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Biden victory: Democrats jubilant as Republicans say it's 'not over'

As Democrats celebrate, Trump campaign is raising money to challenge the result of the election
Thousands gathered in Washington to celebrate Trump's defeat (MEE/Umar Farooq)

Millions of Americans let out a sigh of relief on Saturday as major networks called the presidential race for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, announcing the end of President Donald Trump's chaotic four-year reign in the White House.

But in a deeply divided country, others were not so happy. Officials in Trump's Republican Party remained largely quiet after the results as the president explicitly rejected the results and vowed to challenge it. 

By Saturday afternoon, Republican leaders in Congress did not comment on the results, but Trump's supporters insisted the race was not over.

The president has been baselessly casting doubt on the integrity of the election by making unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.

As thousands of Americans danced in the streets in celebration across the country, Trump's former adviser Sebasitian Gorka called for a legal battle to challenge election results.

'Breathe. Heal. Then, let's get to work'

- Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib

"We will not give up; right now the question is: do we have enough hard, hard lawyers to make this happen? Does the GOP and does the campaign have the testicular fortitude, does it have the stomach to take this fight where it needs to go?" Gorka said on a podcast.

Many Republicans stressed that the media-projected results mean little to the outcome of the race.

"No matter what the media tells you, this is NOT over," Republican Congressman Doug Collins wrote on Twitter.

"It's not over until every LEGAL vote is counted. This is America. We the PEOPLE decide who our next President is. NOT the media."

The Trump campaign is still raising money for legal challenges against the election results. "I need you. The Left will try to STEAL this Election!! I'm calling on YOU to step up & FIGHT BACK," Trump said in a text message to supporters soliciting donations on Saturday afternoon.

Later on Saturday, he sent an all-caps tweet making it clear that he will not accept the election results.

"I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE," Trump said. "NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!"

Democrats, however, did not wait to start the celebrations. Jubilant crowds gathered in cities across the country to cheer Trump's defeat. 

Democrats celebrate

The silence from top Republicans in Congress was met with celebration from their Democratic counterparts. 

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi invoked America's Latin motto "E Pluribus Unum," out of many one, saying that voters saved the republic.

"Congratulations to Joe Biden on his victory for the soul of our country. Congratulations to Kamala Harris for making history. It's a time to heal and a time to grow together," she wrote on Twitter.

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Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who has been credited by supporters for increasing turnout in her district to help Biden win Michigan, posted a tweet saying "mabrook," Arabic for congratulations, to Biden and Harris. "Breathe. Heal. Then, let's get to work," she wrote.

Tlaib's fellow Muslim-American Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said Biden's victory was an opportunity for the progressive movement.

"We have not only voted out the most corrupt, dangerous president in modern history but have the opportunity to carry out the most progressive agenda our country has ever seen," she said. "Let’s get to work!"

Senator Bernie Sanders, who had sought the Democratic nomination before dropping out and endorsing Biden, also lauded the election results.

"I want to congratulate all those who worked so hard to make this historic day possible," Sanders wrote on Twitter. 

"Now, through our continued grassroots organizing, let us create a government that works for ALL and not the few. Let us create a nation built on justice, not greed and bigotry."

Work ahead

Many of Trump's opponents have started calling for increased activism and advocacy as Biden heads to the White House.

The newly elected Yemeni-American Michigan state representative Abraham Aiyash noted that his immigrant parents would not have been able to come to the country under Trump's Muslim ban.

"Donald Trump would've banned my parents - immigrants from Yemen - from this country," Aiyash wrote on Twitter.

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"In 2020, we elected their son to the MI State House and voted him out. The American Project is messy. But I still believe we can and live up to its highest ideals. A More Perfect Union. Onward."

Nadia Ahmad, chair of Muslim Delegates and Allies Coalition, which helped mobilise voters for the Democratic Party, said Biden's victory was "exciting," but there was still "a lot to do".

Ahmad told MEE that activists' immediate attention will now turn to the run-off Senate elections in Georgia in January that could secure a majority for the Democrats in the upper chamber of Congress.

She said progressive advocates will continue to push for policies that address "economic injustice," disparities in health care and the environmental crisis.

She called for holding the president-elect as well as the state parties accountable to the communities that helped secure the victory.

"What brought it home for Joe Biden was the vote of the Black and Latino and Muslim communities - groups that the party has not really embraced in the way that it should," Ahmad said.