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As I write, the 2020 presidential election is too close to call. The current Electoral College vote count narrowly favors Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden: 238 to 213. However, there are many votes still to be counted and the race could still go either way.
With more votes being counted in the “Blue Wall” states—Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania—voting tallies have moved slightly in Biden’s favor. There are also tight races in North Carolina, Georgia, and Nevada that have not yet been called for either candidate. Yet, the margins are razor-thin, and in all likelihood, we will not know the results until later this week.
However, regardless of who wins, either former Vice President Joe Biden or President Donald Trump will have the enormous responsibility of bringing a fractured and deeply divided country together.
Neither will have a mandate. Neither will have a clear ratification of their agenda. Nor will there be a clear mandate for control of the Senate.
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Either way, the upper legislative body is likely to remain evenly divided with perhaps a narrow Republican advantage, and perhaps with no party advantage.
And either way, we need to redouble our sense of broad national purpose if we are going to continue to thrive as a nation. Nothing else will do.
Indeed, the need for bipartisanship has never been greater.
NO CLEAR WINNER IN PRESIDENTIAL RACE AS VOTE COUNTING CONTINUES, ELECTION HANGS IN BALANCE
We need our president to be able to work with our elected officials to pass another economic stimulus to address Americans’ economic uncertainty and ongoing unemployment of over 8 percent.
We urgently need to reach some sort of consensus on how we as a nation collectively handle the coronavirus, especially as a third wave of infections looms. It is absolutely imperative that we have a national understanding regarding how Americans are to act, what treatments work, and where we stand with the approximately five prospective vaccines that are in varying stages of late-stage trials.
Further, we need an agenda to provide health care coverage to millions of Americans who lost coverage during the pandemic and now lack it, while also protecting millions of Americans who live with pre-existing conditions. In different ways, both Biden and Trump have promised to achieve this, but truly achieving it is the central challenge.
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Moreover, on the world stage, whoever is elected president will need to articulate a vision for our country as a beacon of freedom and liberty around the world.
As the world watches this election alongside us, who we are as the United States, where we are heading, and how we confront our adversaries around the world remains a fundamental challenge.
And furthermore, we well could be permanently weakened as a nation in ways that could unilaterally reduce our ability to address our own problems and challenges, here or globally.
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Finally, whether we are red or blue, North or South, White or people of color, we need to explicitly make broad efforts to reject polarization, division, and political divisiveness.
Without that, whoever wins will not be able to fully succeed as president, or for this nation.
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