Biden, Harris victory signals decline of populism – De Lima


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for their victory in the 2020 election, saying that their success only proves populism is on decline.

De Lima, a known human rights defender here and abroad, said the resolve in which Biden and his supporters rallied is truly inspiring to all whose voices were silenced by the populist rhetoric around the world.

“The election of former Vice President Joseph ‘Joe’ Biden and Senator Kamala Harris as President and Vice President, respectively, to record-level voter turnout in the United States of America is a testament to their country’s resolve in participating in, and protecting, their democracy,” she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 961.

“[Mr. Biden and his supporters] have shown that real democracy can overcome fabricated populism and that faith in well-informed and properly motivated electorates is never misplaced,” she added.

Biden is the 46th President-elect of the USA after defeating incumbent President Donald Trump in the recent 2020 election. Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Harris, makes history as the first woman, the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent to be elected vice president.

With new leadership, De Lima said the United States needs to again be at the forefront on the issues on international cooperation, democracy, human rights, and climate change.

“Now, the work of the incoming administration is cut out for them. We live in a world that has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost 50 million has been infected and more than a million has already died and the world is yet again suffering from a massive economic contraction,” she said.

“On top of guiding his country towards recovery from COVID-19, Mr. Biden needs to reach out to old allies and once again bridge the ties that his predecessor has since severed,” she added.

As such, De Lima maintained that “Biden and Harris’ victory and Pres. Donald Trump’s defeat signals to the free world that populism is on decline.”

De Lima said the tenacity in which Biden conducted his campaign is truly remarkable considering that his path to US Presidency was littered with seemingly insurmountable odds, not least of which is the solid conservative base and strong social media presence of Trump.

“Pres. Trump was propelled into presidency during the international wave of populism following a social media scandal that were interpreted by many to have manipulated many voters through fake news and targeted messaging,” she said.

While De Lima stressed that it is understood that Biden approaches the role of the US in international geopolitics differently, the Senator said she “expects Biden to be less tolerant of human rights violators than Trump and align with Europe against the hegemonic tendencies of China.” (30)

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