The election crisis in the US has very high stakes, and I think it’s going to be very hard to deëscalate.
President Trump’s supporters see official election results that defy logic. Their predictors for election success, such as rally attendance and popularity among their own social circles, are grossly out of line with Biden winning a landslide in the popular and electoral results.
Compare improbable election results in e.g. Belarus 2020. You don’t need to know the mechanics of how the election was undermined in order to refuse to accept the results as free and fair.
Add on top of this that there was a flurry of changes to electoral process in many states to adapt to the pandemic. Vote by mail and early voting seem like the kind of changes that could be used for election fixing.
And, finally, the weird behaviour of voters and election officials on Election Day and during the ballot counting. Under pressure in a hotly contested election, with a pandemic raging and armed protesters yelling through the windows, election officials kept a tight grip.
These three pillars of evidence — unexpected results, changes to election laws, and weird activity around the election — seem to indicate, for Trump supporters, a gross miscarriage of democracy.
That’s a really big deal. If elections can be subverted this way, it’s very bad news for democracy. Informed citizens should do everything in their power to prevent it from happening, before it’s too late.
Most major news outlets insist that there’s “no evidence” of election fraud. This seems frustrating as hell to Trump supporters. The “unlikely” results, election law changes, and weird Election Day behaviour seem like plenty of evidence to them.
I just don’t know how this gets wound down.
Would point by point refutations of the “evidence” help? It seems really easy to get lost in the weeds.
Or maybe a broader discussion on why results that seem to defy “common sense” might signify that your common sense is incorrect?
It seems like the current plan is to just get through Jan 20, and people will just stop thinking about it when there’s not someone in the White House stoking the anger. Even if Trump declares himself President-in-exile or whatever, the outrage machine will return to the shadows.
But that plan is going to leave millions of Americans with little or no faith in the democratic process. I don’t think that’s good for civil society in the long run.
I hope that the Biden administration is thinking about this problem now. It’s not solely their problem, but it could probably use some attention at a national level.