"That is definitely an achievement for Trump, and even the most rabid Biden supporter cannot simply brush it aside."
As of this writing, the major US networks have called for former Vice-President Joe Biden in the hotly contested US presidential elections. Despite the prospect of long drawn out court battles over allegations of fraud and related irregularities in six battleground states which may go all the way to the US Supreme Court, as far as the networks are concerned Biden has crossed the 270 electoral college threshold to put him on course to become the 46th president of the United States of America.
Immediately after Pennsylvania was declared for him, the presumptive victor called on all Americans to come together and unite as a nation. In a speech before cheering supporters in his home state of Delaware, Biden thanked the American people for the trust they have placed in him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to lead the nation in the next four years. He urged the nation to “put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind, as it is time for America to unite and to heal.”
Earlier, President Donald Trump, ever the outsider and the disruptor he has always been since he captured the White House four years ago, continued to defy convention and refused to concede the election. While stating for the record that he will accept the results if he is declared the winner, his campaign released a statement, saying: "We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don't want the truth to be exposed."
We will soon see if Trump’s challenge gets any kind of traction at all as his campaign takes the first steps to mount his multiple court challenges. It is very possible that he will be able to put together a credible effort given the razor-thin margins in the four most competitive states of Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Nevada. Except in Nevada where Biden was leading by 37,355 votes or 2.2 percent of the total, his margins were not even 1 percent of the millions of votes cast. In Georgia where a recount has been set, he led by 9160 votes or just 0.2% of the total. In Arizona, Biden is leading by 18713 votes or just 0.5 percent and in Pennsylvania he was ahead by just 37355 or 0.6 percent of the total.
For now, the Biden-Harris team can take comfort in the fact that there has not been any showing of credible, massive irregularities which can tilt the balance against their presumptive victory. It has already been called in their favor and all eyes are now fixed on how the court battles will finally end.
We note that in the last hotly contested presidential election in recent history, Gore vs Bush, it took 36 days before then Vice-President Al Gore conceded to President elect George W. Bush and only after the US Supreme Court decided the Florida vote count in the latter’s favor. In all probability, unless Trump suddenly has a change of heart, Biden’s officially getting proclaimed by the US Congress and taking the oath on January 20, 2021 will have to wait even longer.
But no matter. The Democratic team can bask in the outpouring of congratulatory messages from the leaders of America’s allies across the globe especially in Europe most of whom have had testy relations with President Trump. They can also claim a kind of double victory of sorts in the domestic front as the latest figures show that Biden has garnered 74, 446, 452 votes, the highest popular vote in American history, out of the record-high 160 million votes cast which is also the highest in any US presidential elections. They can also begin preparing for their eventual take over of the reins of power in what Biden himself described in his speech as one of the most critical times in US history. They now have to show they can deliver on their promises and get America into the light after the “darkness it has gone through under Trump.”
But for them to do that, they have to contend with the fact that despite all the slings and arrows which have been thrown Trump’s way all through his rocky presidency exacerbated in part by his brash, egotistical persona, which the Democrats dramatically exploited along with the public grievances during this pandemic, the incumbent president still managed to garner 70,520,675 votes of the total votes cast. He was also able to expand the Republican base among Latinos, Blacks, Asian-Americans and other minorities including Native Americans. That is definitely an achievement which even the most rabid Biden supporter cannot simply brush aside. Some observers even ventured the point that if only Trump managed his behavior in the days after the second presidential debate and just before casting his vote on election day, he could have actually pulled a handsome victory over Biden instead of going through the rigors of the court battles he has committed to do no matter how long it may take.
In any event, that razor-thin divide, if we may call it such, was actually reflected in the final Rasmussen polling contained in its Daily Reports the day before the elections last November 3. That poll showed Biden leading Trump by just a percentage point, 48 percent to 47 percent which, for all intents and purposes, is what finally happened even as the court battles remain. Only Rasmussen managed to call the elections in what it eventually turned out to be – a dead heat. All the others, from the networks to the Pew Center to Quinnipac as well as the political punditry were dead wrong. The last national polling by all of them called Biden by an average 8 percentage points – way off the mark which can sink the credibility of these surveys for years to come.
So, as the Biden-Harris team try as hard as they can to get America moving into the light, as they promised to do, they have to be continually reminded of that dead heat divide now so graphically translated into a divided government. Reports have it that the Republicans are poised to retain control of the US Senate albeit by just two or three votes depending on the outcome of the runoff elections in Georgia. They have also increased their seats in the House of Representatives though not enough to take over the leadership. Up to now, they still hold an edge in state governorships.
That should keep Democrats on their toes as they cannot simply run roughshod and push aside whatever the Trump presidency has done in the past four years under its “America First” policy. Such measures as tax cutting to deregulation to energy self reliance (remember fracking) and climate change to China, UN and WHO bashing to restrictive immigration and, of course, delimitation of ObamaCare will probably stand far longer than the Democrats promised during the campaign.
No less than the renowned author and political pundit Patrick Buchanan noted in a recent article that Donald Trump may end up losing the 2020 election in the Electoral College, but won the campaign that ended on Nov. 3. Thus, Buchanan elaborated:
“Democrats had been talking of a "sweep," a "blowout," a "blue wave" washing the Republicans out of power, capturing the Senate, and bringing in an enlarged majority in Nancy Pelosi's House. They visualized the ouster of Trump in a defeat so massive and humiliating that it would serve as an eternal repudiation of the man. And, most intoxicating of all, they believed they would be seen by history as the angels of America's deliverance.”
The American electorate failed to perform its designated role in the establishment's morality play. Indeed, Democrats ended Tuesday night terrified that America had again turned its back on them and preferred Trump to the leaders and agenda they had put forth…Trump may lose the presidency, but Trumpism was not rejected. Nor was it repudiated by the people if, by Trumpism, one means "America First" nationalism, securing our borders, using tariffs to bring back our manufacturing base, bidding goodbye to globalism, staying out of unnecessary wars and swearing off ideological crusades…”
And so, as is now getting obvious, the ideological divide and poisoned politics in America will linger for sometime. As Buchanan correctly advised, there is little likelihood of compromise — or even civility. To the contrary, he noted, there is no new "Era of Good Feelings" in store for America.