Trump ousted in record turnout

27th Nov 2020
Trump ousted in record turnout

(Photo credit: postermywall.com)

Hamed Chapman

“The people of this nation have spoken. They’ve delivered us a convincing victory. A clear victory,” 77-year-old US President-elect Joe Biden proclaimed after winning the highest number of votes in American history.

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but to unify,” Biden told supporters in his home town of Wilmington in Delaware. After four years of rule by maverick President Donald Trump, he said it was “a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow and a time to heal.”

Despite defeating Trump when achieving a record of 78 million votes, the sitting President extraordinarily refused to concede the election to his rival Democrat and instead threatened to lodge a flurry of lawsuits in pivotal states without citing any evidence of widespread fraud.

“The simple fact is, this election is far from over,” the eccentric President said amid fears he was contemplating staging a coup to stay in office after accusing media outlets of colluding with Biden, who will be the country’s second Catholic President after John Kennedy, to steal the White House.

The record turnout, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, was projected at around 66 %, the highest in the US since 1908 although still far less than in most other western democracies. No less than 54 million votes of the 151 total cast were by post and took several days to count but the final projected outcome in the country’s electoral college system was 306 to 232 in Biden’s favour, ironically the inverse of the result of the last election in 2016 when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

The result was also a landmark with Kamala Harris, running on Biden’s ticket, set to become the first woman, the first African-American, and the first Asian-American to take on the role of Vice-President. “Democracy is not a state; it is an act,”

Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, quoted the late Black congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis saying in her victory speech while recalling it was 55 years since all women secured the right to vote in the US. In an interview with Arab American News, the VP-elect also pledged that Biden would reverse several of Trump’s controversial policies on Palestine and the broader Middle East, including immediately restoring relations with the Palestinians.

The new President is also reportedly planning to issue a flurry of executive orders for the US to rejoin the Paris climate accords, reverse Trump’s controversial withdrawal from the World Health Organization and repeal the travel ban on some Muslim-majority countries.

With 35 seats up for election in the US Senate, Democrats were only able to make a net gain of one seat with overall control officially coming down to two Georgia run-offs in January with Republicans currently left with 50 seats and Democrats holding 48 seats.

In the lower chamber of the House of Reps, Democrats continued their control with victors including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who among four congresswomen was told by Trump to ‘go back home’ despite being born in the US, was re-elected to her New York seat. In an interview with The New York Times, Ocasio-Cortez admitted that she wasn’t even initially sure if she was going to run for re-election this year, lashing out at the lack of support from even her party.

For the first time in US history, political analysts projected that South Asian Americans would be a vital factor that tipped not only the presidential vote in key swing states but also electoral decisions in local races nationwide. According to Breaker of Fourth Walls researcher Kiran Misra, this was due to the growing number of South Asian Americans working on political campaigns across the country as well as a record-breaking number of South Asian candidates running for office.

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