The election aftermath is far from over, despite Joe Biden being declared the 46th president of the United States. Prior to the results, President Trump warned that he would not commit to a peaceful transition of power and the only way Biden would win was through a rigged election. Now the president, his administration and other aides are still pushing the narrative of an illegal and rigged election.
Republicans like Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have both encouraged President Trump not to concede to election results. “I think the election is not over until the votes are counted and the legal challenges are decided,” Sen. Graham said. “That’s why I would encourage the president not to concede.” McConnell also said that the president is within his rights to challenge the election results and pursue legal action.
In addition to the promotion of result backlash, Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto cut away from election coverage after White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany made claims of voter fraud and illegal voting. He claimed that unless there was evidence to back up her serious accusations, he could not continue showing her footage to his audience.
Trump is continuously encouraging his supporters to not give up hope on the results, tweeting menacing claims like, “We will win!” after Biden’s announcement of victory and how he “won this election, by a lot!” These encouragements have led to supporters to protest across the nation, continuing to spread unsubstantiated claims that voter fraud had taken place and Trump is the actual victor.
Toxicity between political parties cannot continue, even if one does not like the outcome. If every candidate questioned the results of an election solely because they did not win, the country would never be able to come to a proper conclusion and its people could never be unified.
Despite Trump’s consistent strive to undermine the results, he did not demonstrate the same questioning attitude during the previous election. In 2016, members of the Trump administration criticized recount efforts by saying they were “based on no evidence” and called protestors of the results “a bunch of spoiled crybabies.” Trump spokesman Jason Miller called these claims “ridiculous” and an attempt to “delegitimize” Trump’s victory.
These are similar to how Democrats describe the president’s wishes for a vote recount. Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders have called out Trump for his refusal to acknowledge the election results, saying it is an “outrage” and “delegitimizing our democracy.”
Every candidate has the right to call for a recount, but not unless they have evidence that manipulation or illegal activity took place to begin with. Democracy allows for its members to choose who represents its people. This does not mean officials get to pick and choose what results they listen to. Trump must agree to the peoples’ vote and start the transition of power.
Not all members of the Republican Party agree with Trump’s handling of the election results. Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted that although President Trump has the right to call for a recount, he should not be accusing the election of being rigged or stolen by the Democratic Party.
The claims Trump and his administration are making are not only irresponsible and immature, but they are also hypocritical and extremely dangerous. They threaten the state of the country’s citizens and its security by dividing instead of unifying.
Trump’s refusal to concede has already created issues for the Biden administration. The General Services Administration has delayed contact with Biden’s team, leaving him without resources like classified intelligence briefings that would allow for a smooth transition of power. The GSA is waiting on pending vote certifications or a concession from President Trump. This dangerous divide between political parties can cause a difficult transition of power and leave the United States vulnerable to international security threats.
The president is just adding fuel to the fire by not accepting his loss. Trump is attempting to get the Supreme Court to force a vote recount for states with slim margins, similar to Florida during the 2000 election. These states include Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. However, Trump and the GOP dismissed an appeal in the state of Nevada because there are a small number of remaining ballots still being counted.
This country is already divided enough as it is. President Trump isn’t making a transition of power any easier. Toxicity between political parties cannot continue, even if one does not like the outcome. The president is being beyond irrational and is leading the country into dangerous territory. If he continues, this political divide will deepen and Biden may never be able to put the pieces back together.
Hannah Campbell is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Hannah by tweeting her at @hannahcmpbell.