It was the afternoon of Saturday November 7th I was walking down the street when I unexpectedly got involved in the most exciting civic engagement of recent days. It was an unusually warm, summer-like weekend, a long-awaited electoral college vote count was taking place. After four anxious days for the United States the results were posted, and a collective sigh of relief was audible.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took a lead in Pennsylvania, the state where Biden was born, a swing state, which gave them 273 electoral votes, and surpassed the majority of 270 votes needed to win the presidency. Streets all over the country quickly became flooded with people who wanted to celebrate the victory. Somerville, Massachusetts, the city where I live, was also partying like I’ve never seen before. In Davis Square hundreds of people stepped outside of their apartments and into the streets to celebrate, to sing, to dance, and share the happiness with their neighbors and random strangers. The Guardian from November 7th 2020 says “Joe Biden has been elected the 46th US president, signaling a return to political norms in America after four years of raucous populism and administrative turmoil under Donald Trump.” Not just the win of Democratic candidate Joe Biden, but also the win of Kamala Harris is what was attracting all the attention and was one of the major reasons of celebration that day. Kamala Harris become the first woman, the first African and Asian American, and the first daughter of immigrants, ever to be vice-president elect in the United States. This is a historical moment important for the United States and its diverse population. This is a moment to be proud of. In her victory speech on November 7th, Harris was talking about her mother, an Indian immigrant, and the generations of women of all races who worked hard for this moment. 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.”
Together Harris and Biden made it very clear that their presidency will be focused on diversity, which is a remedy this country needs. The main strategy of this duo is to unite the nation. In his victory speech Biden says that even though he is a Democratic candidate, he will be an “American President”. He thanks “Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Progressives, moderates and conservatives. Young and old. Urban, suburban and rural. Gay, straight, transgender. White. Latino. Asian. Native American. And especially the African American community” who stood up for him. Joe Biden has promised to try and reunite the country. He addressed the supporters of the Republican party with these words “All those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance”.
Biden and Harris pointed out their top priorities for the next four years, including the Covid -19 pandemic, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change. Even though there’s an on going process of transition and Biden’s presidency will begin January 20th 2021, the whole country is here, awaiting, inspired by the powerful words of Joe Biden “With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country — and a thirst for justice — let us be the nation that we know we can be. A nation united. A nation strengthened. A nation healed. The United States of America.”
Feiner, Lauren (2020, November 08). Read Joe Biden’s first speech as president-elect. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/07/read-joe-biden-acceptance-speech-full-text.html
Itkowitz, Colby A. (2020, November 08). Joe Biden, in victory speech, says, ‘This is the time to heal in America’. https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/11/07/trump-biden-election-live-updates
Martin, J., & Burns, A. (2020, November 07). Biden Wins Presidency, Ending Four Tumultuous Years Under Trump. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/07/us/politics/biden-election.html
Moore, D., Arnett, D., Crimaldi, L., Annear, S., Vaccaro, A., & Pan, D. (2020, November 07). After days of waiting, Boston area Biden fans breathe a sigh of relief – The Boston Globe. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/11/07/metro/after-days-waiting-nation-breathes-sigh-relief/