker from El Salvador, beg a US judge to be reunited with his two-year-old son. They had been ripped apart by the administration’s child-separation policy, perhaps the most damning indictment of the morality vacuum created by his presidency. In 2017, I was dispatched to Charlottesville, Virginia, a day after the murder of the antiracism activist Heather Heyer. I watched her friends and family weep after her death at the hands of a white supremacist terrorist, after torch-waving neo-Nazi thugs had screamed Jews will not replace us during a violent rally in her home town.

Trump described very fine people on both sides” in the immediate aftermath of a racist riot, an abhorrent nod to white supremacists. Later that year, I reported from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria claimed the lives of 3,057 Americans. As Trump tossed paper towels into a crowd in San Juan, the island’s capital, and professed his administration had done a fantastic job in the recovery, I sat with a family in a remote rural town in the centre of the island who had lost almost everything, forced to drink stream water and live by candlelight. They had received no federal aid, and the administration would continue to fail the island for months to come. And this year, in some of the poorest communities of colour in the US south, I have witnessed the tragedy of death, illness and economic hardship imposed by the pandemic on society’s most vulnerable. All amid antagonism against public health, objective science, and a culture war, instigated by the most powerful man on earth, over the simple act of wearing a face mask. Rhetoric, policy and competence are easy to rectify. But uniting the nation, restoring faith in institutions, facts and truth, and now the democratic process itself, will be the challenge of Joe Biden’s lifetime.

The turnout in the 2020 elections expected to be over 70% is the highest in decades, with Mr. Biden receiving about 74 million votes, the highest in history, and Mr. Trump receiving 70 million, the second highest in history. The Trump campaign mounted close to a dozen legal challenges across the country in various courts to either stop ballot counting or provide Republican observers greater access to ballot counting centres (such as in Pennsylvania). However, their attempts have met with little success. Allegations and suggestions of voter fraud, including by the President and his sons, as well as top Trump campaign officials and a few Republican lawmakers, have not been backed by evidence.A country weary of nearly a year of lockdowns, separation from family and friends, and economic deprivation will need to be mobilized to adopt aggressive new steps to conquer a pandemic that Biden argued the Trump administration essentially gave up fighting. The much-anticipated arrival of a vaccine that experts hope would be widely available in 2021 is a potential ray of hope, though it will be many months before life is back to normal. That means that Biden’s first year the time when a new President’s power is maximized will be dominated by the coronavirus.

And it remains uncertain whether Biden’s pragmatic instincts, his lonely belief that a new era of cooperation is possible with Republicans, and his desire to preserve a winning coalition that included moderates and Never Trumpers could lead to early clashes with Democratic progressives.Biden’s task is complicated by inheriting a political climate intensely polarized by Trump’s presidency. After months of predictions by the President that the election will be rigged, Trump’s supporters see the Democrat’s victory as illegitimate, confounding his hopes of forging national unity.A battle for the future ideological direction of the Republican Party between the President’s partisans and more traditional conservatives in the post-Trump era could sow further discord in Washington. And the chances that Trump will simply fade into history seem minimal given the real estate mogul’s history of controlling the news cycle as he weaponizes his Twitter feed to settle political grievances. Biden’s international aspirations also face challenges. The world has moved on during four years of American distraction. China has accelerated its powe.

Writer and Columnist

raihan567@yahoo.com