Editorial: Biden, Harris must unite America

(Photo courtesy of Bri Olinger | Flickr)
By The Viewpoints Editorial Board

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been elected the United States’ 46th president and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will become the first Black woman and first person of South Asian descent to serve as vice president.

This victory inspired a sense of progress, hope and healing for many. But, assuming President Donald Trump’s litigation attempts fall flat, the Biden Administration will face the COVID-19 pandemic, economic depression, and a distressed and divided America come January.

The lack of unity has shown itself in the streets of our nation, as well as in the stark division between blue and red states shown on the electoral map this year. Remember, at last count, Trump had received 72, 307,888 votes.

Although our current political situation may not be ideal for the majority of American voters — even some who voted for Biden —  there is an opportunity to move past the political polarization of America in recent years. 

In his victory speech, Biden said that he does not see red and blue states, but a United States. He promised to work for every American, regardless of their political affiliations or beliefs. National unity has been a recurring theme in Biden’s campaign.

In winning the 2020 presidential election, Biden and the Democratic Party that he leads must begin to pay attention to the nuances of belief that exist within our country. Not all registered Democrats embrace social welfare policies and not all registered Republicans condone racism. Some registered Democrats advocate for Second Amendment gun ownership and some registered Republicans support LGBTQ+ rights.

It is Biden’s task to represent all of these Americans, whether they voted for him or not. The president-elect must also consider the wishes of those who oppose him while maintaining the promises he made for his first 100 days in office, many of which Republican voters are against.

In our last editorial, we said every politician must be questioned, investigated and watched closely. Biden is no exception.

The president-elect has promised that the United States will rejoin the World Health Organization immediately and that his administration will begin working on its pandemic response from the start. This includes planning for effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and the cancellation of at least $10,000 in student loan debt per person to relieve financial hardship, as he tweeted in March.

Biden also promised to reverse Trump’s corporate tax cuts and environmental decisions, strengthen the Voting Rights Act and begin work on a $2 trillion climate plan that aims for zero carbon emissions by 2050. Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement is also an immediate action he has promised.

In regard to immigration, he has promised to make the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program permanent on his first day in office and hold law enforcement agencies accountable for human rights violations.

He promises much more. It may be unrealistic to expect Biden to accomplish these monumental tasks, but his administration must be held accountable for enacting reforms to properly correct detrimental policies implemented over the last 4 years.

The time to put country over party is here.

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