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Opinion: Trump does not care about democracy

Amidst the tension and confusion of the presidential election and the counting of votes, President Donald Trump and his hardcore supporters demonstrated once again that they do not care about democracy. Rather, they care about winning no matter what. For the past five years, Trump has made it very clear that he will consider elections rigged against him if he does not win them. On election night, Trump, in an unprecedented move, awaited the election results and held his gathering at the White House. Trump spoke to the crowd that night and proceeded to say a litany of half-truths and lies about the state of election and the integrity of the counting. 

Supporters of President Trump and Vice-President Biden gathered around the Washington Monument after Biden’s win was announced on November 7, 2020 | Ingrid Harbo

Now, it seems that Vice-President Biden will win the 2020 Presidential Election. Trump decided to pre-empt the official outcome and declare that he had actually won the election and claim that election officials were attempting to tamper with the outcomes in the states where his lead was slipping due to mail-in voting. This goes without saying, but the reason why mail-in ballots are predominantly going to Biden is because Trump repeatedly challenged the security and validity of mail-in ballots while Biden embraced and encouraged them. Trump’s speech included some noteworthy quotes such as “[the Democrats] can’t catch us,” “they knew they couldn’t win so they said ‘Let’s go to court,’” “this is a fraud on the American public” and “we were getting ready to win this election, frankly we did win this election.” Finally, at the end of his speech, President Trump said “We want the law to be used in a proper manner so we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at four o’clock in the morning and add them to the list.” Ironically, it seems that Trump realizes that he can’t win and so he’s saying, “Let’s go to court,” but there is something more serious happening in this speech. 

What President Trump is doing here is deliberately lying to sow doubt on the outcome of the election so that he can remain in power with some semblance of legitimacy from his supporters. This doubt and manipulation of election results has resulted in some unusual protests in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona by Trump’s dedicated supporters. In Pennsylvania and Georgia, pro-Trump protests were held with protestors chanting “Stop the vote” while in Arizona pro-Trump protestors were chanting “Count the vote.”. The reason for this is simple. Counting the mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania and Georgia threaten the lead Trump had from in-person voting on Election Day while in Arizona, counting the votes could threaten Biden’s lead. To be perfectly clear, not only should all votes in the election be counted, they must be. Despite what Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh said, absentee ballots do not “flip the results of an election.” They are part of the results of an election. Anything less is undemocratic. Trump and his hardcore supporters’ actions and words are shameful and sow the seeds for civil unrest and conflict if Trump does not win the election.

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