Trump's refusal to concede may prove damaging to our democratic process.
When news outlets began to call the 2020 presidential race for Joe Biden, I was actually in a virtual mock trial tournament. My phone started blowing up with calls and texts and outside, a car drove past blaring the YG song "FDT."
My first thought was relief.
My second thought was apprehension of what Donald Trump was saying.
He was, to put to lightly, not thrilled.
I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1604763396.0
THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS… https://t.co/qGn3DXgDbb— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1604786014.0
“We believe these people are thieves. The big city machines are corrupt. This was a stolen election. Best pollster… https://t.co/1Tlo1rfo8g— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1604845053.0
For months, Donald Trump has been laying the foundation to claim that this election would be rigged if he lost it. Now that he has lost it, he's doing exactly that.
Trump has levied numerous (and baseless) claims of voter fraud against the election. And while the president absolutely has the right to exhaust his legal options, his claims have thus far failed to gain any traction in the courts. Most major news networks have called the race for Biden. Other Republicans have congratulated Biden and begun to call for unity. Those close to Trump, including first lady Melania Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, have reportedly approached the president about giving up his tirade about voter fraud and conceding to Biden.
But if Trump's tweets are a way to gauge his current mood, that doesn't seem too likely.
Currently, the only people who appear to be taking Trump's claims that he was robbed of the presidency seriously are his most diehard supporters.
While the most aggressively MAGA crowd might not make up a majority of overall Trump voters (and, according to the popular vote, DEFINITELY not a majority of Americans) they are a substantial enough bloc that them distrusting the American election process is concerning.
There's plenty that was concerning about the president's reaction to his apparent electoral defeat: the blatant undermining of traditional democratic institutions, his willingness to call Pennsylvania for himself even as votes poured in favoring his opponent, etc.
But the most lasting damage of the last few day's presidential temper tantrums may be the portion of the electorate that may never accept the fact that he lost.