A Remington Deluxe Model 5 manual typewriter. (Homer News file photo)

A Remington Deluxe Model 5 manual typewriter. (Homer News file photo)

Editorial: Let our better angels prevail

We hope election of Biden and Harris means the end of bitter, divisive politics, and the rebirth of civility in government and social existence.

It’s over.

President Donald Trump’s hope for another four years collapsed last Saturday when election analysts from the Associated Press to Fox News called the election for former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris to be the next president and vice president.

We hope election of Biden and Harris means the end of bitter, divisive politics, and the rebirth of civility in government and social existence. We hope that their administration can lead to a time of healing, but also acknowledge that for Black, Indigenous and other people of color, immigrants, women, and LGBTQ+ people who suffered during the Trump administration, forgiveness and reconciliation won’t be easy.

Trump’s defeat and Biden’s victory represents a potential change in American politics from harsh rhetoric to more civil speech. Trump supporters praised him for his tough, no-nonsense approach. His opponents criticized Trump for being divisive, abusive and bullying. In the referendum we hold every four years on a presidency, a majority of voting Americans backed Biden and his reason for running for the office.

“I sought this office to restore the soul of America,” he said in his victory speech on Saturday. ” … To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home.”

Here in Homer, Trumpism has had an effect. The day after Trump’s inauguration in 2017, nearly 900 people protested against him in the local March for Women. Months later at the Homer City Council, Trump supporters spoke out against what they called a sanctuary city resolution. For sponsoring the resolution, conservatives later tried to recall three council members. The tone of speech on both sides has been strident and angry.

Moving forward won’t be easy. Trump himself has yet to concede, and he and his supporters have raised unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, sometimes in the same state where a Republican won reelection to the U.S. Senate. According to article on Tuesday in the New York Times, elections officials in every state reported finding no evidence of election misdeeds. In many states where Trump lost, he won by similar margins in 2016.

With four states — including Alaska — still counting votes, Biden had 279 electoral votes and 76.4 million popular votes as of Tuesday to Trump’s 214 electoral votes and 71.7 million popular votes. With 45 electoral votes to be decided, Trump does not currently have a path to victory.

Of course, the election won’t be official until all the states have certified their votes and the Electoral College casts its final ballot. The media doesn’t decide elections — voters do that — but, as the Associated Press explains on its website, it can make an analysis that looks at percentages of votes tabulated and the probability in each state that a candidate has won. Experts made the same kind of analysis in 2016 that Trump celebrated and that caused Hillary Clinton to concede the morning after.

With America still adrift in anger and contempt, it will be hard to swim to shore and find salvation. But we can try. Biden made that appeal in his speech.

“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric,” he said. “To lower the temperature. To see each other again. To listen to each other again. To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans.”

We are too close to each other in Homer to continue this anger. While we may hold different political views, we live and work together. We rely on each other to solve the hard problems challenging us, including the COVID-19 pandemic and its health and economic effects. We face a tough winter ahead, but we have persevered through many dark seasons and will prevail again.

In his Saturday speech, Biden evoked President Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address, saying, “We must restore the soul of America. Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses. It is time for our better angels to prevail.”

Let us look to our better angels. Let us return to being friends and neighbors. Let us become a better community, a better state and a better nation.

Forward.

Michael Armstrong is editor of the Homer News.

More in Opinion

tease
Opinion: Alaska’s legacy of dissenting senators

When doing the right thing is the hard thing.

This photo shows University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: University of Alaska is one of our state’s greatest assets

The pandemic created economic hardship and uncertainty, but the university is positioned to help.

Point of view
Point of View: Tourism needs your help; let us help you go big in 2021

There’s reason to believe that, nationally, travel will begin recovering soon.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks in Juneau in this February 2020 photo. (Peter Segall/ Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Setting the record straight on the PFD

My proposal is not a complicated one.

A sign outside of RD’s Barber Shop indicating that they are closed can be seen here in Kenai, Alaska on March 25, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Voices: Protect Alaska’s economy from further COVID damage

If business owners take reasonable safety measures by following available public health guidelines, they shouldn’t have to work under the threat of virus-related litigation.

(Courtesy Image / Pat Race)
Opinion: Recall effort is necessary to hold governor accountable

“We can’t assume someone else is going to do the work of holding him accountable…”

tease
Opinion: Now isn’t the time to abolish the filibuster

Doing away with it treats only a symptom of partisan dysfunction. And now is the wrong time.

”What if the Recall Dunleavy group has no intention of forcing a special election?” writes Win Gruening. “Instead, what if it is using the recall to influence the 2022 regular election with anonymous donors thereby avoiding pesky APOC disclosure rules? If so, recall advocates should be careful what they wish for.” (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Is the Dunleavy recall opening Pandora’s Box?

What if the Recall Dunleavy group has no intention of forcing a special election?

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol on Jan. 8, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
The unserious pursuit of constitutional amendments

Why the governor’s cure-all for the state’s chronic budget deficit will run into a brick wall. Again.