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Trump’s mixed signals; Supporters resort to violence

19 November 2020 01:41 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Pope Francis, the Head of the Catholic Church, was among the several world leaders—who included Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin—to congratulate President-Elect Joe R. Biden on his election as the next President of the United States of America.


Donald Trump`s insatiable lust for power displayed by his persistent refusal to concede defeat, probably imagining that where governance in America is concerned, he is indispensable and the only ‘good thing’ that could have happened to that country, has only resulted in uncertainty, turmoil, chaos, and confusion. 


The negative signals from the defeated Mr Trump have led to several thousands of his supporters to protest against the election results by marching to the Supreme Court and night-time clashes and fistfights with counter-demonstrators resulting in at least one stabbing incident and more than 20 arrests.


According to an Associated Press report, several other cities on Saturday also saw gatherings of Trump supporters unwilling to accept Democrat Joe Biden’s Electoral College and popular vote victory as legitimate. 


Cries of Stop the Steal and Count Every Vote rang out despite a lack of evidence of voter fraud or other problems that could reverse the result. 


The report said Trump himself had given an approving nod to the gathering on Saturday morning when his motorcade drove through streets lined with supporters before moving on to his Virginia golf club. People chanted “USA, USA” and “four more years,” and many carried American flags and signs to show their displeasure with the vote tally and insisting that, as Trump has baselessly asserted, fraud was the reason.


Although, it is not a requirement by US law, conceding defeat has been a tradition practised by a losing candidate no sooner most of the results are declared. 


In this instance, as reported by CNN, Joe Biden had obtained 306 Electoral College votes with 50.9% or 78,850,589 of the popular vote as against Donald J. Trump’s 232 Electoral College Votes with 47.3% or 73,216,001 of the popular vote, and in the process becoming the first president to lose a re-election bid since George H.W. Bush in 1992.


Political theorist and historian Paul Corcoran in a 1994 article published in the journal ‘Political Communication’ said the concession speech—a product of the 20th-century media environment rather than any law or election policy—later took on an important role becoming something important that voters expected to hear as a call for unity. He said it subsequently became an integral part of democratic life and the legitimacy of authority.


As Corcoran wrote, conceding defeat is not, after all, for the sake of its maker. It does nothing for the losing candidate other than to get it over with and gives a sense of closure to those who need it—the losing candidate’s family, staff, campaign workers and party rank and file while providing the space for a smooth transition from the incumbent presidential administration to the one headed by the incoming President. Mr Trump appears to have forgotten the eternal truism that all things pass away leaving behind nothing else but dust and ashes, the basic building material of all beings. 


Meanwhile, top Senate Republicans seemed unmoved by President Trump’s baseless charges that the election was “rigged” and his false assertions that he won the election, even though the results show he lost the race despite his efforts to sow distrust over a cornerstone of US democracy.


While a growing number of Republicans say the formal transition process should begin and that Biden is given access to classified intelligence briefings, they are sceptical that Trump’s legal challenges will succeed, but a few though are willing to challenge Trump’s lies that the election was stolen from him-an allegation rejected by GOP and Democratic Party election officials across the country. 


At the end of the day, concession or no concession, incumbent President Donald J. Trump would have to bow down to the will of the people and leave the White House with a largely deflated ego and a placard giving the dreaded coronavirus numbers under his watch (as of Tuesday): 11,695,711 infected; 254,255 dead and 7,087,796 recovered. 

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