by Ralph Scharnau
The November 2020 elections resulted in impressive victories for the Democratic Party. The final certified tally showed Biden the winner with 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris won the race for national office at the top of the ticket. And Democrats also now control both houses of Congress.
The transition from the previous administration turned into a jarring fiasco. Trump, the loser, zealously tried and failed to overturn the certified election results, insisting, without proof, that he had actually won reelection by “a wide margin” and the election was “stolen.”
Trump used lawsuits and appealed to friends, elected officials, state supervisors of elections, and the courts to overturn Biden’s victory. These efforts uniformly failed. And he even said that a cabal of socialists, left-wing Democrats, and the media rigged the election against him.
Trump’s most ardent supporters heeded his call to march on the Capitol, standing by and ready to compel lawmakers to proclaim his victory and feed his need for egoistic adulation. Incited by Trump’s inflammatory words, hundreds went to the Capitol. And some extremists became a mob that ransacked congressional offices before the insurrection was quelled by National Guard forces.
Many people turned away in horror from the violence they witnessed on January 6. But most Republicans who broke with Trump over the Capitol insurrection soon returned to the party he continues to control.
Democrats remain united. They believe that the inciters and perpetrators of the Capitol assault must be held responsible and punished.
The Democrats’ majorities are very slim in the House and the Senate. They want to use their new majoritarian status to pursue a progressive agenda. They seek to reverse four years of the Trump administration marked by chaotic and incompetent actions and untruthful pronouncements.
From the moment he took office, the new President laid out an ambitious agenda. He used a flurry of executive orders, memorandums and proclamations to dismantle Trump administration policies that caused great damage to the nation.
Biden swiftly acted to replace Trump’s pandemic response and reverse his environmental actions.
President Biden immediately ramped up the federal response to the COVID-19 virus. Biden plans to curb the coronavirus pandemic by speeding vaccine spending and targeting distribution to high-risk populations and thereby reduce new infections. Biden created an advisory COVID-19 panel of experts and plans to rejoin the World Health Organization.
Environmentally, the President will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord; rescind the Trump rollbacks on vehicle emission standards; impose a moratorium on oil and natural gas leases in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge; and revoke the Keystone XL pipeline permit.
President Biden also took action on other issues. He extended a federal moratorium on evictions and on federally guaranteed mortgages. He called on Congress to cancel up to $10,000 in individual student debt.
Biden protected Dreamers, children of immigrants, from deportation while opening a chance for permanent resident status and a path to citizenship. He ended the Trump practice of finding and deporting undocumented immigrants. And he wants to double the minimum wage.
Biden and Harris reflect the amazing diversity of America. This deeply divided nation will continue the struggle to become a place of healing and hope for all, regardless of politics, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, social class, or religion/spirituality.
February 4, 2021