Democracy wins!

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Democrat nominee for president, gathered the largest vote total for a candidate in the history of U.S. presidential elections. President Trump repudiated the results, claiming that he had the most legitimate votes; few people backed his claims. Trump says the election is far from over. No doubt extensive litigation is still to come.

The election process was exceedingly slow, but exceedingly meticulous, as Biden ground through the primaries, defeating foe after foe. Newscasters are framing his election as an example to all of us of the importance of never giving up on one's dream. The general election saw record voter turnout, not only in person but also by mail. Because of the turnout, the counting process took several days, but in the end America's democracy survived and stood firm. The election was a triumph of our democracy. The result will be noted all over the world and in history books.

In transitional times like these, our enemies perceive an opportunity to undermine us. China and Russia are pointing to the aftermath of our election as an indicator of our failing democracy. There are many autocratic regimes that see the success of our democracy as the biggest threat to their illegitimate holds on power. They may seek to take advantage of our troubled times. Fortunately, Biden's experience with our allies will help ensure that we won't have to deal with these threats all on our own.

Now the work begins. The work is to restore balance and trust in our nation and restoration of the rule of law. Those who supported Biden believe he is up to the task. The first order of business will be to control the spread of the virus. Every day it seems new records are set for coronavirus infections and deaths. The virus has a stranglehold on the economy. Doctors say it is going to get worse. The economy cannot fully function in such circumstances. President-elect Biden is moving to take control of the situation.

Next, the economy must be supported. With over 20 million workers unemployed, the economy is suffering greatly. In the short term, a stimulus package must be released from congressional gridlock. Long term, a healthier, fairer economy must be achieved. The Federal Reserve must continue to support the economy. If these things are done, our economy can recover and working Americans can regain their economic footing. All this can be achieved with a steady hand in the White House and cooperation among all parties.

On the first trading day after election week, the Dow Jones took a giant leap upward, in part propelled by the prospect of a vaccine. That would greatly aid the economy and loosen the anchor around its neck. Since the market tends to look forward, the rise in the averages presages good things for the economy.

The economy has had a rough time, but do not count the American economy out. It will recover and go on to better things. There is no better place to be an investor than in the United States of America.

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William Rutherford is the founder and portfolio manager of Portland-based Rutherford Investment Management. Contact him at 888-755-6546 or wrutherford@rutherfordinvestment.com. Information herein is from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Investment involves risk and may result in losses.

Published: Fri, Nov 20, 2020