JUST when we thought we experienced the worst, President Donald Trump has outdone himself again in attacking America’s democracy, democratic institutions and processes, and the American people.
After losing his desperate bid to be re-elected to a second term, Trump has dug deeper in his bottomless pit of transgressions against America that can lead to even more deaths, chaos, economic and social hardships for the country’s people.
Facts and figures: Election results
As of November 17, Biden leads in the national popular vote by a 51% to 47% margin, or by 4 percentage points. So far, Biden has earned 78,729,579 votes, compared to Trump’s 73,126,938 votes, with outstanding ballots still being counted in several states, including California and New York.
Translate that to electoral votes: 306 Biden, 232 Trump. The metrics that called Trump president-elect in 2016 are the same ones that declared Joe Biden’s victory this time around, as well as their predecessors.
Trump’s ‘alternate facts’
Even before the November 3, 2020 presidential election, Trump has been planting the seed of doubt in the minds of his die-hard followers that the only way he would lose his re-election bid is if he was cheated. In fact, this was the same defense he would resort to using in all battles and contests he’d been in as a private citizen, and as a politician.
Trump himself said in an interview on Fox and Friends:
“I’m not thinking about concession speech or acceptance speech yet,” he told reporters.
“Hopefully we’ll be only doing one of those two. And, you know, winning is easy. Losing is never easy. Not for me it’s not.”
Despite Trump’s efforts to disenfranchise voters during the pandemic, the American people turned out in historic numbers to cast their votes, both Democrats and Republicans, as well as Independents and those with no party affiliations. Most Democrats chose to mail in their ballots in compliance with public health safety measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 versus most Republicans who followed Trump’s command NOT to mail in their votes but to go to polling stations on election day.
The verdict: a rebuke of Trump’s failure of leadership as the 45th president of the United States. He governed to be re-elected more than to fulfill the oath he took to defend and protect the Constitution and the American people. After four chaotic years, with the coronavirus pandemic testing and revealing his true color, a majority of the American people fired him.
Instead of respecting the will of the American people, Trump refuses to concede and has doubled down on pushing the conspiracy theory that he was cheated. He is still demanding a recount and is even trashing the sacred votes of people, calling them “illegal votes” except those ballots that voted for him and the Republicans.
Trump and his minions filed at least 16 lawsuits only for the judges to rule that there is no sufficient evidence to prove his allegations of widespread election fraud. Even his own lawyers pulled out of the case to admit there was no fraud. The President vowed to take this battle all the way to the Supreme Court where he rushed to confirm his nominee less than a month before the election to tilt the balance of power to his favor.
I believe the judges, the Republican and Democratic election officials, state secretaries, governors and lieutenant governors, Republican, Democrat and international poll watchers and observers who publicly say there is no evidence of massive election fraud.
I believe the Republican, Democrat independent, no-party affiliation American people who overwhelmingly cast their sacred vote, whether in person or by mail during this pandemic, to make our voices heard and our will be known. Enough! We move forward, build back better
But it is beyond Trump to even accept nor respect this. Instead, he claimed he won on Election Day and after Biden was called President-Elect on November 7. Trump asked his die-hard supporters to protest in the streets despite the threat of COVID-19 to “stop counting the votes” (mail in ballots) on November 3, and when Biden was pulling ahead – to count all the votes their votes he claimed were being “stolen”. Then, Trump demanded monetary contributions toward his election defense. As the fine print says, the money will go to any of his campaign debts.
The WORST part of it all is his order to his administration NOT to acknowledge Biden as the president-elect, and to block efforts toward a peaceful and orderly transfer of power pursuant to the rule of law.
The President Transition Act of 1963
The “President Transition Act of 1963” was enacted “to promote the orderly transfer of the executive power in connection with the expiration of the term of office of a President and the inauguration of a new President.
The national interest requires that such transitions in the office of President be accomplished so as to assure continuity in the faithful execution of the laws and in the conduct of the affairs of the Federal Government, both domestic and foreign.
Any disruption occasioned by the transfer of the executive power could produce results detrimental to the safety and well-being of the United States and its people. Accordingly, it is the intent of the Congress that appropriate actions be authorized and taken to avoid or minimize any disruption.
This law was violated by Trump because he could not accept that he lost. Therefore, he has been denying the Biden transition team with information, intelligence briefing and the resources that had been accorded by all other outgoing presidents to their successors. Country before party. The American people before selfish political interests.
This is something Trump cannot comprehend nor commit to.
President-Elect Joe Biden spoke to the American people on Monday, saying there will be “dire consequences if President Donald Trump and his administration continue to refuse to coordinate with his transition team on the coronavirus pandemic and block briefings on national security, policy issues and vaccine plans.”
“More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden told reporters during a news conference in Wilmington, Delaware, as reported by the Associated Press.
“Biden and his aides — and a small but growing group of Republicans — have emphasized the importance of being briefed on White House efforts to control the pandemic and distribute prospective vaccines. The Trump administration is working on its own distribution plan, while Biden’s chief of staff indicated his transition team will proceed with their own planning separately because of the obstruction,” the AP said.
“We’re going into a very dark winter,” Biden said. “Things are going to get much tougher before they get easier.”
As the United States struggles with the record-breaking number of coronavirus cases, hospitalization rate and death toll, President-elect Biden has already been hard at work “in the days after he was projected to be the winner of the presidential election.”
All the while, Trump has been busy golfing, tweeting against his political opponents, spreading conspiracy theories that denigrate and invalidate the integrity of the election and the will of the American people to rile up his base and attempt to delegitimize Biden’s win.
Biden has already announced his transition teams, including the “COVID-19 advisory board comprised of doctors and scientists, which will create a blueprint for tackling the pandemic once his administration is in office,” CBS News reported.
“But Mr. Biden said his team needs access to the Trump administration’s plans for distributing a coronavirus vaccine, which he called a ‘huge undertaking,’ in order to be fully prepared to address the pandemic once in office,” CBS News added.
“If we have to wait until January 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind over a month, month and a half,” Biden said. “So it’s important there be coordination now, now or as rapidly as we can get that done.”
Biden emphasized that economic recovery “starts with a real strategy to deal with the pandemic. We can’t solve the jobs crisis until we solve the public health crisis.”
True patriotism and love for the country
In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” former President Barack Obama said, “When your time is up, it is your job to put the country first and think beyond your own ego, and your own interests.”
This was how Trump’s predecessors showed their true love and patriotism and loyalty to the country.
“My advice to President Trump is, if you want at this late stage in the game to be remembered as somebody who put country first, it’s time for you to do the same thing,” the 44th president said.
But Obama also directed the call for accountability to the Republican Party that enables Trump and is complicit to his assault against our democracy.
“There has been this sense over the last several years that literally anything goes and is justified in order to get power…There are strong men and dictators around the world who think that, ‘I can do anything to stay in power. I can kill people. I can throw them in jail. I can run phony elections. I can suppress journalists.’ But that’s not who we’re supposed to be,” Obama said.
And who are we supposed to be? What are we doing, “We the People”, to protect and fight for our democracy?
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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.
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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989 with ABS-CBN and is now serving the Filipino audience using different platforms, including digital broadcasting, and print, and is working on a new public service program for the community. You may contact her through email at email@example.com, or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos.