Editorial: Defend our democracy

Stitching together divided citizens

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Emily Tan

“President-elect Biden is not a panacea for all our ailments, but he is a step in the right direction. Biden has promised to ‘be a president for all Americans,’ regardless of political affiliation, and he brings with him a history of bipartisanship in his nearly 50 years serving the American people.”

In a survey sent out to members of the Harker Journalism news staff, 25 of the 26 respondees indicated that they agreed with the stance of this editorial.

Nearly two years ago, Harker Aquila drove up to Oakland, the hometown of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-C.A.), scrambling for a front seat in the press stands as she flung open her arms to a crowd of waving yellow and blue signs at the announcement of her bid for presidency. Two years later, we stepped onto the threshold of the next chapter, gathering community reactions as Harris and former vice president Joseph R. Biden ascended to the White House. 

On Saturday morning, the Associated Press declared the race in favor of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, who surpassed the 270-vote threshold after a win in Pennsylvania and will likely pick up more in the coming weeks as the count continues.

As results rolled in the evening of Nov. 3, we found ourselves suspended between two possible outcomes. Constantly reloading the results tab. Calculating the various paths to 270 electoral votes. Discussing the trends in battleground states with family and friends. We shared polling information and election maps on social media, attentively tracking the percentages in each battleground state. Now, it’s time to take a breath.

As the first Black and South-Asian woman vice president, Harris’ modus operandi of shattering ceilings carries on to the smooth sandstone of the White House, inviting a new phase of American politics that reflects the country’s shifting racial demographics. For our predominantly Asian community, this heralds a groundbreaking step in representation at the highest levels of government, ushering in the confidence that our shared racial and cultural experiences will play a greater role in informing policy in the coming years.

We want a return to civil discussions and a rest from turmoil. We need to set aside partisan interests and focus on healing the pandemic at hand. Most of all, we want a return to normalcy — and Biden’s history of political compromise might steer us in the right direction. ”

The 160 million ballots cast constitute the greatest voter turnout in American history, split nearly half and half with over 70 million votes for each candidate. This race was by no means a moment of unification. Instead, we watched a harsh scramble to the top with both candidates caught in a tight headlock.

The reign of President Trump ushered in a jarring shift from the decorum and respect associated with the office of the American presidency. Throughout the past four years, he has continually exploited his office for personal financial gain, refusing to divest his assets. On election night, he held a rally in the sacred halls of the White House. In the week since, he threatened the founding democratic principles of our nation by casting baseless accusations on the integrity of the voting process and publicly calling to stop counting American votes.  

For nearly 250 years, our country has operated under the assumption that public officials every four years would have to regain the mandate of the people. By undermining the vote-counting process and attempting to salvage the invalid possibility of a second administration, Trump has continued his pattern of disregarding the unity of the nation.

President-elect Biden is not a panacea for all our ailments, but he is a step in the right direction. Biden has promised to “be a president for all Americans,” regardless of political affiliation, and he brings with him a history of bipartisanship in his nearly 50 years serving the American people. 

We want a return to civil discussions and a rest from turmoil. We need to set aside partisan interests and focus on healing the pandemic at hand. Most of all, we want a return to normalcy — and Biden’s history of political compromise might steer us in the right direction. 

The bedrock of our democracy may have cracked over the past four years, but it’s time to fill it in. Piece by piece, day by day, hand in hand.