It’s official: Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States. Biden was officially declared the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election the morning of November 7, surpassing the 270 electoral votes needed after the counting of mail-in ballots proved him the victor in Pennsylvania as well as Georgia and Nevada. Biden also won the popular vote by more than four million.
Reactions poured in swiftly. But none were quite as emotional as that of CNN’s Van Jones who responded in real-time to the news on live television. Fighting back tears, he began by speaking about what Biden’s victory means to him as a father, to so many people who felt afraid, and to the soul of our nation.
“It’s easier to be a parent this morning,” Jones began. “It’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids character matters. It matters. Telling the truth matters. Being a good person matters.”
Jones went on to acknowledge all those who suffered and were forced to feel afraid during Trump’s presidency. He spoke of George Floyd, of Black parents worried for their children, of immigrants who were told they were not wanted, of Muslims who felt afraid. He spoke of those who were “just trying to hold it together” because of an administration that spread hate and made it okay to do the same and how Biden’s victory offers so many the chance to finally take a deep breath.
“This is a big deal for us, just to be able to get some peace and have a chance for a reset and the character of the country matters and being a good man matters,” Jones said. “I just want my sons to look at this.”
Here’s a full transcript of Jones’ comments:
It’s easier to be a parent this morning. It’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids ‘Character matters. Telling the truth matters. Being a good person matters.’ And it’s easier for a whole lot of people. If you’re Muslim in this country, you don’t have to worry if the president doesn’t want you here. If you’re an immigrant, you don’t have to worry if the president is going to be happy to have babies snatched away or send dreamers back for no reason.
It’s vindication for a lot of people who have really suffered. I can’t breathe? That wasn’t just George Floyd. That was a lot of people who felt they couldn’t breathe. Every day you’re waking, up you’re getting these tweets, and you don’t know. And you’re going to the store and people who have been afraid to show their racism have been getting nastier and nastier to you. And you’re worried about your kids and you’re worried about your sister and can she just go to Walmart and get back into the car without somebody saying something to her. And you spend so much of your life energy just trying to hold it together. And this is a big deal for us to be able to just have some peace and to have a reset.
And the character of the country matters. And being a good man matters. I just want my sons to look at this and see what happens when do it the cheap way and get away with stuff. But it comes back around. It comes back around. And it’s good for this country. I’m sorry for the people who lost. For them, it’s not a good day. But for a whole lot of people, it’s a good day.