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In 2020, Donald Trump garnered 94% of the Republican vote, an increase of 6% over 2016. In both elections, he lost the popular vote.

More white voters voted for Trump in 2020 than did in 2016, including 55 percent of white women, whose suburban enclaves Trump devilishly claimed were under siege by the urban poor. Simultaneously, voters of color—Native American, Black, Asian, and Hispanic—went to the polls in far greater numbers than they did in 2016.

Although Hispanics were accused of “underperforming” for Joe Biden, Hispanic voter participation increased by a whopping eight million from 2016, with 66 percent of Hispanics voting for Biden, nearly covering his margin of victory. Ninety-one percent of Black women voted Biden.

By 2045, whites will no longer constitute a majority of the U.S. population. Our nation’s future belongs to the diverse constituency now flocking to the Democratic party, which has won the presidential popular vote in seven of the last eight elections.

For all the GOP’s pro-business praise of innovation, it has become the party of Trump, motivated backwardly by racial prejudice, conspiracy theories and deep and modifiable resentments—all weaponized by Trump’s genius for turning people against each other.

Unless he gazes backward, president-elect Biden will look in vain for policies to unite the will of a majority of Americans with the inclinations of the party of Trump. Though he needs to reach across the aisle with conciliatory handshakes, Biden more urgently needs to reach beyond the fray and offer ideas that will inspire the nation and build a better future for everyone.

Most Americans want progress in social and political equity and significant efforts to reverse global warming. They want a just, livable society for both parties and all people. Handshakes on good policies—that’s Biden’s job.

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Steve Kirchhoff 

Bozeman