When you beat your friend at Monopoly and he curses and flips the board in anger, you can put it down to him being a bad loser, let it go, and swiftly move on with your life.
But what do you when the president of one of the most powerful countries in the world refuses to accept he lost an election?
Unfortunately for Americans, that’s exactly what US President Donald Trump is doing at the moment.
On Saturday (7 Nov), 4 days after Election Day, Joe Biden was finally announced the winner of the 2020 presidential election by several news outlets.
Typically, this is when his opponent would make a concession speech and call the victor to congratulate him.
But as we know, nothing Trump does is “typical”.
Trump maintains that he hasn’t actually lost the election, alleging voter fraud and other nefarious acts from his opponents without any evidence.
Will this get him anywhere though? Why is he adamant in his refusal to admit defeat?
Sowing Distrust in the Election Process
For months leading up to the election, Trump has tried to undermine the election process and results by alleging voter fraud, especially with mail-in ballots, without any evidence.
As a result, many of his followers chose to vote in person, which meant a majority of those who voted by mail were Democrats supporting Biden.
Mail-in ballots take longer to count, which explains why Trump was initially leading in the race.
He filed lawsuits in some states to stop counting votes, insisting that the mail-in ballots were all fraudulent.
The tactic, however, didn’t work.
Biden was declared the winner by various news outlets, including Fox News, a news channel known for its right-wing leanings and, well, a very good friend of Trump.
Still, Trump refused to accept that he lost, once again claiming that Democrats were trying to “steal” the election with fraudulent votes, and alleged that Republican poll observers were not allowed to view the counting process, even though they were.
THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
He then simply contradicted the truth, claiming he won.
I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be? We have all learned a lot in the last two weeks!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2020
So, why hasn’t he accepted defeat? What’s his endgame here?
By raising doubts about the legitimacy of the election process, Trump is sowing distrust among his supporters over the results.
This way, his supporters won’t accept that Biden has won, even though he has defeated Trump by a clear margin.
This creates more unrest in the streets and stirs up storms of protests, which will be hard to ignore, given that nearly half of voters elected Trump.
In addition to creating unrest, it will also give Trump time to pursue legal action.
Hopes Supreme Court Will Overturn Election Results
Trump’s game plan here is to get the supreme court to overturn the election results and declare him the winner.
“If we win, if we win on Tuesday, or thank you very much, Supreme Court shortly thereafter,” he said before the election.
But, as a Washington Post article noted, Trump can’t just walk up to the Supreme Court and say “Hey, I know that Biden won the election, but can you make me president instead? Pretty please?”
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Trump has to first issue legal challenges in state and district courts, before making his way to the Supreme Court.
The problem for Trump is that unlike press conferences, you actually need evidence to make such claims when you’re in court.
So, even though he’s filed multiple lawsuits in several states, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan, many of them have already been thrown out.
However, a Supreme Court has actually once ruled in an election.
Back in 2000, when George Bush went head to head with Al Gore, Bush won by just 537 votes.
A recount was supposed to follow, but the Florida Supreme Court stopped it, and the U.S. Supreme Court later declared Bush the winner.
This is the sort of outcome Trump is hoping for.
But in order for an election to be brought to the Supreme Court, the results have to be close enough to be contested, like in the case of Bush vs Gore.
The legal obstacle for Trump is that his defeat to Biden is as clear as day, with Biden garnering over 4 million more votes and 76 more electoral college votes, even when some states have not been called yet.
So, because the results aren’t close, Trump has to engineer a situation where his supporters don’t believe in the election results, or question the outcome.
The longer he does this, the more time he has to pursue his lawsuits, the longer votes will take to be counted, and the more agitated his supporters will become.
Whether this strategy will work or not, it seems nothing will convince Trump to admit defeat and leave the White House.
Unless that happens, he may just have to be dragged out kicking and screaming.
Image: Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com
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