Just when we all thought 2020 had no mercy we were finally – FINALLY! – delivered some good – nay, AMAZING – news today when the presidential election was called in favour of Democrat Joe Biden.
Marking the end of a chaotic four-year term under Donald Trump, the change of leadership comes not a minute too soon, at a time when the country is more polarised than ever, and as the US reported a third straight daily record for new coronavirus cases (over 127k infections in 24 hours).
But after four agonising days waiting the result, and four agonising years with Trump at the helm, what do we have to look forward to under President Joe Biden?
A game-changing VP
Joe’s vice president will be Kamala Harris, the first ever female VP, as well as the first black and Asian American woman in office. With a previous president who regularly displayed misogyny and racism, looks like things should be looking up with Harris second in command.
Unfathomably, for arguably the most powerful person on the planet, Trump has had a hard time buying into widely accepted expertise and science. He recently referred to his chief scientific advisor as a “disaster” and scientists in general as “idiots”, and regularly claims that climate change is a hoax. Just this week, the US withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord (signed by more than 190 countries) meaning that they will no longer stick to agreed targets to reduce emissions.
Biden has referred to Trump as a “climate arsonist” and has vowed that he will “stick to science” once he’s elected. Hard to believe that that’s now become a radical position, but such is life under Donald.
A shift of rhetoric – and a tough time
As well as being generally incorrect, Trump’s speeches and Tweets are often inflammatory, aimed to engage his right-wing base, and in doing so, create an ever-starker divide between his supporters and his opponents. Biden’s team have a HUGE job to do to bring the country back together, but, as he clearly stated this week:
“My responsibility as President will be to represent the whole nation. And I want you to know — that I will work as hard for those who voted against me as for those who voted for me. That’s the job. It’s called a duty of care. For all Americans.”
However good his intentions, the scale of the issue means it won’t happen quickly or easily. He’s got his work cut out.
We’re rooting for ya, JB! You got this!