Last week was a nail-biter. From Election Day to the calling of the election on Saturday, there were news stories and stress aplenty.
But now we have results. We have a president-elect in Joe Biden. While President Trump is certainly within his rights to pursue whatever legal avenues he wants, they appear unlikely to succeed. That means it’s time for the rest of us to take a deep breath and take stock, both of how this election went and where we’re going.
One pleasant surprise: The election ran almost perfectly. Despite polling being conducted in the middle of a pandemic and with a large mail-in component, states showed how it should be done. Yes, some counts took awhile. But there was never any doubt of the professionalism and expertise shown across the country. We should be proud of that.
We should also be proud of the turnout. As expected, we saw the largest percentage of Americans show up to vote in 120 years. We all have a role to play in the democratic process, and the fact that so many turned up is a credit to the ongoing vitality of our country.
That’s the good news. Let’s turn to the challenge.
While we are all one feisty, pluralistic country, we have a giant task ahead of us. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have a giant task ahead of them. The same week that millions upon millions voted, we saw new peaks in coronavirus diagnoses across the country.
We have so much work left to do in slowing the spread and controlling the virus.
More broadly, we face an economy that has been slowed and wounded by the pandemic. So many Kansans are hurting. So many Americans are hurting. The government needs to find a way to both control the virus and support small businesses and workers. Good work was done in the spring and early summer, but more remains to bring us into 2021.
We hope that President-elect Biden and a likely Republican Senate (two runoff races in Georgia will decide the majority) can find common ground to get this done.
Finally, we know that many supporters of the president are unhappy with the outcome of the election. We recognize the appeal of conspiracy theories and unfounded allegations right now. However, we all must come together for the good of the country and for all those who live here. We don’t have time to waste on silliness.
A difficult task? Absolutely. But a necessary one.