Donald Trump’s Misjudgments: Transition Flight encounters Turbulence

The single biggest issue which made Donald Trump lose the election was his unwillingness to acknowledge the devastation by the corona virus pandemic.
Keywords: Trump| Biden | Republican | Democrat | Election | Media | USA | Corona Virus | Pandemic | Police | African-American | RCEP | TPP | Presidential | China
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On November 15, 2020, referring to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump tweeted saying “He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I can see nothing! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION.”

Trump appears to have the backing of a vast majority of silent Republicans, who don’t want any erosion of the Republican base. James Bovard said “the first step in saving our liberty is to realize how much we have already lost, how we lost it, and how we will continue to lose it unless fundamental changes occur”. This American libertarian was vocal in denouncing corruption and cronyism. It was the aforesaid sentiment which turned out to be the dominant theme at the Democrat National Convention where Trump’s rival Joe Biden described Trump as a person “who has cloaked America in darkness”. The other attendees endorsed this view and said that Donald Trump is an existential threat to America.

While the significantly important areas of core concerns to the Democrats and Republicans such as those relating health, abortion rights, education, immigration policy, LGBT rights et al-   did play their role in determining the magnitude of votes secured by the rival parties. Issues such as the mismanagement of the Corona virus pandemic, which took a heavy toll of lives; alleged human rights violations and the high-handedness of the law enforcing agencies/police in the reckless and inhuman killing of African Americans also tarnished the image of the Republicans.

The single biggest issue which made Donald Trump lose the election to Joe Biden was his complete unwillingness to acknowledge the devastation the corona virus pandemic has wrought on the United States. An exhaustive list of Trump’s failures has been covered comprehensively in the print and electronic media. Essentially, delayed recognition of the problem and, therefore, a delayed response, inadequate testing and contact tracing plagued the Trump administration.

Even as early as Feb 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci the director Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases warned of a big surge in community related afflictions, something which was not taken care of by the administration in the overall matrix of problem resolution.

In an interview to CNN News on Nov 15, 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the out-going president’s corona virus team blocked working with Joe Biden’s -putting a spanner in the works. He lauded Biden for the appointment of Ron Klain as the White House Chief of Staff. This functionary who was formerly the Ebola Czar, was an asset to the Obama administration in tackling the Ebola pandemic in 2014/15.

Police brutality in general and particularly against innocent African Americans considerably eroded Trump’s image. Things had come to a stage when many states requested a reduction in the funding for the police department and also called for a more society friendly police. As a result of the aforesaid lapses by the political dispensation a large cross-section of people all over America including many prominent Republicans lost sympathy for President Donald Trump.

Prominent among them were John Kasich, a former governor of Ohio, who aggressively campaigned for Biden. Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor even called Trump a “con man and a fraud”. Colin Powell, a four-star general much respected by Republicans was another eminent figure who regards Trump a millstone around America’s neck.

It was always expected that transiting from Trump to Biden would be akin to going up the creek without a paddle. Almost everyone familiar with Trump’s temper tantrums and political antics knew what lay in store for Biden’s transition journey, yet few expected that Donald Trump would stubbornly refuse to concede to his rival.

In 2000, the sitting US Vice-President Al Gore who was a presidential candidate against Bush lost to the latter in Florida despite a virtual electoral tie, the results met with a legal challenge. This happened despite the fact that Al Gore had received 48.4 percent of the vote cast ahead of Bush’s 47.9. A Supreme Court ordered recount declared Bush the winner. And Al Gore gracefully conceded the defeat.

America First:

As regards the November 2020 presidential election results President Trump has instituted lawsuits challenging his rival on grounds of “electoral fraud, rigging and miscounting” in many battleground constituencies of Arizona, Michigan Philadelphia and Georgia. In Arizona, Biden has an unassailable lead if all votes are counted despite the GOP’s objection to many mailed-in ballots. As regards Michigan a judge has rejected a request by Republican poll watchers who had alleged fraud in Wayne County to block certification of election results in Detroit. Philadelphia presented a case where Trump’s request to invalidate several batches of mail-in-ballots were rejected. Georgia is a state where Republicans have never lost a presidential election contest since 1996. Edison Research had projected a Biden win, but there also a hand recount showed Biden leading by 14,000 votes.

As per the latest overall tally Biden has secured 306 electoral college seats as against Trump’s 232. Any candidate crossing the halfway mark of 270 would be declared the winner.

Political Quagmire Clouding a smooth transition:

Groups such as those of MAGA (Make America Great Again) and others such as Stop the Steal DC, Proud Boys and Oath Keepers Militia have held massive street protests in Washington DC and other cities. 

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has addressed large gatherings:

Alex Jones has forcefully lashed out against the fraud which helped tilt the electoral scales in favour of Biden. He has cited malpractices in Pennsylvania; Michigan; Arizona; Georgia; Nevada and Minnesota among others. The list of Biden’s collaborators according to him were paedophile globalists and Clinton blackmail rings.

Transition is anything but Smooth:

Under the prescribed provisions of the US Constitution unless the incoming president has been certified to be the winner and therefore, the legitimate claimant to his president’s position by the General Services Administration no transition can be taken forward.

The President Transfer Act of 1964 gives civil servants the required authority and power to smoothly pass on the political baton from one president to the next. Very much like in a baton race, unless the preceding runner carefully and smoothly cedes the baton to the next runner complete chaos can result.

Joe Biden has been handicapped  hitherto because an egoistic and headstrong Donald Trump  delayed making millions of dollars in federal funds available for the transition process. He only reluctantly relented on November 23th but affirmed that he would still pursue legal action all the way to the Supreme Court. The lame duck president also refused until recently to let his rival access presidential intelligence briefings thereby potentially putting America’s security at  risk, besides of course making the country look like a banana republic in the eyes of many nations that once regarded the United States as a bastion of democracy.

Donald Trump’s America First policy and reckless petulance cut America off from the rule-based world order. His decision to withdraw from the WTO, WHO, Iran Nuclear Deal, Paris Climate Accord and the twelve nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement weakened the US position internationally.

The withdrawal from the TPP was ominous for some other prospective member-nations, and many, most notably Australia   were economically left at the mercy of the People’s Republic of China and have indeed now joined the China-centric Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. 


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V B N Ram

Mr V.B.N. Ram is a Researcher on contemporary social, political, economic and geo-strategic issues and has written for many newspapers and journals circulated within India and outside.

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