Trump not conceding election is not unexpected, says Pramila Jayapal

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump not conceding the election despite major US news networks having declared Joe Biden the winner is not unexpected considering his ridiculous behaviour over the last four years, Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said on Monday.

“I wish we could have expected something different from Donald Trump, but this is the ridiculous behavior that we have seen for four years, to not concede the race, when all major news channels have called this, AP has called it,” Jayapal, who this week registered her third consecutive win to the House of Representatives, told CNN International in an interview.

“The reality is, Joe Biden will be our next president, and there’s nothing Donald Trump can do to change that. So, it’s unfortunate, because the country needs to move forward and move forward quickly,” she said.

“Joe Biden is signaling that he’s not going to let Donald Trump not conceding stop him from doing that. And so he’s already making it clear what kind of leadership he will have, particularly as we fight a virus that has gotten so much worse just in two weeks,” she said.

Jayapal said the election of Kamala Harris of Indian origin as the first-ever woman vice president of the county is historic and that she cannot take the smile off her face to see Harris ascend to vice presidency.

“It is truly a joy, I can’t take the smile off my face, to see her ascend to the vice presidency. This is important, not only because she brings a lived experience, being the daughter of immigrants from Trinidad and India,” she said.

In 2016, Jayapal became the first Indian American woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives. The same year Kamala Harris was elected as the US Senator from California.

“I was elected on the same night that Kamala Harris was elected to the Senate. I became the first Indian-American woman in the House. She became the first Indian-American in the Senate, and the second black female US Senator,” she said.

Jayapal said Harris is a black woman who understands racism and sexism.

“You don’t have to explain immigration or race or sexism to Kamala Harris. She gets it. And so it affects the policy she takes up. She and I have worked together on a lot of policies. We introduced the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which would bring 2.5 million women, primarily women of colour, into the civil rights protections that everyone else have,” she said.

The two also introduced an access to legal counsel bill right after the Muslim ban was passed. “I know that she takes that lived experience and puts it into policy. But, also, think about what it means for young girls, boys, kids all over the world to see her there and to see their futures differently. Because she is there, they can imagine different things for themselves. And that is so beautiful,” Jayapal said.

In another interview to MSNBC, the Indian-American Congresswoman said this is an important election for progressives to have turned out. “And we did a great job doing that,” she said.

Describing it as a divided nation, Jayapal said that in spite of this tremendous victory for Biden and Harris, the reality is there are a lot of people who voted for Donald Trump as well.

“So, my appeal to everybody in the party is to not point fingers. We did not do that. We did not say the conservative part of the wing is wrong, and we’re not going to turn out Democrats,” she said.

“We all unified around Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, in spite of the fact that Joe Biden was not our top choice of many progressives, many young people. But we made the case that I firmly believe in that no progress is possible with Donald Trump in the White House. And we turned people out,” she added.

Jayapal was responding to a question on unexpected loss of the Democrats in the elections to House of Representatives. Critics say that it is mainly due to the left agenda being pushed by progressive Democrats.

“If we say from anywhere in the party that progressives are the reason for losses in these Democratic districts, some of these Democratic districts, I fear we will lose people for a generation. They gave us a chance to make them believe again in democracy, to make them believe that there is a difference between a Democratic administration and a Republican administration,” she said.

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