image courtesy of CBS News
Nearly a month has passed since the election and although most states have certified vote tallies for Joe Biden, President Trump has refused to concede. Everyday he tweets sensational, but ultimately baseless, conspiracy theories about election fraud. President Trump has demanded fruitless recounts in various states and has brought dozens of legal challenges, most of which have been dismissed. The current electoral college projections stand at 306-232 in favor of Biden. This means that President Trump would need to flip back Pennsylvania, Georgia, and at least one other state to get the electoral college votes he needs. Although those states are statistically close, all audits and hand recounts in those places have upheld the results, which makes his case to win them exceedingly weak. So why hasn’t he conceded?
This presidential election has been referred to as the most important election in modern history. There are so many issues at stake, from COVID-19 and the Affordable Care Act, to women’s reproductive rights, and climate change; the President will have considerable influence on these concerns. It makes sense, thus, that President Trump and his fellow Republicans do not want to give up control of the executive branch of government. But four weeks after the election, it is time to relinquish the fantasy and concede, before further damage is done. So let’s take a closer look at President Trump and the 2020 election.
When first announcing his campaign in 2016, Trump hurled a slew of racist “birther” claims against President Obama. He went on to repeatedly call for the arrest of former Obama administration Secretary of State and Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the 2016 election. Since then he has continued to publicly insult his political rivals and has incited a rise in nationalism, thinly veiled as patriotism, of course. President Trump has strained relations with of our allies by antagonizing the international community, abandoning treaties, and cozying up to rival nations led by strongmen or dictators, all while operating an administration that has seen constant turnover. In other words, his administration feels like one big reality TV show, where no one can hold a position for longer than three months.
As the 2020 election approached, President Trump increased his name-calling attacks especially toward members of his own party who were strong enough to contradict him. President Trump claimed victory on the first night amid his own claims of voter fraud. When the election was called for Joe Biden, he increased his election fraud allegations. The recounts that he has demanded have not changed anything–in fact recounts have often gained votes for Biden. Now some members of his own party are telling him to “Deal with it” and when President Trump is attacked, he responds with twice as much force. This is driving the two political parties even farther apart from each other and dividing the nation. His divisiveness even caused the GSA (General Services Administration) head to delay the transition by weeks. This means that the Biden transition team missed out on weeks of national security and coronavirus briefings.
Several states have started certifying results, making it official that Biden has won many states President Trump demanded recounts in. President-Elect Biden has even started to announce cabinet positions. And yet President Trump is still refusing to admit his defeat. When the head of the GSA, Emily Murphy, finally signed the forms needed to formally begin the transition process, President Trump tweeted, alleging that she had been harassed and bullied into doing so–ironically that is exactly the treatment which he dispenses upon others who defy him.
His refusal to concede may have come as a surprise to some, but we should have seen this coming. All we can do is hope that the President will see the error of his ways and concede graciously, instead of undermining faith in our democratic process. However, even if he refuses to concede, his term Constitutionally ends on January 20th. As for the new administration, I sincerely hope they can bring this nation back together. We must unite, whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or any other party, behind the new administration, behind America, as we are strongest when we come together as a nation.