Elvia Díaz Arizona Republic
Opinion: It’s easy to call on Americans to vote and wait peacefully. But Trump himself is likely to be the one wreaking havoc after the election. What then?
(CNT) City News Talk #local-all
Win or lose, President Donald Trump will remain a danger to the country’s democratic values and health of the American people as COVID-19 once again spirals out of control.
Whatever the results on Nov. 3, he’ll be emboldened to move swiftly against his detractors at home, including White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Most concerning is what Trump would do immediately after election results are known. Will he accept defeat? That’s a big question mark since has hinted he wants to remain in power no matter what.
What happens next under that scenario could determine America’s destiny for the foreseeable future.
It’s in everyone’s interest to ensure a peaceful transition of power, respecting the will of the people at the ballot box. That actually happening is anyone’s guess, given the momentous partisan divide and Trump’s strongman tendencies.
Violent protests are part of our history
A huge concern is whether Trump would defiantly refuse to accept defeat and instead call out the members of the far-right Proud Boys group and other white supremacists to take to the streets to wreak havoc.
Who’s to say the Proud Boys aren’t ready to heed Trump’s recent order to “stand back and stand by?”
Who’s to say Americans tired of Trump and his handling of the novel coronavirus – which, coincidentally, is once again exploding across the country – won’t take to the streets to demand him to go?
Frankly, violent protests and rebellions are nothing new in America. In fact, these kind of movements are deep-rooted in American history from the late 1700s through the 1800s racial segregation to the 1960s Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King Jr.
But history has also taught us that sensible men and women can lead a country to accomplish great things through peaceful means. That requires every ounce of self-restraint, putting the country first over personal gain and most of all a fervent conviction in democratic ideals.
Almost nobody in today’s America is exercising self-restraint. To the contrary, everyone is at each other’s throats heading into Tuesday’s national election.
The real election test falls on those in power
And who can blame them? Millions are without a job. Too many are homeless or on the brink of being evicted. Families are mourning the death of more than 200,000 killed by COVID-19 and millions are sick or infected with the deadly virus.
Then there is ongoing social unrest sparked by the killings of Black people by police and the all-out war to defend law enforcement.
On Tuesday, America faces a turning point. One of those moments when the action of one or the collective decision of the masses determine the course of the country.
It’s easy to call on Americans to vote and peacefully wait for democracy to play out. But Trump himself is likely to be the one wreaking havoc after the election.
The real test and responsibility will fall on men and women in power – the ones leading the institutions.
It will be up to governors and mayors to ensure the safety of Americans should they decide to exercise their constitutional right to peaceful assembly.
It will be up to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as other health officials to take charge should Trump fire Fauci on a whim after the election.
It will be up to every person heading a government agency to respect and follow the law to restore trust. It’s clear most Americans distrust Trump and are quickly losing faith in the country’s institutions.
What will it be, America?