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United we stand

United we stand
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The American people have spoken. After what is possibly the most contentious and historic election campaign in American history, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr will become the 46th President of the United States of America. In an election that saw the largest voter turnout in the last 120 years with nearly 160 million people turning up to vote. Biden has won the US Presidency with the highest ever vote count of over 75 million. To Trump's credit, he too received the highest number of votes ever won by a President looking to get re-elected. As congratulations flood in from all across the world, for all intents and purposes, the mad rush and spectacle of the US election is now over. But, if Trump and a select few of his supporters and advisors are to be believed, this election is far from over.

In a series of tweets following his return from his golf course, Trump once again made the baseless claim that he had, in fact, won the election if his legal votes were to be counted and Joe Biden's 'illegal votes' were to be discounted. This was very much the theme of the days following election day when the Trump administration attempted to get the Supreme Court involved in getting the 'illegal vote counting' to stop.

Before going any further, it is important to state that despite the many grim predictions of how the 2020 US Elections could turn out, the reality on the ground has mostly been without serious incident. While certain polling stations were surrounded by armed Trump supporters alleging voter fraud, the order was maintained.

And speaking of things that did not go as expected, the election itself was much closer than any side really expected. The Democrats and their supporters, alongside many expert commentators, had predicted a 'blue wave', an overwhelming show of support by an America that is tired of four years of Trump. Instead, Trump and the Republicans put up a hard fight, even managing to narrow the Democratic majority in the House. As it stands now, Democrats hold the slimmest House majority in the last 20 years. In return, as of now, the Republican majority in the US Senate has been reduced.

The significance of this lost battle even as the war itself was won is not lost on the Democratic Party. Older members of the party have come out with criticism regarding the apparent far-left leaning policies of the socialist base of the party. Some even criticised Democratic lawmakers for supporting calls to defund the police, a policy option that may have cost the party critical elections in certain areas. Overall, the jubilant mood of the big win is balanced by the sombre possibility of facing an empowered Republican Party in both houses of the US Government. Senior Democrats have called for a 'deep-dive' introspection into what contributed to the losses with some claiming that the renewed push to gain ground in Republican strongholds came with the cost of some of the Democratic incumbents becoming vulnerable. At this stage, it is also important to mention that the US elections are actually far from done. While it is debatable as to whether Trump can do anything about Biden's overall win, the Republicans can still consolidate their position as a powerful opposition with more wins in the House and the Senate, a very real possibility at the moment. This may effectively hamstring what the Biden administration could do as Republicans lockdown every policy debate in partisan efforts. This is not new. Obama had to face strong Republican opposition and Biden may have to face even stronger opposition. While Biden has called for the American people to unite as one regardless of differences, partisanship runs deep in American political circles. Moreover, the new divisions in the Democratic party over just how liberal should the party be and what interests it should represent threaten to split the coalition that Biden has banked on and is continuing to bank on. As a moderate who is known to cross the partisan aisle when required, Biden is not lacking in the required experience to make the balance work. The only question is how much will he be allowed to do and how fast. With the pandemic and an economic recession throttling the American nation, Biden has little time to unite the nation. Still, his victory has brought hope, to America and the world and his moment in the sunshine is rightly deserved.

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