Jan 23, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

While court cases are still ongoing, the media declared Joe Biden the victor in the US presidential election. In a campaign that was characterized by an absurdly biased media, the New York Times declared “Biden Wins Presidency, Ending Four Tumultuous Years Under Trump.”

Biden Victory Speech: Not Exactly Accurate or Official

Biden celebrated by giving a victory speech in Wilmington, Delaware where he grew up. In his speech, Biden alluded to this being his third run for the highest elected office. If he is officially declared the victor, at 78 years old, Biden will become the oldest person elected president.

“My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken,’ Biden began. “They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory. A victory for ‘We the People’.”

His opening statement was already inaccurate as the results were anything by clear and convincing. The candidates were separated by less than one percentage point in Arizona (11 electoral votes),  Wisconsin (10 electoral votes), Georgia (16 electoral votes), and Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), and by less than two percentage points in North Carolina and slightly more in Florida and Michigan, a victory by either candidate was far from “convincing.”

The results of the election have yet to be made official. The victor is officially certified by the Electoral College and then by the Senate, House of Representatives, and the National Archives.  Representatives from each state’s electoral college meet in their respective state capitals on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. This year, that date falls on December 14.  The final step in the process occurs on January 6 when Congress meets to count the electoral votes and officially certify the winner. 

In addition, there are currently nearly a dozen court cases pending concerning the election. This is not unprecedented. In the presidential elections in 2000, the Florida Supreme Court, by a vote of four to three, ordered a statewide recount of all undervotes, over 61,000 ballots that the vote tabulation machines had missed. The Bush campaign immediately asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the decision and halt the recount. The ensuing court battle delayed the announcement of a victor until December 12.

Trump Reaction

President Trump emphasized this in a speech he gave on Saturday.

“The simple fact is this election is far from over,” Trump said in a statement Saturday. “Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor. “

Did Biden Act Like Adonijah?

Biblically-minded voters may see a similarity between Biden’s presumptive victory declaration and the actions of Adonijah, the fourth son of King David. After the death of his elder brothers Amnon and Absalom, Adonijah considered himself the heir-apparent to the throne. He acquired chariots and a large entourage without the knowledge of his father, the king, who was ailing.  Adonijah consulted and obtained the support of both the commander of the army Joab and the influential priest Abiathar. In anticipation of his father’s imminent death, Adonijah invited his brother princes and the court officials to a solemn sacrifice in order to announce his claim to the throne. He did not invite Solomon or any of his supporters, demonstrating his intent to take the throne. Ultimately, Solomon was anointed king as per his father’s desire. After a second grasp at power, Solemn had Adonijah put to death.

Biden’s Speech: More Inaccuracies

“We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation – 74 million,” Biden continued. “I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me. 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.”

Biden’s initial claim was accurate but misleading. He did indeed garner the most votes of any candidate in an election that saw nearly unprecedented voter turnout. But the candidate who garnered the second-highest number of votes was his competitor, Donald Trump, who garnered more votes than Barack Obama in either of his victories and more than Hillary Clinton in her unsuccessful bid in 2016.

Confused Biblical Reference and Catholic Funeral Hymn

After promising to unite the country, Biden went on to divide his supporters into ethnic groups. Biden then waxed Biblical with a jumbled paraphrasing of the beginning of the third chapter of Ecclesiastes.

“The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season – a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal. This is the time to heal in America,” Biden said. After promising to rely on science to battle the pandemic, Biden spoke about restoring the “soul of America.”

“We have the opportunity to defeat despair and to build a nation of prosperity and purpose,” Biden said. “We can do it. I know we can. I’ve long talked about the battle for the soul of America. 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.”

Later in his speech, Biden quoted a Catholic hymn.

“And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,

Bear you on the breath of dawn,

Make you to shine like the sun,

And hold you in the palm of His Hand.”

The hymn, regularly played at funerals, was composed by Jan Michael Joncas, a Catholic priest who now teaches contemporary Catholic music at the University of St. Thomas. Biden said that the hymn was important to his family and his deceased son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.

If elected, Joe Biden will be the country’s second Catholic president after John F. Kennedy.

“And now, together – on eagle’s wings – we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do. With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country – and a thirst for justice – let us be the nation that we know we can be.

“A nation united. A nation strengthened. A nation healed. The United States of America. God bless you. And may God protect our troops.”

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