by, Sophia Sakellariou, Senior Writer
Joe Biden was declared the 46th President of the United States on Saturday, Nov. 7, after taking the lead in the battleground state Pennsylvania. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris made history as not only the first woman to be elected to the office, but the first woman of color to be elected vice president, and Steve Kornacki can finally go to sleep.
The Biden presidency offers the promise of unity for a nation that is divided and in desperate need of healing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take lives and the economy has yet to bounce back. According to The New York Times, Donald Trump is the first president in more than a quarter-century to lose re-election.
“Let this dim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now,” Biden said in a speech in Delaware Saturday night. “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify.”
This Election Day was unlike any other. Americans did not know who won the presidential election on Tuesday night as in Election Day’s past, even though Trump claimed a false victory at 2:30 a.m. the following morning. Instead, results did not come in until days later as the high volume of mail-in and absentee ballots were counted by poll workers. Voting turnout was at an all time high and Biden set a record with the highest number of votes ever received by a presidential candidate, a whopping 74 million.
When news of Biden’s victory swept the nation on Saturday, cheers and celebrations were heard all over the world. Blasting car horns, banging pots and pans, and shouting from rooftops made an otherwise ordinary day feel like a holiday. In New York City, Times Square and Washington Square Park were met with crowds of people chanting in celebration, the likes of which they hadn’t seen in months.
Similar scenes of triumph were seen in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and across the Atlantic. According to The New York Times, Biden’s distant cousins celebrated in Ballina, Ireland. President Michael D. Higgins of Ireland congratulated Biden in a statement, “wishing him and the American people every good fortune for his term in office, and congratulating Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on her historic achievement.”
According to The New York Times, there are no signs of a traditional concession speech by Trump. Despite his loss, Trump has not changed his plans to go ahead with legal challenges to the election. Trump’s false claims of voter fraud throughout the week sparked outrage among his supporters and critics alike. Standing outside polling centers with guns and Trump flags flying high, this election day week was certainly like no other.
This example of people in power trying to rig the rules in ways that will help them stay in power was a demonstration of a very un-American attack on democracy. It’s unclear how Trump will respond to his loss in the next few days, but top aides and his detractors alike hope he takes the high road and ends his term graciously.