US election results: America ‘exhausted and impatient’ as divisions feel deeper than ever

After the spontaneous dancing in the streets when Joe Biden won the election, Washington is a subdued city once again.

Shops remain boarded up “because we still don’t know the result yet”, a cashier explained.

The White House is virtually out of sight behind high security fences, and driving rain has set in.

The wedge that has divided America in recent years now feels wider and deeper.

For the news networks there is still only one story in town.

CNN rolls out an endless guestlist of former White House staff, state governors and securocrats, all critical of Donald Trump’s intransigence and warning of the consequences if he doesn’t go quietly and doesn’t go soon.

Fox News, for a long time Trump’s reliable cheerleader, seems to be divided within itself.

Two nights ago, White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany held a press conference accusing the Democratic party of fraud.

As she did, the channel cut away with the presenter saying “unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing you this”.

The following evening though, Ms McEnany was back on Fox, this time as a guest with Trump superfan Sean Hannity.

The two channels reflect a nation exhausted, confused and increasingly impatient with the ongoing political uncertainty.

Counting in many states continues and Joe Biden is extending his lead in most.

His final margin of victory, when it is eventually settled, is set to be quite considerable, and yet more foreign leaders have now congratulated than Republican senators (4).

Even Pope Francis has now called the president-elect and still the political right in Washington dig in.

A “million-person march” in support of the current president is promised for Saturday. It probably won’t be a million people and it definitely won’t change the result, but it could turn nasty and more social unrest would throw yet another dangerous dynamic into the mix.

Donald Trump remains fiery and active on Twitter but has rarely been seen in public and still not yet heard.

We’re told he’ll say something when the moment is right, but for a man who likes to expound and react in public his self-imposed confinement in the White House is ominous.

The longer he maintains his post-election silence the more President-elect Biden is able to occupy the leadership space, putting together his transition team, a COVID-task force and soon his White House staff-to-be.

Throw into this vacuum is a pandemic that is getting rapidly worse and the coming months are set to be very difficult for America.

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