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Election Year Trauma: Why Joe Biden Won the Democratic Nomination and Presidency

As a therapist, Janis is fascinated by the way social behavior is influenced by the media, socio-political trends, and historical events.

Stability Restored in America

Former Vice President Joe Biden, President-Elect of the United States.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, President-Elect of the United States.

Election Cycle 2020: Biden Overwhelmingly Wins Primaries

After all the predictions and pundit chatter of the experts and talking heads, what we thought would happen on Super Tuesday late last Spring—didn't. Presidential candidate Joe Biden shocked just about everyone by winning the majority of states in the first major primary elections cycle. His success wowed those who believed former Vice President Joe Biden was down and out in his bid to become the next president of the United States.

His unexpected victory on Super Tuesday was followed by unprecedented wins on Super Tuesday II, where he racked up huge popular and electoral votes against his formidable opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, by inexplicable margins. These big wins for Joe Biden undoubtedly put him in position to receive the democratic nomination, placing him on the road to the White House.

White House Bound

President-Elect Joseph Biden will be the next occupant of the White House.

President-Elect Joseph Biden will be the next occupant of the White House.

How Fear-Driven Elections Saved Joe Biden

So what caused this sharp, history-making turnaround for Vice President Biden's campaign? From a psychological perspective, it can be said that it was plain old human nature: a segment of American voters are traumatized by the chaos of the current Republican administration. People are in dire need of stability. The last four years have been a rollercoaster ride of unpredictability, inconsistency, and uncertainty.

For some voters, Vice President Biden represents stability, safety, predictability, and familiarity. Even those who have had issues with his policies, personal missteps, his glaring gaffes, his temperament, and his so-called cognitive decline, are looking for that "Uncle Joe they know," who will save the day, and ultimately, save the country. The majority of voters apparently expressed this sentiment as Joe Biden handedly won the popular vote by almost 6 million.

Experience and Sound Leadership

The American people sent a message that they needed familiarity and experience to get them through crises and stabilize their democracy.

The American people sent a message that they needed familiarity and experience to get them through crises and stabilize their democracy.

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Jubilant Supporters Celebrate

The enthusiasm of the American people was felt across the country when the race was called four days after election day.

The enthusiasm of the American people was felt across the country when the race was called four days after election day.

Trauma Heightened By Cumulative Crises

Just when we thought this feeling of instability in 2020 couldn't get any worse, enter - - coronavirus (COVID-19). Our collective fear by then had translated into actual fear of death. The metaphor is hard to ignore. The intersection between the breaking news of Super Tuesday II election returns and the simultaneous reports of increasing COVID-19 cases and deaths, created a jarring image for the American people to behold. Survival of the country became very real.

As the virus proceeded to spread from state to state, closing in on the Midwestern regions, the need for stable leadership increased. By November, the virus had spread across the entire United States. Regardless of the initial uncertainty of his campaign, Joe Biden had literally "risen up" to the occasion and had come to embody sound leadership. His pick of Senator Kamala Harris for his vice president strengthened hope for healing to come for a hurting nation. The competence displayed by the first woman of African and Asian decent to hold that position, energized the ticket. The American people look to them to act with urgency, decisiveness, and humanity. The desperation of the American people was evident in the historic numbers of early voters, by mail and in person. It's safe to say that this unprecedented turnout of voters also contributed to the ultimate Biden-Harris win.

The Fear Factor: Voting for Survival and Restoration

The American voters are in the midst of traumatic times. The perception of a country in crisis intensified over the last few years. Americans have endured the damaging impacts of racial conflict, ever-increasing political party divisions, the impeachment of a sitting president, perceived and real threats to national security, and an eye-opening stock market plummet of historic proportions. The trauma is topped off by a relentless global pandemic disease of community spread in the United States that continues to infect and take lives by the hour. As of this writing, over a quarter of a million Americans have died of COVID-19. The inconsistent and, at times, confusing response to the pandemic crisis by the current Administration only heightened fears and jeopardized the health and well-being of our economy and our lives.

The American people are living a nightmare of fear and anxiety. It would be hard, if not impossible, to leave those anxieties outside the ballot box when making a decision to vote for someone to wake the country out of the nightmare. Even if the voters' pick is not their first choice, the leadership qualities, character traits, decency, compassion, and experience of that second choice start to look really good.

The surprising outcomes of the Super Tuesday primaries seem to indicate that this fear was a factor for many voters. Joe Biden is perceived as safe. He represents steadiness in leadership for a nation in dire need of that kind of healing president, more now than ever. For these reasons, former Vice President Joe Biden won the Democratic nomination on June 5th and ultimately conquered his quest to become the 46th president of the United States, called on Saturday, November 7th.

Historic Numbers of Americans Voted Early

The historic number of Americans who participated in early voting made the difference for President Biden.

The historic number of Americans who participated in early voting made the difference for President Biden.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Janis Leslie Evans

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