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: Rural broadband is essential infrastructure

Broadband funding is available. The rest is up to Alaskans.

Nurse Sherra Pritchard gives Madyson Knudsen a bandage at the Kenai Public Health Center after the 10-year-old received her first COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Voices: A mom’s and pediatrician’s perspective on COVID-19 vaccines for children

I want to see children and their parents who have yet to get vaccinated roll up their sleeves.

Larry Persily (Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: State defends its right to cut nonexistent taxes

This from a state that has no property tax on homes or businesses, only on the oil industry.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Opinion: The foolish men claiming self-defense

It’s not just misguided teenagers carrying guns who find themselves in trouble with the law.

Dr. Jay Butler, former chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: Feeling grateful this Thanksgiving for the COVID vaccines

The COVID vaccines remain our strongest tool in combating the pandemic and helping us return to our lives and the things we love and cherish.

A resident casts their vote in the regular municipal election Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Voices of the Peninsula: All votes matter

In the beginning, only property-holding white men could vote.

Cristen San Roman. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Is management of Cook Inlet catered to special interest groups?

If these fish are so at risk, why is BOEM able to move forward with lease sale 258?

Homer Foundation
Point of View: Grateful for the hidden ‘good’

Gratitude: Noun The state of being grateful; thankfulness. The state or quality… Continue reading

Homer High School Principal Douglas Waclawski. (Photo provided)
Point of View: What is Homer High School about?

What I consider Homer High’s strength is that we are a place for learning.

Most Read