Potential ugliness of transition of US presidency erodes voters’ faith in the country’s democracy

By: |
November 12, 2020 6:00 AM

Mike Pompeo, secretary of state in the Donald Trump administration, promises ‘smooth transition in January’, but to a ‘second Trump administration’. This means the transition to the new presidency will be anything but smooth.

Few would have expected Trump to agree to a clean exit, but that senior Republicans have dug in their heels in this manner is shocking.Few would have expected Trump to agree to a clean exit, but that senior Republicans have dug in their heels in this manner is shocking.

Mike Pompeo, secretary of state in the Donald Trump administration, promises ‘smooth transition in January’, but to a ‘second Trump administration’. This means the transition to the new presidency will be anything but smooth. The Republicans have already challenged the US presidential election results, that saw Democrat Joe Biden elected as the 46th president of ‘the paragon of democracy’, in the courts in several states. Few would have expected Trump to agree to a clean exit, but that senior Republicans have dug in their heels in this manner is shocking. This will undoubtedly undermine the electorate’s faith in not just institutions but also the US’s democratic core. And, for the ‘global champion of democracy’, there could be no bigger failure. To be sure, Trump should get his chance to fight the poll results in the court, but top Republicans alleging ‘voter fraud’ without proof—the postal worker whose allegations many had cited to support the ‘voter fraud’ claims has just recanted his statement—puts the US on a perilous path.

Even as many world leaders have called to congratulate Biden, some of the top Republicans have conspicuously refrained from acknowledging the results. At such a tumultuous time—the pandemic, anti-racism uprisings, etc, vastly complicate the political landscape in the country—some succour would have come from the promise of a smooth transition. But, what Trump has done has introduced greater chaos; his firing of defense secretary Mark Esper, for instance, and replacing him with the counter-terrorism head Christopher Miller, for instance, risks inflicting partisanship on the armed forces. Bear in mind, Esper, along with the leadership of the armed forces, had strongly resisted Trump’s demand to bring the forces to stamp out the race protests.

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