Is a peaceful transfer of power in question this November?

President Trump has recently come under fire for side stepping questions related to the transition of power if Joe Biden wins ( President Trump has questioned the security and legitimacy of the upcoming election because of the calls for wider mail in voting. Many have requested an increase in mail in voting because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Democrats have challenged Trump on this issue, asking for a larger bailout of the Post Office to help facilitate the greater volume of ballots. Republicans have cautioned against this, arguing that mail in ballots pose a higher risk of voter fraud.

Both Republicans and Democrats have pushed back against the idea that Trump will not concede the election if he loses to Joe Biden. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tweeted, “The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792." Supporters in his party such as Congressman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and even detractors such as Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) have agreed that anything other than a peaceful transition would be unthinkable. Biden has even suggested that the US military will be involved if Trump refuses to concede.

While we will have to wait until November 3rd (and ultimately January 20, 2021) to see the outcome, history is on the side of a peaceful transition. President George Washington established the precedent of this peaceful transition when he stepped down after completing his second term. Even though the two term rule wasn’t established until after FDR served four consecutive terms, each president has passed the torch without any major issue. Trump would be remiss if his vague responses actually amounted to action and it would only divide the country further, tarnishing his legacy.

As it currently stands, Trump is trailing Biden in the polls by about 10 points. Around this same time four years ago Clinton was leading Trump by 14 or more points depending on the poll. If that is any indication, then there shouldn’t be any concern. Trump’s words may come off as veiled threats, but at the end of the day there won’t need to be a peaceful or forceful transition of power because there won’t be a transition at all. Until the election day Americans must remain vigilant and look closely at the narratives being driven by both sides.

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