Is it safe to come out now?

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With the certification of Michigan’s 16 electoral votes yesterday, Donald Trump finally bowed to the inevitable and signalled his administration to co-operate with the incoming transitional team of Joe Biden.

No concession though, you’ll note.

John T Bennett, Washington Bureau chief of the Independent writes today:

For all the worries among Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans about a Constitutional crisis or even a coup d’etat, those who have watched this president so closely knew it would be this way.

In the end, the president who roared and accused and insulted for four years like a lion seemingly at war with every creature in his kingdom went out with a mere whimper.

Emotionally, Biden supporters in the UK have been through the emotional wringer recently. There were reports of people hiding behind the sofa on Election night and the morning after, and the morning after that…

After the nightmare of Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016, it seemed too much to hope for.

It seems a long time since I tentatively wrote on the morning of Wednesday November 4th:

Trump’s campaign will no doubt try other legal challenges and the official results may be delayed, but we are looking at President Biden.

We should note that Biden, as well as winning the Electoral College (by 306 seats to 232 for Trump), received 6,030,835 more votes than Trump nationwide (at the latest count).

As NBC notes:

…nearly three weeks later — with almost all the votes counted — it’s now safe to say the Biden-vs.-Trump contest wasn’t that close.

…Joe Biden’s popular-vote lead over Trump stands at 4 percentage points, 51 percent to 47 percent – and it’s only going to grow once more of New York’s votes (finally) get counted. That would give Biden the second-largest popular vote margin out of the 21st century’s six presidential elections, with only Barack Obama’s 7-point win in 2008 being greater.

But Trump received ten million more votes than 2016. 73,792,412 voted for him and a large part of that 74 million odd people remain, no doubt, convinced that he really won the election.

Trump’s surly non-concession will do nothing to heal the very sharp, yawning divide in America.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Peter Martin 24th Nov '20 - 12:07pm

    “After the nightmare of Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016….”

    Well I don’t know about that! Many Bernie Saunders supporters refused to campaign, or even vote, for her after evidence emerged than the DNC acted in every underhand way possible to ensure he didn’t win the Democratic nomination.

    So for those of us on the left in was a case of Ms Clinton getting her just desserts. No tears were shed when she lost. It was a pity that the price was 4 years of Donald Trump.

  • Peter

    “a pity”


  • Matt (Bristol) 24th Nov '20 - 12:39pm

    It won’t be safe until there is a US election that its own people consent to the result of without manipulation of their understanding. That could take a while.

    Even now, the current President feels free to continue to challenge the result, and makes it clear he is only doing the minimum necessary to avoid further legal sanction, and in doing so, makes it clear he regards US officials who jumped to the right conclusion earlier than he did, to have suspect loyalty.

    I truly hope the next President makes electoral reform a priority. We shall see.

  • John Marriott 24th Nov '20 - 1:50pm

    Of course the nightmare isn’t over. More than 70 million Americans will make sure of that! While Trump Mark One failed, a Trump Mark Two might have more success. Remember what Dr Goebbels said about telling a lie often enough. Democracy as we think we understand it has been on trial on both sides of the Atlantic for some time now. What’s all this about Hillary Clinton? She’s surely history. Let’s move on. The next crunch is that Senate run off in January and then the next round of congressional elections in two years time.

  • Yes John, and the appalling carrying on in Georgia at the moment is unspeakable, with the Governor, Lt Governor, Secretary of State and other prominent officials, all Republican, being slammed simply because they have counted the votes and tragically for the Trump people did not produce the right result. The officals who are acting responsibly, honestly with integrity and doing what they are elected and paid paid to do are being pilloried in an unmerciless way. Seems that the unfortunate Republican who certified the Michigan election is getting it as well, again simply doing his job under the State law.

  • Gladstone declared that the British Constitution presumes more boldly than any other “the good sense and good faith of those who work it”. He might have spoken a bit OTT but on both sides of the pond the vulnerability of that presumption has been all too evident.

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