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Biden Will Be the New President, but the US Remains Split and Trump Isn’t Helping

At the news of the Biden-Harris win of the White House, joy explodes in principal American cities. But what will Trump supporters do?

President Joe Biden (Illustration by Antonella Martino)

Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States. He surpassed the 270 electoral college votes required,  to reach 273, while Trump was stuck at 213. The count still continues, but all the TV channels gave Biden the win. The advantage he has over Trump is unreachable.  Kamala Harris is the first female vice president and the first African-Asian elected to office. America has turned the page and a new adventure begins.

At the news of Biden-Harris’s conquest of the White House, joy erupted in principal American cities. People on the street in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington celebrate the change, clap their hands, cars honk wildly. Hymns of liberation are sung and “You’re fired!”, the famous slogan that Trump shouted on his TV show “The Apprentice” when he rejected a competitor,  is heard everywhere.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris illustrated by Antonella Martino

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the presidential ticket that has garnered the highest number of votes in American history. The final tally is still in progress, but they’ve obtained nearly 75 million votes so far. “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be the President for all Americans,”  tweets the president-elect who will speak tonight.

“This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started,” tweeted Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. “The voters have spoken and they have chosen Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be our next president and vice president”  tweeted Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady who first challenged Donald Trump, in the past presidential elections. “It’s a ticket that makes history, a rejection of Trump and a new page for America. Thanks to all those who have contributed to achieving this goal. Let’s go forward together” concludes the former secretary of state. This is followed by the words of Nancy Pelosi, “The victory of Joe and Kamala is a new dawn of hope for the whole country” says, the speaker of the House.

Last night, from Wilmington, Biden had already predicted his victory. After three days that the polls had closed and he was carrying a huge advantage over Trump, he declared “We will win this race with a clear majority. We are adversaries not enemies. I will be the president of everyone: Democrats and Republicans. America is one country”. A calm speech, in search of the very difficult unity. A speech in which he briefly traced the catastrophic legacy that his predecessor left him with: more than 100 thousand people a day infected with Covid-19 and without a national plan to battle the terrible pandemic; with skyrocketing unemployment; with factories, offices, companies, shops and schools, closed. It was a reassuring speech and not for electoral success. He said it clearly with a measured tone, in order not to give any cause  to Trump and the Republicans to protest, to divide the United States even more. His speech was made in the attempt to bring the unity necessary to address the dramatic problems facing the nation. It was a speech made when his victory was already sealed and his advantage unbridgeable.

President Donald Trump (Illustration by Antonella Martino)

Donald Trump will not make the traditional “concession speech”–the speech in which the opponent’s victory is acknowledged–from a White House that, as we have learned, is again infected with the coronavirus. He looks like a caged lion. He threatens to appeal to the federal Supreme Court, which also has no interest in politicizing and enforcing the final decision after Biden had 4 million more votes than the president.

“I won this election, and by a lot,” says Trump, who continues to protest. “Biden runs to falsely claim victory but the elections are not over yet,” he said in a statement announcing that starting Monday his campaign team will begin the legal offensive in court to challenge Joe Biden’s victory “in order to ensure that the electoral laws are fully applied and the winner by right is installed“. Just yesterday, the president changed his team of lawyers who, according to the Washington Post, could not find evidence of his allegations of fraud. Unfounded accusations, at least until now, but which feed the suspicions of his sympathizers. Last night, in Philadelphia, police arrested two people, 61-year-old Joshua Macias and 42-year-old Antonio LaMotta, both of Chesapeake, Virginia, as they were on their way to the polling center where the voting was underway. In their car were two pistols and an AR15 rifle, hundreds of bullets, fake ballot papers, a Qanon “Qcap” and a Qanon decal on the rear window of the car. The police did not provide any other details, but the security measures around the building have been strengthened.

Trump’s tweets today, Saturday, November  7

As previously stated, the counting of the votes is still ongoing in five key states, the coup de grace to Trump’s hopes for a second term came from Pennsylvania, the one that he clamorously snatched from Hillary Clinton in 2016. A Pennsylvania that four years later turned its back on Biden who was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania 77 years ago. The victory is also due to Georgia, a feat that even Barack Obama failed to achieve with his avalanche of wins in 2008 and 2012. The merit also goes to Stacey Abrams, the political activist who had run for the position of state governor but who was defeated thanks to a series of racist decisions made by the incumbent governor, who did everything possible to limit access to the polling stations for the African American community of the state. The defeat gave new vigor to Abrams who founded the “Fair Fight Action” a group that successfully fought against the suppression of votes by the Republicans.

Trump ” as Chaplin’s “Great Dictator” (Illustration by Antonella Martino)

The other ongoing battle is that of the Senate. The Republicans in the past legislature had the majority with 53 seats against the 45 of the Democrats and 2 of the Independents who have always voted with the Democrats. In these elections, the Democrats won a seat in Arizona but perhaps on January 8th they will be able to snatch the majority because in Georgia, due to a series of anomalous circumstances, both seats were up for election and none of the candidates exceeded 50% of the votes. Then on January 8th there will be a run-off between the Democrat John Ossoff and the Republican David Perdue, and the one between the Republican Kelly Loeffler and the Democrat Raphael Warnoch. The run-offs were necessary because there were also other independent candidates in the race for the two chairs. Now, the January vote will take place without them.

Then, in North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis has a slight lead over Democrat Cal Cunningham. If the Senate were to reach parity, 50 to 50, the decisive vote would go to the President of the Senate, a position held by the Vice President, that is, Kamala Harris.

Biden’s supporter in Washington Square Park, New York  (Photo by Terry W. Sanders)

These are dark times at the White House which, in addition to the electoral defeat, is dealing again with the coronavirus. Mark Meadows, the president’s chief of staff, tested positive. Meadows is Trump’s closest collaborator with whom he has constant meetings every day. A Trump campaign advisor and three other people working in the White House would also be positive for Covid-19. The last time Meadows was seen was on the evening of Election Day, November 3rd, at the party that was supposed to be held in the White House for the president’s confirmation. In photographs taken that evening, we see him talking with Trump in the midst of 250 people, and he is not wearing a mask.

And finally, we see that it isn’t only Trump who is changing lawyers. Even Steve Bannon, his former political advisor, arrested for fraud and who will go to trial in May of next year, has changed lawyers, or rather his lawyers have left him in the lurch after his raving tweets in which he called for putting the severed heads of Doctor Fauci and the FBI chief on pikes around the White House.

Translated by Alessandra Loiero

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