Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made an impassioned plea to Americans calling for unity this evening, off the back of three days of bitter protests and escalating unrest.
“In America, we have strong views, there’s strong disagreements, and that’s okay,” he said during an address in his home state of Delaware. “Strong disagreements are inevitable in a democracy, strong disagreements are healthy. They’re a sign of a vigorous debate of deeply held views,” he added.
“But we have to remember the purpose of our politics isn’t total unrelenting, unending warfare. The purpose of our politics, the work of the nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict, but to solve problems, to guarantee justice, to improve the lives of our people.”
Biden’s comments stood in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s consistent efforts to thwart the democratic process. Since Wednesday night, Trump has peddled a dangerous and divisive line that the election was “fraud” and “rigged”. He has accused Democrats of trying to “steal” the result and launched a litany of legal disputes and paperwork.
His supporters have responded in full. There have been mass protests outside ballot headquarters where critical votes are still being tallied. Trump supporters have subjected volunteers, doing their civil duty, to a barrage of threats, intimidation and abuse.
But Trump’s lies have been so blatant that US networks refused to broadcast his latest press conference and Twitter has continued to conceal most of his posts over this period.
While Biden stopped short of claiming victory, he said he expected to end the week with at least 300 electoral college votes, giving him a clear majority and mandate to lead.
His lead continues to grow in Pennsylvania and if he secures it he’ll gain 20 electoral votes to reach the 270 needed to win the presidency. The states of Georgia, Nevada and Arizona are still outstanding, though Biden currently leads Trump in all.
Biden currently holds 253 electoral votes, while Trump has 213.
“We have gotten over 74 million votes. I’m going to repeat that, 74 million votes,” Biden told the nation. “That is more than any presidential ticket has ever gotten in the history of the United States of America.”
Trump issued a warning to his opponent via Twitter: “Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also.”
Tomorrow will tell.