The election is over, the votes have been tallied and, like it or not, the Electoral College has certified Joe Biden as our new president-elect. Whether or not you supported him, it is time to move forward with the business of democracy. Come Jan. 20, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as our newly elected leaders, and they deserve a chance.
In every election, we want our preferred candidate to win. But whether they win or lose, our great country moves forward with a peaceful transition of power. That is how America conducts itself and how democracy works. In the wake of a hard-fought election, we must not lose sight of the fact that, despite our differences, there is much more that unites us than divides us.
Venomous partisanship has been the order of the day for far too long. We have a responsibility to bring the temperature down and pursue civility and mutual respect. Some may find my position shocking, but it shouldn’t be. We should want our president to succeed, whether we voted for him or not. A successful presidency is good for the country, good for democracy and good for us as Americans.
Joe Biden is qualified for the job. He has decades of government experience, having first been elected to the U.S. Senate in November 1972. He was sworn into office at 30, becoming the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history, and one of only 18 who took office before turning 31. He was reelected six times before becoming vice president in November 2008, and served as second in command for eight years.
In other words, he knows the job, has deep White House experience and has a reputation rooted in statesmanship, kindness and decency. Perhaps most importantly, he has demonstrated a willingness and ability to reach across the aisle, and has a long history of collaboration with Democrats and Republicans.
Our country is in the throes of crisis. COVID-19 continues to sweep the nation, infecting millions and killing thousands of Americans. Millions have lost their jobs, and the jobless are now behind in their rent and utility payments. The possibility of mass evictions looms. Food distribution lines have become a common sight.
We need strong and steady leadership, and I sincerely hope that Joe Biden will be able to deliver it.
Lost in the fray and the friction is the historic nature of the Biden-Harris ticket. Sen. Kamala Harris, by stepping into the role of vice president, shatters a glass ceiling for women and women of color. Her ascendance is a historic event worth celebrating, no matter party affiliation.
By her election alone, Harris is showing the women and girls in this country that if you are willing to work hard and dream big, you can succeed in America. We are a nation of people from wide-ranging backgrounds, and our new administration reflects this diversity.
For all the people who are rooting against Biden, I urge you to rethink your position. Set aside your frustration and hostility, and consider that when you root against a duly elected president, you are rooting against the democratic process. Sadly, during the early days of Donald Trump’s presidency, many spoke openly of their hopes that he would fail, but he succeeded nonetheless.
These are challenging times. We need to lift one another up instead of knocking one another down. And despite the ravages of COVID-19, the millions out of work and the looming threat of more hardship, I believe we can get through it all if we stand together and put our differences aside.
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