Is refusing to accept election results an attack on democracy? | The Tylt
At the final presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump if he would accept the election results—even if he lost. Trump replied he would "keep you in suspense.” Hillary Clinton called the response "horrifying." Peaceful transitions of power are the foundation of our democracy. Perhaps Trump was just making a flippant joke—but he's been insisting the election is rigged for weeks. What happens if his supporters don't accept a Clinton win? Or is this NBD? Vote below!
Is refusing to accept election results an attack on democracy?
Critiques of Trump's statements came from conservatives as well as liberals. Many think his response was an attack on democracy itself, and damaging to our centuries-old tradition of ensuring peaceful transitions of power.
But many Trump voters say they will challenge the election if they think the results are fraudulent. People are concerned that anything other than a Trump win will be defined by them as fraudulent. People challenging authority is why our democracy works. It's not going to be the end of the Republic.
The AP's lede made it clear Trump's assertion was a serious violation of American political norms.
Conservative Bill Kristol made the point that even if Trump refuses to accept the outcome of the election, it won't matter. What matters is the American citizenry accepting it. What happens on November 10 if millions of Americans think the rightful candidate was cheated out of the presidency?
If disputing election results makes Trump a tyrant, what about when Al Gore asked for a recount during the 2000 election? It's happened before, and the Republic keeps on tickin'. Much ado about nothing.
Trump's comment was only a big deal to "media elites" who are biased against his candidacy. This is not a huge attack on democracy, it's a spirited debate built on the back of democracy. It's only a huge deal to liberals.