Two weeks ago, we published an editorial endorsement for the 2020 presidential, Senate and New Jersey ballot measure elections. Since then, Joe Biden has become the projected 46th President-elect of the United States, Cory Booker was reelected to the United States Senate and New Jersey voters elected to legalize adult-use marijuana and provide tax breaks to military veterans who served in peacetime.
In that same editorial, we explained how the election of former Vice President Joe Biden was essential to beginning a healing process for the United States and its citizens. Now that Biden is the projected winner of the election to the Oval Office, we must recognize how this is merely the first step in doing so, and how for the next four years, we, as a nation, no matter which direction our votes landed, must critique the Biden administration scrupulously and continue the fight for a brighter future, abundant in unity and progression.
We are a nation just as divided today as we were before the election last week. While Biden’s projected victory is a great triumph, it is important to recognize the other 71 million votes for incumbent President Trump. This is an incredibly close race, one that required five days for the media to call and has yet to even be completed in all 50 states.
Furthermore, the United States now has a Democratic president, a Republican majority in the Senate, a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and a conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Our government is entirely reflective of the body it governs, split, more or less, directly down the middle.
When Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016, half of the country celebrated joyously while the other half was left devastated. Instead of choosing to use the next four years to battle out legislation in Congress, Democrats chose to try to have Trump removed from office, based on allegations of international agencies meddling with the election.
Today, President Trump is refusing to concede the election to Joe Biden, claiming the majority of Biden’s votes, which were mail-in ballots, were illegal and should not be counted. Many of Trump’s supporters, both in government and regular citizens, are standing by him, also believing the allegations of mass voter fraud.
Just like how the Democrats should have accepted defeat in 2016 and moved on with the governmental process, Republicans must learn from that juvenile mistake and do the same. While it remains important to investigate any cases of voter fraud that yield substantial evidence, the only thing that will come out of baseless claims made out of stubbornness is more anger amongst country-people and four more years of unproductivity.
Democrats must remember what it was like when Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump four years ago. People were frightened for their futures and firmly believed that the world around them would collapse. Now, Republicans are feeling the same way. It is up to those who voted against Trump to be mature and do their best to reach across the aisle, instead of shutting the door on it. Furthermore, it is up to those who voted against Biden to be mature and give their new projected president-elect a chance, before denouncing him.
While some citizens’ political philosophies lie either sharply right or sharply left, and many occupy an incredibly vast and layered gray zone, it is clear that there are many Americans who believe their way of thinking is the only right way of thinking. This fanatical, “us versus you” approach to political alignment continuing on would be detrimental to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to let the dust settle, assess the horizon and proceed with mindfulness, compassion and purpose.