America celebrated Saturday with a sense of relief after four years of turmoil, chaos and corruption were turned away by the voters who brought sanity, a desire for unity and a focus of values back to a nation of need.
President-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris provided that relief in speeches in Wilmington, Del., after the vote counts gave them a decisive election victory.
In expected, but still a sad example of how far the presidency and the country he tried to destroy proved, deposed wannabe dictator Donald John Trump was golfing with his rich buddies at one of his failing golf clubs in Northern Virginia, refusing to concede and vowing to continue a court fight he cannot win.
Relieved Americans danced in the streets in Times Square in Manhattan, Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C., and many other cities around the country and world.
Biden told his cheering supporters that is is time “to put away the harsh rhetoric” and end “this grim era of demonization.”
“To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy,” Biden, only the second Catholic to win the presidency, said in a reference to the Book of Ecclesiastes. “The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season — a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal. This is the time to heal in America.”
Kamala Harris, the first woman to become vice president, a daughter of immigrants, said “while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
Trump, sadly, fails to accept the fact that he faces a 306-232 Electoral College rejection and a record outpouring of votes that current counts give Biden a winning margin of 4 million ballots and could pass 5 million before the last ones are counted.
“This race is far from over,” he said in a statement released Saturday and vowed to flood the courts with lawsuits to challenge the result that showed Biden winning the vital swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — reversing Trump’s victories there in 2016 — and captured all the states won by Clinton four years ago with 74.6 million votes to 7.1 for Trump.
“For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight,” Biden said Saturday night. “I’ve lost a couple times, myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance.”
“If we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate,” he said in a reference to the partisanship that divides America. “I believe that this is part of the mandate given to us from the American people. They want us to cooperate.”
He listed dealing with the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic as his first order of business.
“I will spare no effort — none, or any commitment — to turn around this pandemic,” he said.
While Republican congressional leaders kept silent about Biden’s win, former Maryland GOP governor Larry Hogan, Sen. Mitt Romney and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush offered strong public congratulations to Biden, along with world leaders like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security,” Johnson said on Twitter.
Biden said he will restore America’s alliance with the World Health Organization and other international partnerships. He promises to overturn Trump’s anti-immigration policies and institute a path to citizenship for the “dreamers” who were promised legal residence status by Obama.
“I’ve long talked about the battle for the soul of America. We must restore the soul of America,” he said Saturday. “Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses. And what presidents say in this battle matters. It is time for our better angels to prevail.”