Trump is De-Legitimising the American Political Process

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By Dr Kede Aihie

The U.S. Presidential election took place on 3rd November, 2020. Almost a week after the election, President Donald Trump, has refused to concede to his Democratic rival, former Vice President, Joseph Biden.

Trump’s Baseless Allegations

A couple of issues, arise from the election. A very divided nation, with Trump receiving over 70 million votes. Biden, on the other hand, received almost 74 million votes.

The Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, made history by becoming the first woman, African and Asian American woman, to become Vice President of the United States of America.

Trump’s misleading statements of voter fraud, have generated tension. He continues to allege massive voter fraud, without proof.

The challenge for Trump is that, his strategy, to cast doubt on the electoral process, use political strategy to tip the scale in his favour, is not legally feasible.

Covid-19

In the meantime, the biggest challenge facing the Biden Presidency, is the record number of dead Americans from Covid-19.

To date,10 million Americans are infected, and 240,000 have died from Covid-19. America is facing both economic and health crises.

Trump’s Bizarre Behaviour

Trump has been in hiding since he lost the election; he has been meeting with advisers to discuss the path way forward. Biden, on the other hand, has set up a transition team he is going to lead as a unifier, rather than a divider.

Sadly Trump is de-legitimising the American political process. It’s been reported that behind the scene, Republican Senators are unhappy with Trump’s conduct, but are too scared to criticise him, publicly.

Trump has become very erratic, firing his Defence Secretary, has not addressed the nation, but has hunkered down in the White House instead, tweeting outright falsehoods.

Right now, the biggest issue confronting America, is a vacuum of leadership.

In 2000, court battles between George W Bush and Al Gore over vote counting in Florida was escalated to the Supreme Court, which ruled in Mr Bush’s favour by stopping a recount.

The former Vice President, Al Gore conceded, rather than escalate the fight to Congress. In the most unlikely situation of going the Supreme Court route, Biden has been advised by some scholars to use Congress.

Going by the American Constitution, Congress is responsible for counting Electoral College votes.

The reality is that, many World leaders have congratulated President-elect Biden.

Trump continues to disregard norms, blocking a smooth transition of power.

Trump is in a spiral of denial, he is holding America back. Trump has been enabled by the Republican party, who have refused to rein him in. Trump is feeding his supporters, with lies. Facts matter, the outcome is clear, Trump has lost the election.

According to Karl Rove, in his piece in WSJ, “To win, Mr. Trump must prove systemic fraud, with illegal votes in the tens of thousands. There is no evidence of that so far. Unless some emerges quickly, the President’s chances in court will decline precipitously when States start certifying results, as Georgia will on Nov. 20, followed by Pennsylvania and Michigan on Nov. 23, Arizona on Nov. 30, and Wisconsin and Nevada on Dec. 1. By seating one candidate’s electors, these certifications will raise the legal bar to overturn State results, and make it even more difficult for Mr Trump to prevail before the Electoral College meets on December 14th”.

The biggest winner, in America’s political misfortune, are Russia and China.

The court of public opinion, does not back Trump. Republican Senator on transition, has given Trump till this weekend before he gets involved. The integrity of the process should be intact, regardless of Trump and his supporters beliefs.

American institutions, will ultimately, protect democratic values and overcome a very tragic footnote to the lows of Donald Trump, who has brought the United States into disrepute, in the eyes of comity of nations. It will take America decades to recover from the institutional damages done by Trump’s ill-fated Presidency.

Dr Kede Aihie, Lawyer and Publisher, London, UK