If Joe Biden wins the election — and I sincerely hope he does — he will face the arduous task of trying to unite our country after four years of divisiveness. A mid-October poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 85 percent of registered voters described Americans as greatly divided in their values, and only 15 percent say democracy in the United States is working.
America desperately needs a “healer in chief” of our country.
But that same poll shows that if President Donald Trump were to be re-elected, 65 percent of voters believe our divisions would worsen — and 47 percent of registered voters believe the country would be unified if Biden were elected president.
Under the Trump administration, it's clear that our nation became more divided than ever. We desperately need a leader who can heal those wounds — and only Biden has already shown that he is up for the task.
He recognizes he can’t just win the election or effectively govern the country with Democratic support alone; he will need the support of independents, current Republicans and former Republicans. That's likely one reason he's floated GOP leaders, such as former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, for Cabinet positions in his administration should he win: It further demonstrates that he will be a bipartisan president who can lead our country through what will be an extremely tumultuous time.
Who would you trust to be our leader in a moment of crisis and chaos?
With just two days to go until the election, both Democrats and Republicans have fears about the voting process, thanks to Trump. Republicans fear a rigged election, and Democrats fear for voters' safety and whether mail-in ballots will be received on time and counted appropriately, as voters expected when they mailed them.
Undoubtedly, there will be some amount of chaos on and after election night, which means there will likely be some delays in the counting of ballots. That's perfectly acceptable; we should all want to ensure accuracy and fairness in determining the next president. Because of this, media outlets may not be able to "call" the winner Tuesday night, and it could be a long, drawn-out process to determine who won each state's popular vote and thus its Electoral College votes.
All of that will only make Biden’s job as “healer in chief” more difficult, as there will surely be accusations hurled and false narratives spun by the Trump campaign in the interim — and definitely if he loses. Trump has already stated that a Biden win would be because of a fraudulent election.
Furthermore, the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett — which was just more salt in the wound to many voters — may now come into play, even though polling showed that a majority of Americans believed the next justice to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat should’ve been selected after the election. Trump has stated that he believes the election could be decided by the Supreme Court, which means the court could well be asked to intervene on Trump's behalf. Given Barrett’s hurried confirmation, that could have huge implications on the perceived legitimacy of the court's decision.
Trump has repeatedly made it clear that, if he loses the election, he will not go easily or quietly; that should gravely concern the American people. One of the hallmarks of our democracy has always been our peaceful transition of power, and this could be the first year to disrupt that tradition given that Trump hasn’t committed to doing so.
Biden will have his work cut out for him if he wins to heal the many tensions and wounds in this country.
But if Biden simply wins the election, it will be his job to pacify voters in the wake of Trump's likely intransigence and to lessen the sting of a rushed confirmation that drastically altered the balance of the Supreme Court.
Given the amount of unrest and unease in our country right now, Biden certainly has his work cut out for him if he wins — and he will have to get to work on healing the many tensions and wounds in this country. The Trump administration has consistently attacked and degraded communities of color, various other minority groups, women and the media, and each of those communities need outreach, healing and their faith restored in our democracy. It’s no surprise that many of these communities poll heavily in favor for Biden; he is the best chance at restoring civility, decency and advancing equality for all.
The unprecedented nature of this year and this administration only adds to the heightened fear and anxieties of many Americans. Sadly, I think we can expect tumult and even some violence, no matter what the result of the election is. It will be up to the newly elected president to quell it.
Who would you trust to be that leader in such a moment of crisis and chaos? Trump has shown America how he reacts in times of crisis. So, for me, the answer to that question is clear: Joe Biden.