This Is No Time For Complacency

by Kevin Burton

   To Biden supporters and those who dislike the current president, I understand your celebratory mood. I get it. But here’s one word of advice for those ready to exhale.

   Don’t.

   You can’t afford it. The country can’t afford it. Many people put in years of hard work to get this election victory for Biden-Harris. But I believe the hardest part is yet to come.

   The things that I have hinted at in recent posts, especially the one from election day (Politics, The Art Of The Possible, Nov. 3) are on the table now. 

   And I’m not the only one concerned about this scenario.

     Several “terribly concerned” Republican senators are starting to plan how they’ll crack down on President Trump if he loses the election but refuses to accept defeat, said journalist Carl Bernstein, who helped crack the Watergate case in the 70s while writing for the Washington Post.

   “They are very, very worried about it,” Bernstein told CNN last week.

   Bernstein said as many as 10 senators are “trying to come together” to “make a plan that if the president provokes a constitutional crisis, which they believe he will, they will try to find a way to let law and order and the Constitution prevail.”

   The GOP senators are “talking with each other about how to restrain what they regard as an out-of-control, almost madman” who is “determined to do anything to hold on to office regardless of its legality, regardless of how far it crosses lines that are unthinkable in terms of authoritarianism,” Bernstein said.

   I found this reported by the New York Daily News.

   I have said I feared that American democracy would not continue because I am not sure the country is capable of ousting a defeated president who refuses to give up power.  I wonder about the motives of the party that brought this president to office, though Bernstein’s report eases my mind somewhat. There are still two-plus months before the Biden administration is supposed to take power.

   Remember, politics, the art of the possible.

   For anybody in the United States to be complacent right now would be a big, big, mistake, possibly fatal for democracy.

   Frankly I’m more than a little surprised that the current regime did not carry out the dirty tricks it would take to make the vote totals look different.  That still could happen though or even worse.

    This president, having lost the election at the polls has already taken the contest to the courts. If that doesn’t work, would anyone be surprised if he took it to the streets or attempted to tear up the constitution?

   Twenty years ago we had a defeated presidential candidate with a legitimate reason to cry foul over the election.

   Get on You Tube and watch Al Gore’s 2000 concession speech. Do you recall what happened that year?

   The US Supreme Court voted on party lines to force Florida election officials to stop counting contested ballots. It gave George W. Bush the state of Florida by 537 votes.

   Florida’s 25 electoral votes gave Bush the presidency, 271 electoral votes to 266.

   “Many of my supporters are disappointed. I am too,” Gore said in a ten-minute speech. . “But our disappointment must be overcome by our love of country.”

   The current president is not capable of anything approaching that level of statesmanship. 

   So I for one am still holding my breath.  I do so, still steamed that for the second straight election cycle I was forced to choose between the far, far left and the far, far right.

   But even if my fears, and those of the Republican senators interviewed by Bernstein, prove unfounded, something has been unleashed in this country. If Trump exits, trumpism, will still be a force.

   “(Trump) has an extraordinary hold over large swathes of this country, a visceral connection that among thousands of supporters has brought a near cult-like devotion,” writes Nick Bryant, a BBC correspondent based in New York.

   “After four years in the white house his supporters studied the fine print of his presidency and clicked enthusiastically on the terms and conditions of his presidency.”

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