Dangers to Our American Democracy

Trump Refusing to Concede?


   The peaceful transfer of power, also known as the transition between two presidents. George Washington modeled it to John Adams. Barack Obama did it with President Trump. Now, with under a week left until the election, President Trump threatens that he will refuse to commit to the peaceful transfer of power, in the case that Joe Biden wins. With over 60 million Americans already casting their ballots, this news is dire to American democracy, and could wreak havoc on an already fragile United States. 

   Democracy was created with the intention of giving power to the people, to prevent authoritarian rule or dictatorships from controlling the country. The democracy ideal is a part of American values. Senior Bradi Stewart says, “Hearing the President say that he won’t accept the election results if he loses is concerning to say the least. Every other President has gracefully left office if they lost, and I hope he does the same.” If the President refuses to concede, he would make history, and not for something we’d want to remember. 

   The President has already expressed his severe distrust in mail-in voting, calling them ‘fraudulent’ and ‘a hoax.’ Trump says, “Get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very – you’ll have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation” (BBC). Although this may come as shocking to some, the President said the same thing back in 2016, when asked if he would concede if then Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton won the election. Junior Megan Lear says, “I honestly don’t know what would really happen if Trump refuses to leave office. It’s never happened before. The current president usually accepts the results and helps integrate the newly elected candidate into office.” While he was eventually declared the winner, Clinton still won the popular vote by 3 million, an outcome he continues to question. 

   Democrats in Washington seemingly don’t appear to be worried about the President’s refusal to concede. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee running against Trump, is particularly assuring the public that if he wins, Trump will be leaving office come inauguration day. When asked by reporters, he said Trump’s comments were “irrational” and that the government is “perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House” (BBC).

   While the outcome of the upcoming election is still incredibly uncertain, it remains clear that it will go down in history; amidst the worldwide pandemic, doubts of mail-in voting, and an uneasy political climate. However, it is the hope of everyone that the outcome of this election, no matter who emerges as victorious, will unite the country once more.