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Biden has clinched the election, but the US is as divided as ever

At time of writing, three days after the final US election ballot was cast, the identity of the next term’s President remains shrouded in mystery (or, at least, unannounced). Biden has taken a comfortable lead, with 264 electoral votes to Trump’s meagre 214 and Pennsylvania being the most recent swing state to apparently swing his way. At time of print, the result will probably have been published.

If Biden wins, which he most likely will, it will be a response to the last four years of the Trump administration. Biden stands against police brutality, migrant children being forcibly separated from their parents, tax reductions, and not wearing a mask in public. He stands for minority rights, liberal social policy and, in many ways, a return to sanity – or at least normality.

Biden’s victory means that people are voting against unfettered, provocative and entirely inappropriate Presidential tweeting. Trump has used Twitter to repeatedly replace ‘Covid-19’ with the nomenclature of ‘China virus’, the xenophobia of which echoes his tweeted 2012 claims that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”.

The unfathomable beef in his tweets has teetered on almost starting a physical fight with his election opponent (“Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy…he doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way”) to almost starting World War 3 with North Korea (“I too have a Nuclear Button, but [mine] is a much bigger and more powerful one”).

On the other hand, Donald Trump’s assumption of a second term relies on a persistent and pervasive feeling, specifically throughout the geographically central states of America, that the Democrats just cannot represent their views.

It might seem totally inexplicable that a man who uttered “Grab ’em by the pussy” and “Mexico will pay for the wall!” could assume the highest office in the land for a second term, but lest we forget that it was totally inexplicable when he did it the first time.

His policies have resonated with almost 70 million voters and he’s increased his support amongst minorities. Even after the year’s rioting against the administration and racially-motivated police brutality, the 2020 exit polls suggest that Trump has improved his standing with Black voters since 2016 by at least two percentage-points. According to the Democracy Fund survey, he has been supported by 21% of Black voters under 45. His share of the Hispanic vote, too, has increased over the last four years, and was a big factor in Trump’s Florida win – all 29 electoral votes of it.

The Student asked a Trump supporter why they personally voted red. They stated that it was, “for his policies and in spite of his personality”. They admitted, “it makes us all feel awkward and we have to endure that, but he’s the person that represented the politics of the centre right”.

This story is less about whether or not Trump will win. Even if the race hasn’t yet been called, the writing is on the wall. Biden will triumph. However, it hasn’t been the Blue Wave pundits and social media had anticipated. Trump has vindicated himself in that respect.

It is important that if (or when) Biden wins the Presidency, the Democrats do not merely write the last four years off as an isolated and anomalous embarrassment. They must investigate the conditions left by the Obama administration that led to the election of Donald Trump. They must acknowledge the disenfranchisement of 50% of the American population, and the roots of their desire to be represented by a man that has been widely described as a fascist.

Image: Wikimedia Commons