Make America Democratic Again

The United States of America have in the past ever since its founder George Washington passed the baton to john Adams successfully had transitioned from one leader to another. While the political system of America exudes both admiration and disdain worldwide, its transition of power is one of the times tested and ever enduring process that Americans are proud of and world looks up to.

The first transition to ever occur was 220 years ago and if the existing situation is anything but a script for the future, come next month it will be tested to its core. The current incumbent republican president Donald Trump is slated to lose to the democratic challenger and the former vice president joe Biden this fall and if polls are to be believed, he is taking the republican senate down with him.

Trump had consistently said that he would see whether or not to accept the result of elections and since Obama spied on him(allegedly), it amounted to non-peaceful transition of power and so why should he. This should concern everybody.

Image source: StoryMaps

The American model is based on the political transition of power from one living head to the was a stark departure from the regency system existing in the monarchial setup of the day back then. America not only created a democratic state but also envisaged a system where the incumbent even if losing or not competing would run the country till the inauguration day, America therefore shall always have one president.

Back when john Adams succeeded Washington, owing to exigencies of transportation the transition took a full six months. This was cut down to weeks in the early 20th century, the 20th amendment fixed the inauguration to January 20th.

Most of the notable transitions happened amidst the cold war, the grueling battle between VP Nixon of incumbent Eisenhower and JFK, where JFK won was a disaster. The last-minute addition of legacy making program of arming insurgents in central America and Cuba added to the Kennedy itinerary unannounced catapulting into Bay of Pigs disaster.

The famous carter Reagan transition in the midst of the diplomatic crisis in Iran exuded a sense of neatness and propriety. A hard-fought election and a mishandled diplomatic fiasco made carter a one term president. Ronald Reagan election literally crushed Carter and famously altered the face of conservatism in America.

 The letter from the republican incumbent George HW Bush who lost to the democratic opponent William Jefferson Clinton ending with these lines, ‘your success is our country’s success’ reinforced the belief that America always have one president and he is the leader of all, no matter who votes for the president and who doesn’t.

the bush to Obama and Obama to trump transition were smooth and professional. Despite several allegations of spying and mishandling the Russian interference, president Obama and his team ensured that the incoming gets a chance to serve the country.

Come this November, if polls are to be believed, trump will lose the election.  A Biden victory would open a cataclysmic vault for trump to alter the face of the country in the remainder 2 months of his presidency. Trump might further push NATO to the sidelines, further alienate the allies and reorient the US foreign policy making it difficult for Biden to make amends.

He would also steer more hatred for the people about to take charge ensuring more divided America adding fuel to already a divided nation. But this will only happen if he accepts his loss.

Image source: Reuters

If election turned out close as it did in 2000, it is sure to land up in the supreme court where a brutal conservative majority bolstered by Amy Barrett elevation could hand over the presidency to him. If election didn’t turn out to be close, he could simply refuse to concede. He surreptitiously and cynically had already been plotting for it since the first-time mail in ballots started to take place this cycle. His false accusation about stuffed ballots and democrats voting twice cooks well with his base and would end up in more violence across America.

The transition therefore while looking flashy is a moment of reckoning every four years for the oldest democracy. The promise of ‘good laws under a free government’ evidently wades through this perilous moment where every four years, disappointments, desire to cling is hidden under a garb of smiles to ensure that the people’s will shall prevail.

This fall, America will traverse the toughest path it has ever seen. A divided nation more polarized than ever, will have to undo its biases in order to move forward. Only a strong mandate and inner realizations could save it, a nation ruled by, of and for the people. Maybe its time to Make America Democratic Again!

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Nikhil Khare

Nikhil Khare is an Indian RTS officer (2019 batch)

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