By Emma Campbell
On the morning of Nov. 7, CNN was the first news organization to project President-Elect Joe Biden as the winner of the United States presidential race, after he won over 270 electoral votes and over 70 million popular votes. Biden’s triumph over President Donald Trump is a historic one — making Trump the first president to lose a reelection bid since former President George H.W. Bush in 1992. Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris also made history as the first woman, and woman of color, to be elected to the office of Vice President.
The official call came after four days of pending results. Even now, votes are still being counted in battleground states like Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. Biden’s win in his home state of Pennsylvania was key in securing the president-elect’s victory.
CNN reported the Biden-Harris victory at 11:24 a.m. on Nov. 7, followed by NBC, CBS, ABC, The Associated Press, and Fox News.
“After four long tense days, we’ve reached a historic moment in this election,” CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer announced. “CNN projects Joseph R. Biden is elected the 46th president of the United States, winning the White House and denying President Trump a second term.”
“It is a cathartic moment for millions and millions of Americans,” CNN correspondent Abby Phillip said of the Biden-Harris victory.
All over the world, Biden supporters have taken to the streets to celebrate — dancing the Cupid Shuffle in Times Square, waving campaign posters in Atlanta, and even popping champagne in Biden’s ancestral home of Ballina, Ireland, as photographed by The New York Times. Leaders of important U.S. allies like United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted their support and congratulations to Biden and Harris, expressing optimism for future collaboration in global affairs.
While much of the world seems to have erupted in jubilee — spurred equally by relief and hope — Trump and his supporters are insisting the celebration is premature.
“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed,” Trump said in a statement after the race was called. “The simple fact is this election is far from over.”
Echoing these baseless accusations, Trump supporters have flocked to state capitals to protest the victory they maintain is false.
“I don’t believe the bulls*** about what the press says. A bunch of fake ballots got dropped at four o’clock in the morning. Trump called it,” a protester in Philadelphia told The Guardian.
It was too much to hope that Trump would concede immediately, but the eerie silence we heard from the White House in the hours after the race was called — broken by a couple of deranged tweets written by the president in all caps — signaled something more harrowing than mere resistance. Trump, who self-identified as a “winner” long before he entered any political race, has lost — publicly. His rage will be colossal, and the American people can expect to see direct proof of it in the coming weeks.
Biden’s victory may have prompted hundreds of Trump supporters to flood state capitals in protest, sparking fear of violence, but it has also been the cause of immense hope. The country needs ample time to rebuild. Biden and Harris are prepared to facilitate this process.
In his victory speech on the evening of Nov. 7, Biden directly addressed those who didn’t vote for him.
“For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance,” Biden said. “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And to make progress we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies.”
It is not trite to call for togetherness — to remind ourselves of our basic humanity by refusing to succumb to violence, no matter how angry we might feel. Hateful division is no longer an option.
In his speech, Biden said, “This is the time to heal in America.”
So, let’s heal, and then let’s get to work.
Featured Photo caption: President-Elect Joe Biden was projected the winner of the 2020 presidential election on Nov. 7. Photo by Izze Rios.