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Election Distrust

Joshua Hurtado has been driving for Uber Eats since August 2018. Joshua has also graduated with an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studie

State of the System

It should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been keeping an eye on the news as of late that people are not happy about the results of the election. This of course is completely normal as no one is really happy when the side they were rooting for and supporting loses at anything let alone when it determines who pulls the levers of power in our country.

If the Republican wins, then those who voted Democrat are unhappy. If the Democrat wins, then those who voted Republican are unhappy. This is nothing new and goes back to the infancy of our nation. However, there is a lot of discontent regarding our election process this time around, and it is there in higher volumes than usual.

We do not simply have people who are unhappy with the outcome, but trust in our system is at an incredible low. Normally people would be upset for a bit, but then everyone would get up the next morning, go to work, and get on with their lives. This is not happening.


The Distrust of the 2016 Election

As stated above the level of distrust in our political process is at an incredible level. And there is a reason for this. That reason has a lot to do with people on both sides of the political aisle this time around.

When Trump was elected in 2016 the national news media was reporting that President Trump was a Russian agent and that he only won the election because the Russian's interfered in the election on his behalf. He was portrayed as a puppet of the Russians at times. The Steele Dossier was brought forward as proof that the Trump Campaign or Trump himself colluded with the Russians to rig the election in his favor. The national news media reportedly heavily on this story where it was pretty much non-stop for several years. This was exacerbated by the revealed meeting between one of Trump's sons and his campaign manager with a Russian agent who said she wanted to give dirt on Clinton. They attended the meeting and there was not dirt offered, and they left the meeting.

Another reason that a number of Democrats believed that the election was rigged was, in my opinion, due to the polls. The polls consistently had Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump and the polls have been fairly reputable over time and as a result, people trusted them.

Robert Muller was appointed as Special Counsel to investigate the claims being made against Trump in regards to Russian Collusion. His investigation carried on for almost two years and at the end of the day, he came to the conclusion that there was nothing done for which Trump could/should be prosecuted. Republicans saw this as vindication that the election of Trump was legitimate and that the messaging from the national media stating that Trump's election was illegitimate was false.

But Democrats held onto the notion that Trump had colluded and that Muller did not properly do his job. They believed he should have recommended that Trump either be prosecuted or impeached and removed from office, and when he did neither of those things, he left with enemies on both sides.

The Distrust of the 2020 Election

The distrust of the 2016 election directly plays into the distrust of the 2020 election. The Republicans felt that the 2016 election was free and fair, the felt that the appointment of Robert Muller was the Democrats furthering a witch hunt, and a significant number of them felt that the polls were not reliable and perhaps were even trying to tell people that Clinton was going to win so that people who would vote for Trump would just stay home.

Then there was the messaging of the media during this election cycle. The media furthered the narrative that if Trump lost, he would not willingly leave the White House. This is a claim that the Republicans see as rediculous, we have never had to forcibly remove a former President from the White House. Republicans are rarely aware of the comments Trump has made in regards to the election and whether or not he would leave, but they see this as him keeping his options open and not being willing to concede an election, but they also believe that at the end of the day, Trump would leave if he lost.

The media has promulgated the idea that the 2020 election would also be rigged by Trump and possibly Russia as well to ensure that he wins a second term, there was talk that he would cut funding to the post office which Democrats saw as him trying to undercut the election process due to the high number of mail-in ballots this year due to coronavirus. Republicans have not seen it this way, rather they see the post office as an inefficient quasi governmental entity which is loosing money hand over fist. They simply do not trust the mail-in ballot process. There were even news outlets saying that they are unsure that the election process itself is secure.

After hearing all of this from people Republicans would by an large consider to be the political opposition, they saw a pause occur on election night with Trump ahead in the count (electorally speaking), then when they woke up in the morning Biden was ahead. Now those same outlets that were sounding an alarm over the election and were constantly covering Trump as an illegitimate President are all of a sudden claiming that there is no evidence the election was tampered with, and Republicans just have a hard time believing this from the same people who told them the last election was stolen.

What Now?

Trump is currently challenging the election in the courts, this is not the end of America. Rather what we are seeing is the legal process take place. Trump has given the go-ahead for the transition to begin, but he is not doing anything illegal. It is worth pointing out though, that while new evidence has emerged from Georgia, I am not sure what that will lead to in court. The Trump team is also running out of time as the Electors vote on the 14th of December and they have not been claiming voter fraud in court, they have in press conferences, but not in court. If they have evidence of widespread voter fraud, they need to bring that evidence into court.

At the end of the day, if voter fraud can not be proven, I believe that Republicans need to accept the results and move forward. And if the Republicans win the next one, then Democrats need to accept the results and move forward. Otherwise, the political divisions in our country will only worsen.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Joshua Hurtado