Week in Review 11-13-2020
Submitted by holliswein on Fri, 11/13/2020 - 12:00am
The peaceful transfer of power from one president to another is a hallmark of our democracy. It sets us apart from other countries where violence, chaos and civil unrest mark that process.
The writers of our Constitution made provisions for the peaceful transition of power. They had foreseen that deep seated bitterness and hard feelings between factions with political disagreements could be an impediment to the survival of the nation. They were right.
Throughout our history there have been bitter election clashes between rivals. Suffering a humiliating defeat, John Adams quietly left Washington, DC under the cover of darkness before the inauguration of his successor Thomas Jefferson. Adams wanted to remain president, but he accepted the results of the election. He stepped down and established animportant precedent for our country.
Since then, the loser of every presidential election has willingly and peacefully surrendered power to the winner, despite whatever personal animosity or political divisions might exist.
Today, we live in a much more complicated time than that of Adams and Jefferson. Donald Trump's refusal to accept the election's outcome and to decision stand in the way of Joe Biden's transition has dangerous consequences for our nation and our democracy. We are in the midst of a deadly pandemic which requires swift action.
Additionally, our foreign adversaries are closely watching, ready to seize on our vulnerabilities during this time.
When outgoing President Barack Obama left the White House, he wrote a letter to incoming President Trump. Obama wrote: "We are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions -- like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties -- that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it's up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them."
It remains to be seen if Trump honors the sanctity of the office and heeds Obama's words. Regardless, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President on January 20th, with all the pomp and circumstance worthy of that moment in history and in a peaceful, dignified manner that reflects the true essence our democracy.
Source: The Constitution Center; History.com