In this century (XXI), we endanger our most fundamental freedoms by allowing totalitarian regimes to establish using the democratic system, damaging institutions from the inside, bending the truth, creating “alternative facts,” and cementing a populist base that operates as a cult.
There are multiple examples of situations that are driving democracies into totalitarianism: the Turkish “coup d’etat” attempt, the Russian Duma presidential laws, the Spanish judiciary-monarchic and police persecution of minorities, the Polish fundamentalist Christian justice reforms, Belarus election trouble and police brutality… The world is not exempt anywhere of political trouble; it has always happened; however, the critical player that influenced the continuation of liberal democracy in the world, the United States, is living a very significant moment. The American Republic can either continue its political philosophy based on individual freedoms and institutional representation or advance towards totalitarianism.
The presidential election results are disputed; President Trump has the right to contest the results, but not to produce false information. There is no evidence of tempering the election. The judiciary is not taking the cases of voter fraud as there is no evidence, or the cases are presented with vague affirmations or irregular affidavits. The electoral process, its commissioners, officials, volunteers and workers, including the party observers (the real ones), make it very difficult to rig the American election.
My conclusion is that President-elect Biden is indeed the next President of the United States based on the electoral process and the obtention of the majority of votes in the Electoral College. He also won the popular vote.
If President Trump does not accept the results, following the confirmation of votes re-counts, after the electoral college confirms Joe Biden as President-Elect on January 6th, there will be a situation that can break America.
The United States requires trust in its institutions to survive, confidence in processes and the rule-of-law. Assume for a moment that “alternative facts” are embraced not just by President Trump but by the Republican party, producing a lack of trust in the democratic process and conspires to abuse the judiciary. In that case, we confront a critical question: What stands as a legitimate government in the United States moving forward?
If a part of America breaks its trust tradition in the electoral process and institutions, there will be chaos. The American political society is porous enough for groups to co-exist with allegiances to different ideologies. It could translate into separate political allegiances based on the recognition or not of the next executive government.
Suppose President Trump has to be removed for the new President to take possession of the office. In that case, the damage will be done, and America will not only have to work on partisan reconciliation, but it may also well be working for the preservation of its liberal democracy and Constitution. If Trump keeps power because of a hypothetical Supreme Court ruling, though unlikely, then the popular vote and the electoral college will be invalidated. Democrats, moderate Republicans, and independents will most likely contest a Trump second-term administration’s legitimacy and dispute the judiciary democratic stand.
Without a concession, within the formal regular presidential transition, one thing is certain; there will be no peaceful transition of power.
I am not referring to violence, which can happen too; I am referring to the political rhetoric, which mobilizes people and confirms citizens’ allegiance to its institutions.
The Republicans, not all but the significant leaders, are embracing Trump’s strategy and arguments. If they do not accept the election results, the schism can create a parallel state that obeys the President’s figure above all other state powers.
At the same time, if President Trump obtains the presidency even losing the election, unlikely but not impossible, it will mean that America has become a judiciary state with higher courts serving the executive. It will tell the American voter that exercising its right and voting is not enough, and can end America if its citizens dispute institutional trust and allegiance.
There is a way out of this dangerous conundrum, President Trump conceding.
If he does not, Trump will have a position against the new government but no significant legislative representation voice unless he has the Republican Party support. If Republicans do not recognize the new Presidency of Joe Biden, contesting the new administration’s legitimacy, America will split into two.
It all comes down to know what the Republican Party will do, either preserving the United States of America Democracy or risking establishing the foundations of a Totalitarian State.