We did not need schooling on the fact that the media does not get to pick the president, as some readers were compelled to tell us Nov. 7. It is, however, historically based and quite normal for media outlets to call an election in favor of one candidate over another. The Associated Press has done so since 1848. And yes, those calling elections have on occasion been wrong.
But calling an election is generally steeped in evidence of how votes are being tallied and an ability now to zero in on specific pockets of voters that typically lean red or blue. Certainly that is true with respect to national elections, and statewide and local elections have become far easier to monitor and call not long after polls have closed, largely in part thanks to electronic balloting.
It presents a bit of a dichotomy, doesn’t it? We all want to know who won, and so we find ourselves on election night watch. Precinct by precinct. Percentage by percentage. And yet, we often fuss at the source of those numbers, saying it’s not over till it’s over. Generally, that is the mantra when one’s candidate is losing.
So no, the presidential election isn’t officially over. Yet. While we do not anticipate a “Dewey defeats Truman” egg-on-the-face moment, especially in light of every viable and credible — yes, credible — news outlet reporting that Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States, we will wait for the voice of the fat lady singing to signal it is over.
In the aftermath, we simply hope and pray that this nation can and will work toward healing itself. Twenty years ago, and weeks past the general election, Al Gore had to concede that George W. Bush had won the White House. The time appears near that Donald Trump will also need to concede that the people have voted and chosen Biden over him.
It was a tight race. A contentious race.
But now, in the days and weeks ahead, we must seek a violet America. That’s what you get when you blend equal parts of red and blue.
* Guest editorial from The Index-Journal in Greenwood, S.C.