With most media outlets calling the presidential victory for Biden-Harris last night, America erupted in celebration. People in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York City took to the streets with flags for Pride and the Biden-Harris campaign, shouting for hope and a new opportunity for people in America. However, whereas most of the final tallies in states have decidedly declared Joe Biden as America's 46th president, Donald Trump seems unwilling to concede, calling for his supporters to make unwarranted claims about the fraud in American politics and placing a lawsuit on basically anything in the country that breathes.
Starting on Tuesday night, when polls closed and when most states began counting absentee ballots, Trump called for his followers to halt the count of mail-in ballots in states where he was losing his stronghold; when Pennsylvania and Georgia turned blue, the Trump campaign through Rudy Giuliani encouraged his followers to critique the election process. In a press conference on Wednesday, he discussed how Trump was “entirely unwilling to concede” this election, and described the election process as fraudulent and necessary for reevaluation. Irrespective of which side you voted for this election, the claim that our election process was somehow a fraud is a slap in the face to American democracy, supporters of the Biden-Harris campaign, coronavirus survivors and those who have lost loved ones to the virus, and those who have felt unheard during the entirety of Trump's presidency. Here's why.
Trump's Inability to Concede Disregards the Precedent He Set in 2016
In 2016, after Trump lost the popular vote by the wide margin of circa 3 million to Hilary Clinton, it seems contradictory that a Trump win means that opponents need to “shut up and take their loss,” but the minute he starts losing it's time to start throwing money and throwing a hissy fit. In Clinton's case, it was Trump consistently bringing up her e-mail scandal. Now, it's him critiquing Biden for “dementia”-- a baseless claim, mind you-- and calling out the DNC for voter fraud, throwing away votes that were his, and that he was winning the election until they started counting votes. This presents the same unwavering logic that stemmed from the statement that “the only reason America has coronavirus cases is because we're testing for them!”
In the same way, Trump's tweets have been fact-checked periodically since late Tuesday night, with most garnering the warning shown in the tweet above. With Georgia and Pennsylvania both being under inquiry for a recount, and still checking out with Biden in the lead, these critiques seem to be less worried about the maintenance of democracy and more worried about how the Trump campaign can sublet the process to somehow pull out a Trump lead. With the sheer number of people who came out to vote for Biden this year, and two relatively concrete red wins in Georgia and Pennsylvania going blue, it seems indicative that maybe the general American will really was for Biden to take office.
If Trump Doesn't Concede, The President-Elect is Limited Until December
If anything, we know Trump's stances on some current issues being presented on the national stage. As coronavirus continues to rage throughout America, presenting some of the highest case numbers since the beginning of the pandemic, Trump's only responses have been to host large-scale rallies without a mask in sight and also re-tweet his proponents discussing how media coverage on the virus has slowed since the beginning of the election process.
High levels of racial tension and wide-spread fear of Trump's Supreme Court nominee's stances on gay marriage and guns require immediate attention, which will officially need to be stalled until December when the college makes their final decisions. Donald Trump's inability to control the coronavirus pandemic means that during the intermediate period of Biden taking the presidency, the virus will continue to rage throughout America. While the Biden election may have been a step in the right direction, we're years behind fully repairing the extent of damage to American democracy that was presented during this presidency.
Democracy is Alive-- And This Election is Proof
It seems notable that in this election, people actually took to the streets to celebrate a loss. Not a victory, but Trump's loss. Cities erupted into cacophonies at the first calls of a Biden victory. How much could you have actually been for the American people, for democracy, if this many are celebrating your leave from office? With somebody so determined to maintain democracy, claiming that the election was rigged, fighting for something reminiscent of liberty, shouldn't you be glad that the American people showed out the way they did? If he was truly concerned with the loss of republicanism, that the country was somehow unheard, then shouldn't this election have made you proud?
Trump's decisive defeat in this election stemmed from the root of this issue: most Americans recognized that their primary goal in this election wasn't to stop their taxes from going on the up-and-up. With so many controversies raging through America and division being higher than ever, tax-payer dollars will most likely be reallocated under Biden's cabinet to focusing on things like Equity and Inclusion or Coronavirus prevention measures. Donald Trump made a mockery out of a virus, even after fighting it himself in a hospital room. Donald Trump made a mockery of America, incapable of keeping everything professional and accepting a defeat.
How come Senate and House votes aren't being contested even though they were on the same ballots as the presidential nominees? How come in 2016 nobody was forcing a reevaluation? How come Hilary Clinton, or Mitt Romney in 2012, how come neither of them took to the courts with baseless claims of voter fraud because they lost?
With these questions on the plate, it seems clear why Trump refuses to concede: because he thinks he can call “dibs” on a presidency, and the minute that didn't work out for him, he took to Twitter. As we usher in a new presidency with the wreckage of 2020 in its wake, America should implore all supporters to recognize and respect the president as so many were asked in the wake of the Trump victory in 2016.