November 9, 2020
America did not prepare for this, the reign by a man with authoritarian tendencies was never in people’s minds but, after four years of lies, deceit and well documented corruption, Americans became thirsty for truth, normalcy and genuine leadership. That we would be where we are today was never envisaged. With the elections of November 3, the electorates spoke overwhelmingly for change. People chose truth over lies, they did not second guess their disdain for Trump and Trumpism.
Day of election was nerve wrecking, tension rose as the results came in. Trump was doing well most of the night and to many it seemed like the re-election of a President who brought nothing but chaos of leadership since his election in 2016. For months, Trump criticized mail-in ballots, called it a fraud and encouraged his followers to abandon a process recognized as part of America’s electoral system for decades. The military votes by mail and in some states, voting by mail is not new and as a result, not a surprise it would be encouraged during a pandemic.
For those that are listeners of the Lincoln Project, an American political action committee, formed by Republicans who reject far right conservative ideologies, with a goal to defeat Trump, seeing Trump’s numbers rise on Day Of election was not unexpected. What comes a day or two after the elections when the ballots are counted is most relevant. Therefore, it was not a surprise as Joe Biden began to maintain a sizeable edge over Trump, while narrowing a lead the President enjoyed.
The rest is history. On November 7, 2020 Biden was projected President- Elect after getting 20 Electoral votes from Pennsylvania, required to give him the presidency. Disenfranchisement proved to be a bad political strategy, while voters’ suppression failed. The train has left the station and come January 20, 2021, America would have a transition of power ending four years of abysmal leadership.
While many in the country are happy over the victory, the role of the media in making it possible cannot be underestimated. Thanks to free speech and the First Amendment, despite attacks and labeling as fake news by President Trump, mainstream media like CNN, MSNBC, The NY Times and The Washington Post, stood their grounds, by keeping the people informed about the ills of the Trump administration. Had the media failed in their constitutionally protected duties, Trump and Trumpism would have survived another four years.
On the other hand, the President’s propaganda machines continue to cry foul. Newt Gingrich, Fox News, Newsmax and other right-wing media continue to enable the impulses of Trump by claiming election fraud and calling voters’ choice a stolen presidency, without providing a single evidence. The Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell also said Trump is “within his rights to wage legal fight.”
What the election revealed is that people’s choice was no rejection of conservatism and Republican principles but, a denouncement of Trump and his moral bankruptcies. Character and good leadership matter. Those qualities among others motivated people for change. Afterall, Trump got 71 million votes, while most Republican candidates on the tickets were re-elected with only Trump losing. What people don’t want is for his leadership to continue.
Biden has won. For the Trump base and supporters, it is time to drop your MAGA hat, burn it and flush it down the drain of history. Some of you admitted your mistakes in 2016 by voting for Trump but redeemed yourself in 2020 by supporting Biden. For the majority that chose to double down in 2020, the anger towards you is not for your conservative principles or party affiliation as Republican. What stinks is your moral degradation to back hate, bigotry and racism. You gave America authoritarian leadership by voting for Trump in 2016 and then, attempted to impose on the nation a full-fledged dictator in 2020, but failed.
It has been days since Biden was declared the winner but, the President is yet to offer his concession. What people want to know is if conceding an election is a requirement. The fact is, there is no concession mandate in the U.S. Constitution. A concession is a matter of custom and tradition to which every past President adhere after an election. It is an acceptance of the process and a confirmation of willingness to relinquish leadership to the winner. What the Constitution demands is a peaceful transfer of power.
Now that the electorates have spoken with a choice of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Whether Trump concedes or not has no legal relevance. Failing to concede only makes mockery of his legacy, a break from tradition. With or without a concession, the transition process will proceed. The Constitution stipulates that there must be a peaceful transfer of power by 12:00 Noon on January 20th. If on that day and hour the President remains in office, he would be trespassing. People have voted for change, it is time for new leadership and unification of a divided country.
Adeyemi Oshunrinade is an expert in law, foreign relations and the United Nations. He is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests,’ ‘Constitutional Law-First Amendment,’ ‘Criminal Law-Homicide’ and ‘SAVING LOVE’ available on Amazon. Follow on Twitter @san0670.