With the recent reactions to the American presidential election, heads around the world have been turning.
By Eric Porco
(Photo Credit: Mark Peterson / Redux)
On November 7th, 2020, it was announced that Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States of America. Donald Trump, the current president of the United States and Joe Biden’s competitor in the race, tweeted on the same day “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” shortly after major news sources started reporting the election results. Trump, despite sources overwhelmingly maintaining that Joe Biden won the election, has held his position that he won the election, tweeting later, on November 16th, “I won the Election!”
It is almost needless to say, Trump did not win the 2020 presidential election, and likely, he knows that too. Trump’s own “Voting Integrity Commission,” now disbanded, had claimed 8,400 instances of voter fraud across 20 states in the 2016 election, an incredibly small number that when spread out among the 20 states would not have been nearly enough to swing any elections. Voter fraud in the United States is not an issue. However, the claim that it is being propagated benefits Donald Trump, as it gives his voter base a perceived reason to claim his continued legitimacy as president.
These actions are incredibly dangerous to Democracy, and the way that Trump has treated this election fans the flames of division in our country, which could have deadly ramifications if the worst comes to pass. Trump claims to have won the election despite official sources saying otherwise, his own Secretary of State claiming, “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”
This could lead to civil unrest if Trump refuses to give up power. As a community not far from Washington, DC, it is a good idea for us to organize amongst each other and invest in our communities in the coming times, as it is possible that things may get dangerous near us.
There are other ways that Trump’s actions are dangerous to Democracy, however. One of the ways this is a threat is how the transition of power works in the United States in general. A change in the presidency in the United States means a vast change in government personnel. This means that gaps in administrative positions need to be filled, taking a good deal of precious time.
By the day of the September 11 attacks, some organizational gaps had yet to be ironed out from the election that took place the year prior. Instability, in this case, is vulnerability, and the more time that is spent on mitigating the problems Trump could cause because he refuses to give up power is time that is lost on other problems.
Trump’s actions could also affect coronavirus recovery in a significant way. Vaccines that are being developed to combat COVID-19 could be rolled out much slower than possible due to his obstruction of the presidential process. President Trump’s neglect on the issue of COVID-19, in general, could lead to a much harder time for the Biden Team to mitigate the impact of the virus, and if he were to politicize the issue of vaccines, he could potentially damage the process deeply.
This refusal on Trump’s part to acknowledge his loss could also damage the expectations set in recent years for the smooth transfer of power that has been established by leaders on both the Democratic and Republican parties.
While heated administration changes have happened in the past, recent presidents, for the most part, have welcomed the change in power, and the leaders of both sides have made the process relatively easy. With tensions rising as they have, the process of the transfer of power could be damaged irreversibly for the foreseeable future.