I’m sure the whole world watched the final days of the American election with tension and anxiety and breathed a sigh of relief when it became crystal clear on Saturday that Joe Biden was the new President-elect to the United States. I know I did. Why do I care when I live in Europe and have my focus on Korea? Because the U.S. for better or for for worse is a leading nation in Western civilization, and American culture continues to permeate the rest of the world, to say nothing of the important role the U.S. plays on the international scene in peace as well as in war. On a more personal note, I have visited the U.S. on plenty of occasions and from the big cities on each coast to the deep South and the wide prairies of the Midwest, I have never met anything but kindness. Therefore, I have followed U.S. politics over the past four years with shock, and sadness – unable to recognize the country I thought I knew.

To say that the past four years have been turbulent is an understatement. I realize that Trump is worshipped by many, but they appear to be a domestic problem, which I’ll gladly leave to the Americans to handle. In almost any other country, there is no one crying about his impending exit. Perhaps except a few tears of joy and relief. Finally we can rest assured that no late night twitter tantrums will dictate the next news cycle. Finally we can hope to bring back civility and common sense. And science! Which we desperately need now more than ever. I’m hopeful for the future and confident that Trump will fail at his attempted coup d’état of launching an attack on the cornerstone of every democracy – the voting process. The good must prevail, and I’ll continue to be nauseously optimistic.

My champagne-powered euphoria from Saturday when Biden was pronounced the winner has since evaporated and I recognize that there are still tough times ahead and many battles to be fought. I can’t stay completely away from the news, although it probably would be much better for my stress and anxiety, so I try to make the most of it by following the American election through Korean media. Yesterday, the JTBC newsroom spent almost 30 minutes of their one-hour segment on the election and I was happy to see that they also celebrated a Biden victory and replayed old concession speeches by Al Gore, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton while urging Trump to also admit defeat. I picked up a lot of election-related vocabulary that may be helpful to my Korean learning readers so I’ll share a few expressions with you here:

재선에 실패하다 fail to be re-elected

승복연설 concession speech

대선 presidential election

정권인수 transfer of political power

최초의 여성 부통령 first female vice president

대통령에 당선되다 be elected president

바이든 당선 President-elect Biden

경합주 battleground state

전담조직/태스크포스 taskforce

개표 결과 results of the ballot count

Here’s a link to President-elect Biden’s full acceptance speech in Korean. Trust me, it’s every bit as moving and inspiring in Korean as it is in English.

To a brighter future for all! Cheers!

1 Comment »

  1. I was helping my daughter move into an apartment on that Saturday and as we paused in moving boxes (while wearing masks), our phones beeped and we got the news update on his announced win. Immediately, cars began to honk and, later on, there was an impromptu parade (still with masks!) on the main street that leads to the Capitol building here in MN. It was the last 60 d. F. day here and most people were outside social distancing and really being happy.

    As for the wait, that seems to be sour grapes on behalf of the current administration. I think President 45 will eventually lose interest – he’s already pretty much out of money. It’s a shame because I’ve lived and worked under both Democratic and Republican administrations and we’ve never seen petty behavior on such a large scale. Here’s to things getting both medically and socially better in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

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