I hope not! But the signs are not good.
The media have unanimously proclaimed that Joe Biden has been voted the next President and will take office on January 20. The official results have not been announced and the outcome will not be formalized until the Electoral College meets on December 14. Yet, the incumbent President not only is claiming that his second term as President has been “stolen” by a “rigged election” but also is undermining the goodwill required during period of transition between the outgoing and incoming Presidents and their respective Administrations.
What could happen if Donald Trump sticks to belief that he is the truly elected President of the USA? Here are four possible scenarios:
- Trump declares that the election results are invalid, that he is the legitimate President and calls on the Armed Forces (of which he is the Commander in Chief) onto to the streets to restore order and take control of rebellious cities and states. It is worth noting conflict within the armed forces’ Oath of Enlistment – to “support and defend the Constitution” and to “obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me.”
- Trump concedes the election outcome but refuses the leave the White House until Inauguration Day, continues to foment domestic divisiveness, urges civil disruption and sabotages US international trade and diplomatic relations.
- Trump concedes the election and steps aside but continues to claim (in vitriolic attacks against those whom he perceives have robbed him of his rightful second term as President) that the election was stolen, obstructs the incoming Administration and encourages his supporters to protest and demonstrate against an ‘illegally elected’ Administration. Those protests result in riots, deaths and considerable civil disruption.
- Trump persists with his vitriolic attacks and denials of the election outcome, resulting in a heightened risk of protests and civil unrest. To avoid a domestic conflagration and bloodshed, Joe Biden concedes the presidency to Donald Trump.
Some of the consequences of each of these scenarios are breakdowns in law, order and infrastructure, many American deaths, scenes in US cities reminiscent of the 1930s, and foreign investors withdrawing their capital and willingness to trade with the USA.
Then again, Donald Trump could concede that Joe Biden won the election, promise an orderly transition to the new Administration, and urge his supporters to accept the election result, demonstrate peacefully and refrain from any civil disruption!!!?