Written by Arshiya Sangar, a grade 11 student
Joe Biden of the Democratic Party has been projected as the President-Elect by all major international news networks. What does this imply? What are some issues he aims to focus on?
What Sealed the Deal?
The election result was stuck at 253 – 214 (Biden – Trump) for quite a long time, however, the 20 electoral college votes of the battleground state of Pennsylvania were what won Biden the election. Trump seemed to be leading in the state for the longest time, until Biden took the lead on November 6 (presumably owing to the counting of mail-in ballots, which were considered to be largely Democratic).
What Does Biden Intend To Focus On?
Primarily, Joe Biden has campaigned through the election on the claim that he shall govern in a radically different way from Donald Trump. During the presidential debates, he talked about how he plans to tackle the coronavirus pandemic; Trump was for opening the country up and ‘getting things back to normal’, Biden was for a more cautious approach, including mandating masks, increasing COVID testing and working towards the development of a vaccine.
He has rallied his younger audience by bringing up the issue of climate change and talking about how seriously he plans to address it, in contrast to Trump, who is reluctant to admit that climate change is a reality, let alone deal with it. He has also said that he will rejoin the Iran Nuclear Deal, which Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from in 2018.
Several citizens were worried by Mr. Trump’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare), which was aimed at providing healthcare coverage (i.e. insurance) to the millions of Americans who did not have it at the time. They feared that they would lose their coverage if Mr. Trump got a second term. He has alleviated these concerns, saying that once he is in power, he will work towards improving the healthcare system and building on the progress made as a result of Obamacare.
Mr. Biden has promised to work towards controlling gun violence and battling racism (an extremely important issue to address after the murder of George Floyd). These and similar issues were also talked about by him during his run as Vice-President alongside Barack Obama. He has promised to ‘bring back decency and honesty’ to the Office of the President, and to revive ‘the soul of the American nation’.
Will Trump Concede Defeat?
It is tradition that when a candidate loses the election, they immediately make a concession speech in order to facilitate the peaceful transfer of power. However, it is worth noting that when asked during a press conference earlier this year if he would concede to a peaceful transfer of power, President Trump was unable to answer in the affirmative. Trump has refused to acknowledge the outcome of the election (as of November 7, IST), attributing it to his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. He says that he will challenge the results in court very soon.
What Does This Mean For The American People?
The fact that the incumbent (i.e. currently in power) President refuses to accept the verdict of the people is very worrying; his official statement once the projection had been made was, “This election is far from over”. Supporters of the Trump campaign have also been holding protests in several states, which may escalate in the days to come. With all this in mind, considering US gun sales were at a record high in the week before the election, the country may be verging on a civil war. This sensitive political situation needs very mature and careful handling to diffuse.
The United States of America has its President-Elect, and at a time when the global situation is so volatile and intricate, one hopes that he shall be able to rise to the occasion and be the leader the world and his country need him to be. Whether he shall live up to what is required of him, however, remains to be seen.