(November 8, 2020) When the outcome of the the US election was called by numerous news networks on Saturday, November 7, four days after Election Day on November 3, the world exhaled.
With the vast majority of ballots cast by mail, and Republican legislators in battleground states like Pennsylvania preventing the counting of mail-in ballots until the polls closed on November 3, poll workers spent days after Election Day bent over millions of ballots systematically counting each vote, while Trump supporters brought their noisy well-armed protests to the doors of voting-counting facilities exhorting them to stop counting these “illegal” ballots. The world, quite understandably, wondered how it would all end.
As of writing, the vote count looks like this:
After four years of bearing witness to jaw-dropping impropriety, racist policy and corruption with American institutions seemingly unable to curtail the president’s behaviour, people from all over the world and from all walks of life, conveyed their sense of relief through Twitter on Sunday. Perhaps America could survive after all.
Ava DuVernay thanked the city of Philadelphia for being the city that caused the networks to make the final the call.
Mick Jagger wrote about looking forward to being able to come back to the US.
The Dalai Lama said he places “great hope in the democratic vision of the US.”
Bob the Drag Queen (winner of the eighth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race) spoke for a lot of Americans when he said it’s the first day he hasn’t been ashamed to be an American in a long time.
Hilary Clinton said her piece.
As the first draft of history gets written, more response will come in the 73 days until inauguration day .
Objectively speaking, the mishmash of voting rules, the lack of nationwide protocols, the level of voter suppression up to and including the involvement of the US Postal Service, America can surely save itself the trouble of declaring that it is the “greatest democracy on earth.” Yet, despite the obstacles put in their way, voters had their say by turning out in number, led in many states like Georgia by Black women.
The sitting president has not actually conceded the race, the Republicans are mounting petty legal challenges and the Biden-Harris team have many challenges ahead, the first of which is trying to get their arms around an uncontrolled pandemic.
But, so far, the arc of justice seems to be bending in the right direction. The US is not out of the woods yet, but a path seems to be forming.