When the dust settles and all the numbers in the historic election in 2020 are cracked, one thing will be very clear: President-elect Joe Biden has won a great and decisive victory.
He has thus defied expectations, precedent and history.
Biden is only the fourth candidate in modern history to defeat an elected incumbent president. He has already received more votes than any other presidential candidate in the history of our nation. And when all the votes are counted, he will probably end up winning more than 300 votes from the electoral college, changing five states from red to blue, and winning the popular vote by more than 5 million votes.
Biden is well on the way to taking office, with a greater vote gain than Presidents Truman in 1948, Kennedy in 1960, Nixon in 1968 and George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, and Trump in 2016.
The truth is that this election was not a close one, despite attempts by Republicans to claim otherwise.
The voters spoke in overwhelming numbers and in record numbers, and their message is clear: Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris not only won the election, but also received a decisive and indisputable mandate from the voters.
The Republicans will work overtime to deny this reality. The same Republicans who applauded when President George W. Bush ruled as if he had a mandate after winning an election in 2000 with 537 votes will claim that Biden, with about 5 million people, has no mandate. And the same Republican experts who spent years telling us that Donald Trump’s 306 votes on the 2016 Election Council represented a historic landslide victory will suddenly say that Biden’s 306 votes on the Election Council is a small, insignificant difference.
Biden and the Democrats in Congress should ignore these flat-chested Republicans. Their arguments are not based on facts and are only intended to sow division and tie Biden’s political hands before he even sets foot in the White House.
The Democrats have won the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections, and they must not cower in front of Republican obstructionist politicians, but must act boldly with the mandate that voters have repeatedly given them.
Initial signs show that the president-elect and his team understand this dynamic, the historic size and scope of his victory and the mandate they have been given. The night before his victory speech on Saturday in Delaware, when the votes in Pennsylvania continued to be counted at a snail’s pace and the race had not yet been declared, Biden appeared before the cameras and declared that he had a “mandate to act. And about 24 hours later, when he stepped on the stage to claim victory, his team leaked that once he took office he would have an immediate “rush” of executive action to address the climate crisis, immigration reform and other priorities.
Because of the Trump administration’s rampant failure, the Biden administration will take the reins of a nation in the midst of several unprecedented crises, all of which are out of control. The moment Biden lays his hand on the Bible on January 20, he will have to take immediate action to contain COVID-19 and distribute a vaccine, rebuild an economy on the verge of total freefall, tackle the climate crisis that poses a threat to our economy and national security, and combat the systemic racism that has not only prevailed in our nation for far too long but has worsened exponentially in recent years. Each of these crises would normally take up the entire term of a president. Biden will have to respond to all these crises in his first 100 days.
And while the enormous challenges that these crises pose for the new Biden administration are obvious to everyone, the universal obstruction that the Republicans will inevitably introduce is also obvious.
Whether Mitch McConnell is a majority leader with a wafer-thin majority or a minority leader in an equally divided Senate, he will do everything he can to block Biden’s agenda. The same Mitch McConnell who said his #1 goal was to make Barack Obama a one-term president and who blocked a Supreme Court nomination for almost 300 days will be accompanied by many Republican senators who have the White House itself in mind and will use every opportunity to support them.