Donald Trump is finally out of office after vigorously contesting the 2020 Presidential Election that gave Joe Biden 306 electoral votes to Donald Trump’s 232 electoral votes; coincidentally the exact same margin of victory that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by in 2016. Trump lost the election in 2020 based on losing Georgia (by 0.24%), Arizona (by 0.31%), and Wisconsin (by 0.63%). In 2016 Trump won the election against Hillary Clinton by winning Michigan (by 0.23%), Pennsylvania (by 0.72%), and Wisconsin (by 0.77%). In the popular vote Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in 2016 by 48.2% to 46.1% (in the United States presidential elections are decided by the Electoral College, not the popular vote); in 2020 Joe Biden beat Donald Trump 51.3% to 46.9% in the popular vote.
Did Donald Trump concede gracefully to Joe Biden after it was clear that Donald Trump had lost the election on November 7, 2020? (The election was held on November 3, 2020; the election was called in favor of Joe Biden on November 7, 2020 by most news outlets.) No, emphatically no. I had thought that Donald Trump would concede gracefully once it was clear that he had lost the election but I was very wrong about that, Donald Trump went on and on disputing the results of the election and trying to overturn the results of the election in his favor all the way up until the Congress itself ratified the votes of the Electoral College on January 6, 2020; the day of infamy where pro-Trump protesters / rioters / insurrectionists actually had the gall to storm the United States Capitol to try to forcefully stop Congress from counting the Electoral College votes that would inevitably and undeniably give Joe Biden the presidential victory; 5 people dying during the assault on the Capitol; 4 pro-Trump protesters and 1 Capitol police officer.
In the process of Trump disputing the election results that gave Joe Biden the victory Trump deliberately threatened the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, with losing the Georgia Senate runoff elections that would decide control of the United States Senate if Raffensperger did not “help Trump” in overturning the presidential election results in the state of Georgia in Trump’s favor. The idea was that Republican voters in Georgia would be mad at the state level Republican Georgia officials such as Raffensperger if the state level Republican officeholders did not dispute Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia in the 2020 presidential election. I am referring specifically to the 1 hour phone call that Donald Trump made to Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021; 3 days before the Tuesday Georgia runoff elections for the Senate that were held on January 5, 2021. In this phone call Donald Trump said:
“It’s very simple. We won the election. As the governors of major states and the surrounding states said, there is no way you lost Georgia, as the Georgia politicians say, there is no way, you lost Georgia. Nobody. Everyone knows I won it by hundreds of thousands of votes. But I’ll tell you it’s going to have a big impact on Tuesday if you guys don’t get this thing straightened out fast.”
And there it is, Donald Trump directly threatening that the Republicans will lose the Senate races in Georgia “if you guys don’t get this thing straightened out fast” as Trump put it. And sure enough on January 5, 2021 Republicans lost both races for the Senate just as Trump threatened and predicted; Loeffler lost to Warnock 49.0% to 51.0% and Perdue lost to Ossoff 49.4% to 50.6% thereby giving the Republicans 50 seats in the Senate and the Democrats 50 seats in the Senate enabling the Democratic Vice-President Kamala Harris to be the tie-breaking vote in favor of the Democrats in the Senate so that Democrats now hold the majority in the Senate.
In the 2020 presidential election in Georgia Biden won 2,473,633 votes to Trump’s 2,461,854 votes; a margin in favor of Biden of 11,779 votes; this being the first time Georgia voted Democrat in a presidential election since Bill Clinton won the state of Georgia in 1992.
Trump has the distinction of being the first President since 1932, since Herbert Hoover of Great Depression fame, to not only lose re-election for President but to also lose both the House majority and the Senate majority for their party during their 4 year term. After the 2016 election Trump was President and Republicans held the majority in the Senate 52 to 48 and held the majority in the House 241 to 194. After the 2018 election the Republicans increased their majority in the Senate to 53 to 47 but lost their majority in the House going down to 200 seats with the Democrats rising to 235 seats; Republicans gaining 1 seat in the Senate and losing 41 seats in the House. Then finally in the just completed 2020 election Trump lost the Presidency to Joe Biden, the Republicans lost their majority in the Senate 50 to 50 with the Democratic Vice-President being the tie-breaker in favor of the Democrats, and in the House the Democrats held their majority 222 to 212 with 1 vacancy; Republicans losing 3 seats in the Senate and the Vice-Presidency and Republicans gaining 22 seats in the House.
Let us not forget; Donald Trump basically throwing away the 2 formerly Republican Georgia Senators in exchange for 2 Democratic replacements to punish the Georgia Republican Party establishment for not fraudulently claiming that Trump won the state of Georgia in the 2020 presidential election.
And now after Donald Trump costing the Republican Party the Presidency, the majority in the House, and the majority in the Senate during his 4 year term, now he leaves the Republican Party severely divided with a Never-Trump faction and a Trump loyalist faction. The Trump loyalists are by far the greater portion among those who voted Republican in 2020 or those who would call themselves Republicans but the problem is, can the Trump loyalists actually win a majority against the Democrats? If the Democrats are 50% and the Trump loyalists are 40% and the Never-Trumpers are 10% then the Democrats will always win in a 2 party system where you just need a simple majority. If the Trump loyalists break off from the established Republican Party and go third party calling themselves the Patriot Party or something then again they will lose against the Democrats because the Patriot Party isn’t going to be a majority party by themselves, not with the Never-Trumper defectors being lost to them.
Of course, whenever the Trump loyalists or some new Patriot Party candidates lose an election they will just proclaim that the election was stolen from them since that is what Donald Trump proclaimed when he lost the election, making the Trump loyalists a threat to democracy, the entire foundation of the democratic order being that the loser in an election admit that they lost. That is what all of the losers in presidential elections did before Trump came on the scene, they all gracefully conceded the election after it became obvious and clear that they indeed lost the election because that is what you do in a democratic system such as exists in the United States. But I suppose Trump is special, Trump doesn’t have to concede that he lost the election if he doesn’t want to.
So now the Republican Party is in a big mess and appears like they will be in a big mess for a long time to come. American democracy held firm, nobody within the establishment took Trump’s side in his battle against the results of the 2020 election; the Supreme Court voted against Trump’s efforts to undermine the election 9 to 0, all of the Republican office holders in the various states where Biden won held firm in maintaining the integrity of their states’ votes and affirmed Biden as the winner of their states’ electoral votes, the only support Trump got in his effort to undermine the results of the 2020 election came in the form of his super fans storming the Capitol on January 6, 2021, otherwise Trump’s anti-democratic crusade to overturn the results of the 2020 election was a complete failure.
What Trump succeeded in was messing up the Republican Party for a good long time and damaging America’s democratic institutions and faith in democracy. How long will it be until the democratic norm of the loser in an election admitting that he lost returns?
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