BY SHRUTIKA CHAVAN
Post- Biden victory, Trump remained in an exceedingly fighting mode that has left the rest of the world in a state of delusion, wondering whether America is progressing towards a constitutional crisis.
Donald Trump refused to concede, citing unproven claims of fraud in the mail-in ballot votes in the US Presidential election 2020 won by Joe Biden. A day after the Electoral College made Biden’s win official, the statement from the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany came as President Trump continues to be pursuing litigation associated with presidential polls.
On 4 March 1801, when the second US president John Adams stepped down, set the principle of peaceful ‘transfer of power.’ Institutionalized by presidential inauguration & governed by Presidential Transition Act 1963, the peaceful transfer of power is the hallmark of democracy. The notion of ‘speech of concession’ is significant because it stands crucial for the well-being of the state apart from being a noteworthy historical tradition. President Trump’s refusal to acknowledge Biden’s victory posed a heavy challenge to the democratic tradition of peaceful transfer of power.
Already flawed Electoral College system that offers second priority to popular vote and undue importance is given to speech of concession on the part of the defeated; Trump seems to have exploited this to bring the situation down to a state of confusion & uncertainty.
The decision to pull an outsized number of troops out of Germany & strengthening Anti-China rhetoric, inflicting sanctions on Iran and carrying out a peace deal with the Taliban are a number of Trump’s last minute cementing of legacy moves. Most of those decisions might end up being tough to undo for the Biden Administration. President Trump has initiated the signing of executive orders on the sale of oil & gas permits of ‘Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ‘ and the renewal of regulations under the purview of the ‘Health & Social Services Department, ‘ which the Biden administration might oppose.
After weeks of delay, President Trump has authorized the General Services Administration’s (GSA) to initiate the process of transfer of power. GSA is the government authority that provides ascertainment to the incoming administration by providing office space within various agencies, $6.3 Million in government funding. This comes after Trump and GSA faced increasing pressure from Republicans, coming out publicly as access to federal resources should be granted to Biden’s team citing national security issues. Biden’s team now has delayed access to federal resources for cabinet picks and staff appointments. This might hamper efforts to manage the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccine distribution plans.
The country’s tradition of having one president at-times is challenging to follow for Biden, during the transition period, especially in the case of moves to signal traditional US allies for re-engagement.
If there are any sharp differences in the belief system between incoming and outgoing administration, it can invite frictions in national security engagements. The delayed transition in power could result in undermining the President-elect’s ability to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and getting the economy back heading in the right direction. Mitt Romney, a Republican senator who is critical of Mr. Trump tweeted recently, “Fundamental to democracy is a peaceful transition of power, except that there’s Belarus.” In my concluding remarks, I’d wish to say that with great traditions comes great responsibility. Democracy is all about the peaceful transition of power as a result of fair and effective election. Democracy demands respect for the verdict of voters, grace on the part of the defeated and benevolence from the victor. President Trump must recover from his grief of loss and gracefully transfer the power to President-Elect Joe Biden for the betterment of America and for the greater good of democracy.