News | November 8th, 2020
Restoring America’s Soul: Biden Addresses The Nation
By: Mia Uzzell
On Saturday night, former Vice President Joe Biden took the stage for his first formal address as President-elect in Wilmington, Del., just roughly seven hours after the Associated Press called the race. Clinching one of the most tempestuous races of all time, Biden now plans to place political emphasis on an unchecked pandemic and the country’s tethered unity when he assumes office.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris preceded Biden’s address with a reflective speech on how, in an election where America’s democracy was on the ballot, her groundbreaking win opened doors for women of color across the nation.
“Our democracy is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it, to guard it, and never take it for granted,” Harris said, quoting late civil rights luminary Rep. John Lewis in her opening remarks. Harris said the American citizens’ fight for democracy this year has “ushered in a new day” for the country amidst a year characterized by a discordant nation.
Harris thanked the countless local election officials and poll workers who counted the millions of votes of Americans who went to the polls in record numbers. As counting continues, Joe Biden surpassed his former running mate Barack Obama’s historic record for the most votes cast for a presidential candidate with over 75 million votes.
Black women are the “backbone of democracy”
The soon-to-be vice president also extended gratitude to her mother, who immigrated to America from India at the age of 19, for her devout belief in America’s capability to make Harris’ remarkable win possible. In January, Harris will embark on the next four years as the first of many: the first woman, South Asian woman, Black woman, daughter of immigrants and HBCU graduate to serve as the Vice President of the United States.
In a white suit, a symbolic nod to the suffragette movement, Harris lauded Black women “who are too often overlooked, but so often proved that they are the backbone of our democracy.”
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said as the crowd erupted into cheers. “Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
Before introducing Biden onto the stage, Harris lists shouldering the unprecedented burdens of the pandemic, racism and climate change — sentiments Biden also echoed — as the important work that must begin.
Biden says it was a “clear victory, a convincing victory.”
Prefacing his call for national unity, Biden contends that the country has chosen its next leader in a “clear victory, a convincing victory.”
The Democratic party has been lambasted by his opponent, Donald Trump, for illegally tampering with votes in Pennsylvania, the state that secured Biden’s electoral vote win.
“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but to unify; who doesn’t see red states and blue states, but only sees the United States,” said the former vice president.
The president-elect would be remiss to not thank African Americans for their relentless fight in many key cities in battleground states, like Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. “The African American community stood up for me. You’ve always had my back and I have yours.”
“Make America respected around the world again.”
Vowing to “restore the soul of America,” which he claims is why he sought the presidency, Biden word played on President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan and promised to “make America respected around the world again.”
Furthermore, Biden extends an olive branch to Trump’s impassioned base, imploring them to discard harsh rhetoric and asking the country to restore a sense of humanity across party lines.
“They’re not our enemy. They’re Americans,” Biden said in regard to Trump’s die-hard supporters. In the same vein of unity, Biden urges for the restoration of cooperation in the polarized political arena.
“A Nation Healed.”
Listing the battles for decency, democracy and equality as his priorities as well, Biden said, “Our work begins with getting COVID under control.” He announced that on Monday he will name lead scientists as transition advisors for the Biden-Harris plan to become an “action blueprint” that starts Jan. 20, 2021.
Biden mentioned the monumental eras that laid the foundation of past presidencies. He said our nation is at yet another critical inflection point to “build a nation of prosperity and purpose.” In one word, he defines America as “possibility,” pondering on reestablishing hope and equity to all.
“With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love for country — and thirst for justice — let us be the nation we know we can be,” Biden said, quoting a Biblical hymn in his closing remarks. “A nation united. A nation strengthened. A nation healed.”