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The election of Joe Biden marks the end of one process and the start of another.
For four years, President Donald Trump aggravated the nation’s fissures for political gain. Even in defeat, Trump adopted a burn-it-all-down attitude, preferring to attack democracy itself rather than to concede his loss. He may never accept defeat.
Those divisions that Trump so deftly and cruelly exploited won’t just disappear on Inauguration Day. Nor will the tens of millions of Americans who saw his behavior and voted for him anyway.
The 2020 election is over. Now the hard part begins.
Biden is the man for the job. He can salve the nation’s wounds. “After the destruction of the Trump era, the nation is desperate for a parental figure to cultivate renewal amid ruin,” Franklin Foer argues.
His election is cause for celebration, Yascha Mounk argues: “America stopped an authoritarian populist from destroying its democratic institutions.”
Kamala Harris did it. Despite the barriers, despite the pain, she becomes the first woman, the first Asian American, and the first Black American to be elected vice president, Jemele Hill writes.