The Aftermath of the Trainwreck, AKA the 2020 Elections

Arwen Wen, Staff Member

Nearly three weeks after the impressively comical yet completely chaotic catastrophe known as the 2020 elections, America is scrambling to deal with the aftermath: the Democratic ticket of former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris triumphed over current President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. At half-past two A.M. of election night (or rather, really early morning), Trump had announced in a press conference in front of the White House, “Frankly, we did win this election.” Unfortunately for Trump, his statement was incorrect. 

Joe Biden won the presidential election, a fact that Donald Trump and other Republicans refuse to acknowledge. Of course, the electoral college meets on December 14th to cast its vote for president and nearly every state uses the statewide popular vote to allocate its electors, so perhaps, by some miracle, Trump may win the electoral college; however the chances are very low. Biden is projected to win far more than the 270 electoral votes he needs to become president. Majority of the GOP has been cautious about addressing Biden and Harris in any way to indicate that they had won fairly, an unspoken rule. Now, as The New Yorker dubbed it, there could potentially be “Trump’s Clown Coup Crisis.” More or less, the GOP is in a state of denial. Trump’s campaign has filed a slew of, as The Guardian puts it, “legally dubious” suits since election day. “The purpose of these suits appears not to be to actually overturn the election results, but to try to create uncertainty and draw out the counting process.”

The coronavirus pandemic is still spreading at an alarming rate across all fifty states, and Congress and the White House are still doing nothing new about it. With the winter coming, a spike is anticipated, and yet, still, nothing of substance is happening to prevent even more death. This is, in a horrible, crazy, and stressful way, what passes for our current normal. 

Following Trump’s public schedule, meetings, and other affairs recently after the results, one theme is consistent, and thinking about it scares the bejesus out of me. In all honesty, it’s terrifying with a comical side, and it’s easier to focus on how ludicrous it is. As crazy as it seems, Trump’s actions will (yet again) have an unprecedented event: a systemic attack on the integrity of the election itself. Or, in shorter words, an attempt of a coup. Rather than retreat peacefully, accepting the votes of the people, Trump has redoubled his efforts in key states, such as Georgia, Michigan, and Arizona, publicly pressuring local Republican officials not to certify the election results. A few individual Republicans have spoken up. “It is outrageous,” Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, said on CNN. “It is an assault on democracy,” he added. “It’s bad for the Republican Party.” Late on Thursday evening, Mitt Romney, the Utah senator issued a statement that criticized Trump: “Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the President has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election,” Romney said. “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President.” 

Even if Trump’s coup, which most have written off as “yet another Trump con,” fails as most expect it to, this unprecedented attempt could be the door to something else, one day in the future. A considerate amount of people are calling to try and impeach Trump– again. What Trump is doing is not like anything before in American history. For now, as the nation holds its breath and watches for what comes next.