President Trump, Democracy, and the Right to Challenge Elections

Many have argued that President Trump's refusal to concede the 2020 Presidential Election is a "threat to democracy." On the contrary, President Trump's actions are examples of how a democracy should function.


President Trump is challenging the election on multiple fronts:

(1) Legally invalid votes which include ballots submitted by individuals who

(A) Have moved states,

(B) Are deceased, or

(C) Are not citizens

(2) Precincts which have more votes than registered voters

(3) Elections which did not operate under legal procedures because precincts

(A) Removed Republican observers,

(B) Prevented Republican observers from meaningful observation of ballot counting, or

(C) Experienced other irregularities

(4) Constitutional challenges (state and/or U.S. Constitution)

(A) Unconstitutional changes to the timelines for the receipt of absentee or mail-in ballots

(B) Unconstitutional changes to the procedures for the verification of absentee ballots (signature requirements, etc.)

(5) Fraud

(A) Fake ballots

(B) Multiple counting of legal ballots for Biden

(C) Non-counting and/or disposal of legal ballots for Trump

(D) Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic Technology (both may be exclusive subjects of litigation from Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, etc.)

President Trump is pursuing his claims in the legal system and in the public square via speeches, social media, etc. Every American has the right to free speech and use the judicial system. A President of the United States should have them as well. He should not lose these rights merely because he is the President.


Some argue that President Trump is acting like a dictator. This contention completely misunderstands how dictators maintain their power. First, dictators would not have had an election or, if they did, the election would have been rigged so that they overwhelmingly won it. Second, if they had appeared to lose an election, dictators would not bother to use the judiciary or make speeches to challenge the election results. Rather, they would have ordered the military to detain their opponents (such as Joe Biden or Kamala Harris) or shut down states which did not vote for them.


The greatest threat to America's democracy would be if voter fraud were not exposed. If rules were broken or machines changed vote tallies, the American people would not be choosing their President. Rather, rule-breakers would be deciding who would lead the country. For America to continue to be a democracy, the people must be able to select their own leaders. Indeed, this ability to choose the President and other representatives is the lynchpin of Americans' other rights and the bedrock of the American system. It is essential, therefore, to investigate claims of voter fraud.


As a practical matter, the lack of concession is neither illegal nor a hinderance to the transfer of power. A law does not mandate that President Trump concede. He merely has to vacate office on January 20, 2021. Second, the General Services Administration (GSA) is beginning the transition and providing funding. This action could have been delayed several weeks (as per the precedent in the George W. Bush-Al Gore election of 2000), but President Trump requested the GSA to move forward. Third, Mr. Biden continues to name staff to his team and hold public briefings. If Mr. Biden feels that his transition is being impeded, he has a remedy: the U.S. judicial system. The system of "checks and balances" would rule on a Biden legal challenge.


Several have argued that mass riots would take place if the election were decided for President Trump. America should not make policy based on the fear of violence from rogue elements. Rather, the United States should be guided by the principles of justice and that illegal actions should be corrected. If violence happens, America's police and National Guard have the ability to stop it and protect the populace and their property. Hopefully, given the fact that the only post-election Trump rallies have been peaceful demonstrations, Biden supporters would be peaceful as well.


Some Republicans argue that President Trump should move on from the election and focus on the two Senate runoffs in Georgia. As a person living in Georgia, I can assure readers that Georgians are well aware of the runoffs and their importance. In fact, one cannot turn on the television, listen to the radio, open the mailbox, or check their text messages without reminders of the upcoming elections. Republicans in Georgia will vote in the runoffs, and, while they may be frustrated by the Presidential election, they will not let November's results deter them from supporting Senators Perdue and Loeffler.


President Trump may or may not win his legal challenges regarding the 2020 Election. If he loses in court, he will merely leave office on January 20, 2021. He will vacate the office knowing that he has exercised all of his legal options to defend himself. Democracy will have been upheld because President Trump was able to use his rights to the judicial system and to free speech. His supporters will be disappointed, but they will move on with their lives and prepare for the next election. Hopefully, though, they will advocate for a voting system which is more secure and less susceptible to manipulation.

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© 2020 by Michael B. Abramson