Elections and voting are both pillars of American democracy, but the person who is supposed to lead America continuously questions their legitimacy.
President Donald Trump said he would not guarantee a peaceful transition of power if he loses the presidential election this year. Last Wednesday during a White House briefing, Trump was asked what he will do if he loses to Joe Biden in November. His response was:
“We’re going to have to see what happens.”
Instead of guaranteeing the safety of America’s democracy, he brought further doubt about the reliability of the voting system this year. Trump has questioned mail-in ballots and whether voting and whether or not it will lead to voter fraud. He is invalidating American democracy by spreading false information about mail-in ballots, causing further distrust in America.
In July, Trump wrote a made multiple claims about mail-in voting that have been proven untrue, predicting the election will be the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history. He has also claimed foreign countries are plotting to make fake ballots, but there's no proof to back up these statements.
Trump is trying to convince the American people mail-in ballots will lead to an untrustworthy election, which is not true.
Mail-in ballots are being used to make the election more accessible to both Democrats and Republicans amid COVID-19. With just more than 200,000 COVID-19 related deaths, it is imperative to take precautions to keep Americans safe. It is critical Amerians trust these systems in order to protect themselves and others, while still upholding the importance of public health.
Trump is actively trying to create distrust in American politics by making these claims. A new ABC News and Washington Post study show 49% of Americans believe mail-in voting is susceptible to fraud. This study asked Americans if the benefits to mail-in ballots outweigh the risk — many believe they don’t.
This in part could be due to the misinformation that Trump is putting out to the public.
This is not the first time Trump has hinted at losing an election without grace and dignity.
In 2016 during the final debate between him and Hillary Clinton, Trump said if he, lost he would consider the results illegitimate because the process is rigged. Almost four years later, Trump is making the same comments to put American democracy at risk. But now he is doing it as the president of the United States.
A true leader does not make comments disregarding the legitimacy of democracy. The American people must look at the facts and vote this November.
Uplifting Black stories, perspectives and art from IU and Bloomington. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.