Joe Biden’s victory of becoming the 46th president-elect of the U.S. ignited a variety of reactions across the country. After a long week of anticipating results, Biden won a number of swing states and 20 electoral college votes in Pennsylvania, making him surpass the 270 electoral votes needed to gain the presidency. Democrat Biden received over 70 million votes, making him the first candidate ever to do so. Senator Kamala Harris also made history by becoming the first woman and first Black and South Asian American to serve as vice president of the country.
Moments after the race was called, celebrations were sparked with large crowds cheering outside the White House in Washington D.C. where a number of protests demanding justice and equality took place during the summer months. In President Trump’s hometown, New York residents of all ages turned their back on him as they turned the streets into dance floors over his defeat. Supporters of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in Boston backed up traffic as drivers honked their horns and pedestrians cheered along on the sidewalks.
“I never thought this day would come. I cannot believe how happy we all are,” mentioned Arun Kumar Chandran. He is a doctor at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge Massachusetts, and was sitting at a park as he admired the groups of people celebrating in front of him. Chandran told Eat News, “This just had to stop. This country is supposed to be inspirational. I immigrated here when Obama was president and it was so amazing to be a part of that. I just want things to be normal and it’s finally going to be.”
Some demonstrators also climbed traffic lights, chanted song lyrics and handed out free shirts to the crowds for young voters to wear. A college student in the city, Sofia Frias, confessed that she did not see Biden as the proper Democratic candidate at the beginning of the election, “I wasn’t too happy about it but honestly just having a president that will affirm that Black Lives Matter, that climate change is real and that we need universal healthcare is huge so I’m happy.”
Although it was a day of celebration for Democrats, they were still conscious of the fact that it was all happening during a pandemic that continues to have no end in sight. Some wore a mask with the slogan “President Biden” like Kirk, (preferred his last name to not be shared) who mentioned he felt relieved about the election’s outcome. “This has been the most stressful four years, everyday you wake up to some new headache and it feels like we can finally move forward and take care of things we need to take care of in this country.”
Many adults joined the young crowds as well and reflected on how this new generation has changed the country’s fate. Ken (preferred his last name to not be shared) said, “All these young people voted and I think they feel empowered now that their vote actually counted.“ He was parked on the side of the road with his loved ones, looking back at the large crowd. He continued telling Eat News, “I’m so happy that this election came through, more people voted in this election than they did a hundred years ago, it’s just so beautiful to see democracy work.” Americans set a record for casting the most ballots in a presidential election since the 1900, with more than 100 million citizens casting their vote early. Ken concluded, “Thank goodness we’re going to get rid of not only Trump but all the crazy people that he’s put in office with him and gave power to.”
On the other hand, Republicans and theTrump administration were nowhere near as thrilled about the election results and have caused the country to divide. President Trump mentioned in a statement that he is refusing to accept the defeat and has been organizing legal challenges to recount votes in various battleground states. He has expressed his anger through numerous tweets saying the election was “far from over” and falsely blames the election process of fraud without any concrete evidence to prove his claims. Many of his supporters are also denying the loss and gathered in smaller crowds across the country to protest the end of Trump’s presidency.
On the same day, President-elect Joe Biden spoke to the nation saying “This is the time to heal America,” during his victory speech in which he called for unity and compromise. The audience in the drive-in event applauded him as he added his intent to serve all Americans; regardless of who they voted for, “In order to make progress we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies.“ Before introducing her running mate, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris expressed her hope for the future, “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.” The night concluded with inspiring music as the sky lit up with fireworks that lit the sky.
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