After several days of ballot counting with results going back and forth between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, it has been declared that Joe Biden is elected as the 46th President of United States of America. Biden received more than the required 270 electoral votes and more than 45 million popular votes. Citizens could not wait for a sooner conclusion, especially when the country is riddled with a host of major unwelcomed problems and issues including a health pandemic where over 237,000 thousand citizens have died from COVID 19, and the nation is experiencing over 1000 deaths per day. We are suffering from a sagging economy where thousands of citizens have become unemployed and are being evicted daily from their places of abode. We see American citizens in large numbers standing in long food lines or driving through spiraling food lines in towns and cities across the nation. Racial injustice and strife is at an all-time high, police are routinely killing young black men and women in what seems like acts of over policing and the culture of white police officers throughout the country.
I have spoken to a number of individuals from across the nation regarding this historical win, Joe Biden becoming the oldest person to occupy the office of President and Kamala Harris soon to become the first African American and first female to hold the office of Vice President of the United States. Historical in that Biden will be oldest President to hold the office at the time he takes office and he is the president to receive the most popular votes in the history of the presidency. Everyone I talked to has expressed joy and excitement over the outcome and great confidence in President Elect Joe Biden’s ability to handle the nation’s business efficiently and compassionately. My contacts believe that President Elect Biden has a and deep and abiding love for this country and that he is a president genuinely concerned about and holding high hope for all citizens. They expressed that their hearts were filled with jubilation, their eyes were filled with tears of joy. We have heard locally from other citizens expressing their pleasure at the predictable demise and soon departure of President Trump, noting that Trump is believed to be the most divisive and racist President known in modern history. They noted that Trump’s daily tweets were designed to divide the nation (I have done more for the African Community than any president shy of President Lincoln), that his erratic and unconventional style of governance aided in shredding American values and weakened America’s power and influence in the world. It is believed that Trump is a threat to our democracy, and he lost valuable credibility with our allies throughout the world. One thing for sure Trump made it crystal clear that he was a proponent of isolationism and was an advocate for tax credit for the rich and rewarding friends while totally disregarding the needs of the middle class. In fact, it is my considered opinion that four more years of Trump and there would be no more middle class.
As one reflects upon four years of a Trump administration, one could not help but to look and be concerned about a Trump movement that attempted to turn back the hands of time when it came to expanding voting rights, police brutality, social unrest, packing the federal courts with conservative judges and justices. Citizens shuddered at Trump’s policies especially when it came to handling the COVID-19 virus, handling race relationships and addressing inequality, immigration reform, equal access to quality health care, criminal justice reform, reparations for descendants of African American slaves, educational opportunities, renewing the equal voting rights act, and more importantly truth and honesty in government.
Citizens are also expressing their displeasure with President Trump’s refusal to accept defeat and allow for a peaceful and smooth transition of power. Trump is contending with zero evidence, that the Democrats stole the election from him, and has declared that he will not go gracefully as all presidents have done in the last twenty or thirty years. Trump is refusing to accept the outcome from states headed by Democratic governors.
Never in the history of the nation have we had a record-breaking voter turnout as was evidenced in the 2020 Election for the President of the United States. Over 140 million votes were cast, which makes the 2020 voter turnout the largest in Amerian History. Now is the time for the nation to get back to the business of serving the people, versus the president serving their own personal interest. Yes, it is a time to celebrate but just for a moment because there is much work and planning to be done, problems to be solved in the coming months ahead to heal the great divide and bring America together again. The three branches of our federal government must work together for the benefit of those who voted for them and sent them to Congress. They know too well that a divided nation can never achieve greatness. We note that too many Republican members of Congress have obviously had their spines severed or removed as evidenced by their inability to challenge Trump on any issues or proposals.
It is a regrettable and sad moment in that the late Congressman John Lewis, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and others are not here to share in the momentous celebration and historical moment. The Biden and Harris win has produced new hope and inspiration for people across the nation, hope that better days are head. Thousands of people wearing masks and, in some instances, practicing social distancing have taken to the streets all over the country in celebration of the soon departure of President Trump and the ascendancy of President Elect Joe Biden.
Dr. Herbert Simmons, Jr. is an associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Grambling State University, former President, Grambling State University Faculty Senate and former Chair, Department of Consumer Education and Resource Management, Howard University, Washington, D.C.