From the day of the election of President, to today (December 14, 2020), I have been reluctant to formally comment on the outcome. However, with the passing of the 14th, and the Electoral College formally stating their choices, it’s now the time when one can intelligently opine on the result.
Joe Biden, former Senator and Vice President of the United States, will become the 46th President of the nation. My conservative friends might chime in at this point and say “but wait, the Congress will be counting the Electoral College votes on January 6th and, and, and, Representative Jo Jordan or Mo Brooks is going to put up objections to the voters.”
They will also say “If Jordan or Brooks and then a Republican Senator agree to objections, then we get chance!”.
If you read this primer on what could happen next, you will find that the chances of Congress overturning any Electoral College vote is microscopically thin. Never say never, but I wouldn’t put my money on odds that long.
So, with that, it may be time to start stating what just happened over the month and one-half of noise, lawsuits, and posturing, into perspective.
From day one, meaning right after election day, I told my friends who’d ask that the election won’t be done on November 3 or even a week after that. Two things were at play here. First was the fact that most of the states were just figuring out how to process mail-in voting, and some states like Pennsylvania, they needed a lot of time to process the ballots that came in.
Second, everyone who paid attention to what was being said knew that President Donald Trump was not going to accept the results. He was going to fight to the bitter end in the courts to try and have votes and results “adjusted” based on purported proof his legal team could come up with.
On the second point, I told people “all Trump and his team have to do is get one judge to agree that one point in their complaint was worth pursuing, and that’s when we are off to the races”. After all, this is Donald Trump, he was going to get the best lawyers to come up with game-changing arguments.
And if not that, the “X-factor” of whether the US Supreme Court, in the end, would rule in his favor was also up in the air. After all, according to the pundits, the court flipped from liberal to conservative with the appointment of 3 Supreme Court justices during Trump’s term.
With these factors at play, overlaying that with the nature of Trump – never surrender, always fight. And having that attitude egged on by the 40% or so of the electorate that was his supporters, I said that we won’t know the final result until everything is litigated out, which could be as late as the Electoral College.
And in general, I was right.
But let’s step back for a second and ask ourselves “was it right for Trump to drag this thing out, litigate it to the hilt and fight, fight, fight.” The answer to that question I will propose is “yes”.
Here is the thing, regardless of what you think of Trump and his administration, or even the idea of voting for president, the fact remains that the candidates have the right to challenge the results. Trump had that right, so did Biden if he so chose. Most times the losing candidate for president, feeling his move will help unify the country, throws in the towel and concedes when they see that the results are what they are.
But Trump didn’t do that. And even though the lawsuits that his team came out with were, by and large, all dead on arrival when it came to actual proof to the courts, one thing is for sure is that the system allowed him to have his day(s) in court.
We as a people need to celebrate that, the fact that we at the end allowed Trump (or anyone for that matter) their right to litigate a result. It is the thing that makes America admired by others in other countries where one has no rights to litigate an issue. And if you tried, it might be you that is put in jail on trumped-up charges just to shut you up.
Here, in America, we say “you lost”, maybe pat them on the back for fighting the good fight to the end, and then we swear in the winner on the 20th of January in Washington DC.