‘Electoral competition causes social divide’ a statement we all have once read in our political science books but to understand it further and how it is related to the USA 2020 elections, we have to understand the process of the shift in presidential powers of one the world’s superpowers.
It takes around 2 months for the USA to swear in the new president. The presidential transition usually starts right after Election day, in November, and it ends when the new president is inaugurated in late January but this year President Trump did not allow it to start until three weeks after the election. Trump is not the first president to be uncooperative. In 1932 such a case was noted as well but that inspired the old transitional period of 4 months to change to the current transitional period of 2 1⁄2 months.
When the media declares the election results it doesn’t carry any formal weightage as it is just a projection. The election isn't officially over until each state certifies it’s result and the electoral college votes in mid-december but usually by that time, both of the presidential candidates have acknowledged the predicted outcome. The projected losing candidate usually concedes and that begins this presidential transitional process where the outgoing administration helps to usher in the incoming administration. This year we had a situation where the outcome is widely agreed upon but the loser doesn't concede.
Before the transition actually starts, an office of the federal government(General Service Administration) has to give the go ahead. The problem is that their verdict depends on all presidential candidates agreeing who the president-elect is. After major key states certified their results, President Trump did not concede but allowed the transitional process to start without actually acknowledging Joe Biden as the president elect.
Joe Biden won the 2020 elections by 51.4% (306 electoral votes) defeating Donald Trump ,46.9% (232 electoral votes),by a neck to neck competition of 4.5% (74 electoral votes).
This Biden v/s Trump close call situation has caused a major socio-political divide in the USA and was evidently noted in the 2021 storming of the US capitol.
The 2021 storming of the United States Capitol was a riot and violent attack against the 117th United States Congress on January 6, 2021, carried out by a mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump in an attempt to overturn the results which declared his defeat against Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. That Wednesday, thousands of Trump's supporters marched down Pennsylvania Avenue before many stormed the Capitol in an effort to disrupt the Electoral College vote count during a joint session of Congress and prevent the formalization of President-elect Joe Biden's election victory. On breaching police perimeters, the rioters then occupied, vandalized, and looted parts of the building for several hours. The assault led to the evacuation and lockdown of the Capitol, as well as the death of five rioters.
President Donald Trump was charged with “incitement of insurrection”, a week after the riot at Capitol Hill. His speech at a rally just before the January 6 riot is at the centre of the impeachment charge against him.
President Donald Trump's impeachment trial could begin at 1 pm (local time) on Inauguration Day,20th January 2021,as President-elect Joe Biden is being sworn into office but it's only possible to schedule if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate soon. President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for a historic second time on 13th January 2021.
Even major social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Amazon Web services, Reddit, Twitch and LiquidWeb have banned him for his actions.
With the country divided into almost two equal halves, the question arises: is the 2020 election win, in theory an actual win? Does Biden have the confidence of his people?
Sources - Vox (YouTube Channel), BBC, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, The Indian Express
Author: Anubhi S Editor: Aadit Anand