Hallelujah! A national nightmare is almost over | Editorial

Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board, Orlando Sentinel
·3 min read

Joe Biden will be our next president.

No more insane tweets. No more lying at a clip that makes fact-checking impossible. No more clowns like Steve Bannon placed in positions of responsibility. No more empowering racists. No more nonstop boasting. No more edge-of-your-seat anxiety every time the most powerful person in the world opens his mouth.

It’s as if we can finally breathe again, knowing the nightmare and chaos of these last four years is coming to an end.

We know some of our readers won’t see it that way. For various reasons, they’re happy with President Trump or suspicious that President-elect Biden will lead us down a path to socialism.

That’s not happening. The socialism charge was a predictable GOP campaign strategy that would have been used against any of the other Democrats who ran for the presidential nomination.

We expect Biden will govern to the left of center, but we all know he’s no Bernie Sanders. He’s also likely to contend with a Senate that remains in Republican hands.

Biden will surround himself with competent public servants, a refreshing change from the last four years when competence and service took a back seat to personal loyalty to Trump. He’ll also govern with a measure of kindness and empathy that Trump doesn’t possess.

He’ll take the pandemic seriously. He’ll take the need for health care seriously. He’ll appreciate the value of our longtime foreign allies. He’ll try to solve immigration problems with compassion.

When Trump won his surprising victory in 2016 we urged him to bridge the divides that separate Americans. Back then, many Americans thought the awesome responsibility that comes withe being president might temper the ugly impulses we saw during his campaign.

Were we ever wrong. Trump became the most divisive president in memory, whether it was his response to racial strife or the pandemic or even this election. His was a presidency of scandal, insults, grievances and payback. He governed through fear, intimidation and bullying. And Americans have another couple of months to sweat out what he might do in the weeks and months before Biden’s inauguration.

The president’s pride may stop him from even conceding, and he’s likely to keep stoking the flames of disinformation about the election being rigged. We knew this was coming. In August Trump told rally attendees in Wisconsin, “The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.”

Fittingly, Trump was on the golf course when news came last Saturday morning that every news organization had called the race for Biden after new returns from Pennsylvania put the state in the Democrat’s column.

Other states may end up as wins for Biden, including what would be surprise flips in Arizona and Georgia, where enthusiasm among Black voters is credited with making the difference.

We also shouldn’t soon forget the role of South Carolina’s Jim Clyburn, the Black congressman whose endorsement turned the tide for Biden in that state’s primary, setting the stage for Democrats to nominate the candidate who probably was the most electable this year.

Across the country, reaction to the news of Biden’s win was joyous. People (mostly wearing masks) took to the streets to celebrate in cities like New York, Philadelphia and Washington.

They have new hope for a President Biden who will at least try to do what a President Trump would not: Unite a fractured America.

Editorials are the opinion of the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board and are written by one of its members or a designee. The editorial board consists of Opinion Editor Mike Lafferty, Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio, Jay Reddick, David Whitley and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson. Send emails to insight@orlandosentinel.com.


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