The Limits of Victory

Zeit Online
Joe Biden may have won the election, but the U.S. is still divided and the Republicans are ready to block his every move, even as the country faces grave crises.

On Sat., Nov. 7, 2020, at 11:24 a.m., three and a half days after the polls closed, the U.S. television networks finally called the result of America’s 46th presidential election. If you were not on Twitter or watching TV, you heard the cheering from the streets. Within minutes, across the country, cities erupted in celebration of the Biden-Harris victory. By 11:40 a.m., even the pro-Trump Fox News channel was acknowledging what it preferred to call the “predicted result.”

Four years on from 2016, this is how the end of the Trump administration began. For 52 percent of Americans, it was an extraordinary relief. For 48 percent who supported the president, it was a bitter and barely comprehensible defeat that many, including the president, are still struggling to accept.

There are ways of downplaying the drama of events. It was an election held under unusual circumstances. But the outcome was not, in the end, a surprise. The Democrats won the popular vote as they have in the last seven of eight elections. Once again, the polls underestimated Donald Trump’s support. But Trump is a wild card and his relatively narrow defeat is well within the margin of error. Joe Biden, on the other hand, is the most obvious of candidates. He is, by his own telling, a transitional figure, who by defeating Trump clears the path of demographic destiny.

Read the full article at Zeit

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