Peter Donnelly, The Gown Editor
It was an affair of the old brand on Saturday evening, 7th November, in Delaware. President-elect Joe Biden was not the ‘sleepy Joe’ that his detractors had viciously labelled him, when he spoke to the US nation. He was, for want of a better, word – ‘Presidential’. President Trump muddied the waters on what presidential actually meant. He was anti-establishment, yes and he had mass appeal from vast swathes of America, with over 70 million US Citizens voting for him in the 2020 Election.
It was a sigh of a relief; awaited by so many, to hear the concilatory tone of Joe Biden in his address to the US nation, “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify. Who doesn’t see red and blue states, but a United States. And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.” Pennsylvania proved to be the crucial swing state which sealed the twice unssuccessful Presidential hopeful, Biden to victory and entry to the White House.
Mr. Biden has spent the best part of 50 years in office; a fact which has been highlighted by his political opponents who have said – why has he not done all the things he has proposed in 2020, when he was Vice-President to Barack Obama. It was by no means a landslide victory; it was a slim success.
Balanced commentators have agreed that President Trump will follow the trajectory for which he has an undoubted aversion – convention – when January 2021. Voter fraud will be a popular, defiant rallying cry for Trumpian Republicans, however, no matter how many spanners are thrown in the works of the electoral system – US democracy is the fundamental law which has spoken in 2020, as it did in 2016. Donald Trump will continue his spurious litigation, possibly right up to the highest court in the land – the US Supreme Court. His ‘packing’ of Conservative-leaning justices may be provide little comfort or consolation to his defeated campaign or ego. The justices will be objective adherents of the US Constiution.
The litigation around the US’ legal circuit will be symbolic more than anything else. He is, self-admittedly, a bad loser; and a notorious one in US business circles. The President’s aides will be probing him to concede, citing the international recognition of his defeat from allies such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Donald Trump should concede according to the principles of convention, practised by his outgoing predecessors. That will be momentously challenging for him difficult – there will be gritting and gnashing of teeth and in the apt line of the Jimmy Cliff song, ‘Many Rivers To Cross.’
In The Sunday Times, 8th November, New York reporter Will Pavia recalled the statesmanship of defeated Democrat President Stephen Doughlas, on the charged cusp of the US Civil War in 1860, who conceded to Abraham Lincoln, “Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism,
“I’m with you Mr President, and God bless you.” Perhaps President Trump should carefullt consider those comments.