Writing in defense of our democracy

Writing in defense of our democracy

Credit: Caroline Jacoby/Chronicle

Our history textbooks characterize the United States government as the prime example of democracy, but if students examine its current state, they will find that Trumpian era politics embody the opposite.

With this election cycle coming to an end, we face a political crossroads. We must decide whether we will uphold our democracy or abandon it by prioritizing our individual political preferences. Our decision will echo for decades.

On Nov. 7, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was named president-elect of the United States by the vast majority of the mainstream media outlets, but Senate and White House Republicans have objected to his seemingly routine path to election. As with any presidential race, nothing is official until each state’s elector certifies their vote in the Electoral College this December, but Biden appears to have conclusively won the presidency.

In past elections between a losing incumbent president and his challenger, the incumbent has shown his trust in the American democratic process by conceding in a timely manner and providing the president-elect with the necessary information for a smooth transition to the White House. President Donald Trump, however, shows no interest in doing so. He has made it clear in the past few weeks, and quite frankly in the past four years, that he and his administration have no respect for our democracy or for the American people.

Trump has a history of discrediting processes that don’t go his way. In 2004, Trump’s show The Celebrity Apprentice was nominated for an Emmy and ended up losing. Trump claimed that the award show was rigged against him and that he was cheated out of an Emmy. In 2016, when national polling favored Hillary Clinton over Trump in the months leading up to the election, Trump repeatedly called the election rigged. Trump is a bona fide loser who can’t stand the truth that he is the odd man out in a family full of winners.

Nothing changed in 2020 for Trump. He was trailing in polls leading up to the election, just as he was in 2016, and claimed once again that the election was rigged. President Trump quickly rescinded this claim on the night of Nov. 3, when he was leading in Michigan and Pennsylvania, key swing states. The next morning, the President lost his lead in Michigan and returned to his position that the election was fraudulent. It is evident that, as far as President Trump is concerned, a contest is only fair if he emerges victorious. In other words, a process is unquestionably fixed when his ego is damaged by the results. Simply put, Trump is a reality TV star who cannot accept reality.

Much to Trump’s dismay, the presidency is not a reality TV show. In reality TV shows, one’s poor decisions do not cost over 250,000 people their lives. I would remind President Trump that he is no longer starring in “The Celebrity Apprentice”; he is the President of the United States of America. President Trump, your allegiance is no longer to NBC but to the American people

We cannot allow a reality TV star to distort reality itself. We cannot grant this reality show of a presidency a four year renewal. The nation’s highest office is not a platform that should be used to make fun of dead soldiers and disabled reporters. The nation’s highest office is a platform that should be used to unify Americans despite their differences. As Americans, we should have more integrity than to allow our values and morals to be sullied by a racist bully.

We, the American people, have spoken. We have chosen Joe Biden as our next president. This decision is not a matter of opinion or option but one of fact. Regardless of our political affiliations or preferences, we must uphold the democracy that our founding fathers fought so valiantly to obtain by standing up for the voices of Americans who cannot stand up for themselves. They must be heard, and they will be heard.

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