Sunday Musings: The Significance of the Biden-Harris Electoral Victory

No Comments » November 9th, 2020 posted by // Categories: General Articles



1.  The announcement yesterday November 7, 2020,  of the historic electoral victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President/Vice-President of the USA over the incumbents Donald Trump and Mike Pence elicited sheer joy and relief in me,  that decency, honesty and competence will return to the White House soon, and that the embarrasment to democracy that Trump’s administration has been over the past four years will be going away soon.  However, the next seventy-four days before Trump finally leaves the White House on January 20, 2021 will be trying ones.  We pray for wisdom for Biden  and Harris, and uncommon restraint from the tempestuous Trump, with Pence hopefully being a stabilizer.  

2. The USA is always an exciting place to be in during any presidential election period, and I miss it dearly, but CNN has been my constant companion.  By the way, I sent in my absentee ballot from Nigeria, and it cost me a whopping N25,000 (almost $50)  by DHL.  It has been acknowledged received by the Maryland Board of Elections but whether it has been counted remains a tracking chore, which will surely be resolved soon. (Biden won handily in my state of Maryland 63 – 35, with only 70% reporting so far. The state accepts mail ballots postmarked on or before November 3  until November 12 or so.).

3.  The coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the US, and containing it will be Biden’s Number One task, as he has already acknowledged in his victory speech, with healing the nation’s soul being Number 2.

4.  I use this opportunity to make a shout-out to the Howard Bisonnette alumna and incoming Vice-President Kamala Harris for making Howard University proud.  I taught at HU – home of the Bisons – as professor of Chemical Engineering  from 1984 – 2014  before becoming the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the then newly-established Federal University Otuoke in Bayelsa State.  Harris’ triple legacy of being  the first Black. Asian-American  woman to become Vice-President is awesome, and shows without doubt once again that Howard University produces world leaders. As daughter of two immigrants, she encourages those of us Diasporans who have daughters – I have three of them.   Her presence will continue President Obama’s legacy stamped on the world from 2008 (when he was first elected) to 2017 (when he left office), with Obama’s Vice-President – and now President-elect – Biden being the link.

5.   One important lesson among many for Nigeria to learn here is the sheer number of people who voted in this election – almost 150 million – because of the number of different ways – mail-in, absentee, provisional and in-person – allowed diring this pandemic period.  We in Nigeria should not only allow many ways for voting – including Diaspora voting – but the time for continuous all-year-round voter registration, as well as electronic voting as options  in Nigeria is now.  Our #EndSARS youth would be endeared to these options, as its leadership seeks to cement its many commendable demands through the democratic process rather than through violence..

6.  Another important lesson is that the combined age of the four President/Veep contestants is 268,  of the current two leaders (Pelosi and McConnell) of the chambers in the Congress is 158,   and of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court is 561.  I leave my readers to calculate their average ages. Three of the four presidential contestants have served in the US Congress for a combined length of 52 years (Trump served only himself), while Pelosi and McConnell.have been there for 68 years total.  All of them started young.  Fact of the matter is that in an electoral democratic process,  involvement, experience and competence are the metrics, not merely age.

Once again, congratulations to the historic pair Biden and Harris.  God bless America, God bless Nigeria.  May He make the former truly Great Again, and the latter Great.

There you have it.

Bolaji Aluko
Ado-Ekiti
November 8, 2020

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