Under the circumstances imposed by the global pandemic, the United States presidential elections were held on November 3rd in an unprecedented fashion, enhancing the unyielding polarity and potentially endangering the foundations of American democracy.
The main controversy in the presidential elections was caused by the increased significance of the mail-in ballots. Voting by mail is not a new voting mechanism in the United States. However, in the circumstances caused by the global pandemic, it became a much safer choice for many voters. The process of counting votes was delayed for several days because it took more time to process the mail-in ballots. During his presidential campaign, the Democrat candidate and the former vice-president, Joe Biden, supported nationwide voting by mail. The Republican candidate and the current US president, Donald Trump, did the opposite. It became evident that the mail-in votes gave Biden an advantage, as he managed to narrowly win the key states needed to secure the elections.
After several days of nerve-wracking ballot counting, it was announced that the next president of the United States would be Joe Biden. Viewing the elections as fraudulent, Donald Trump refused to concede the elections and instead vowed to take matters to the Supreme Court. Indulging in his vanity, Trump hence managed to question the foundations of American democracy.
Centuries-old debate on the American political landscape is based on the United States‘ role in the world. In the past century, most of the presidential doctrines stood firmly that the United States should lead by example of its democracy. Now, more than ever, this example is being questioned as the world looks at the US with a concerned face and slightly raised eyebrows. The President of the United States, calling the elections fraudulent, is degrading the example of American democracy and its institutions. This is by no means the first event to cause such a reaction in the past four years; however, it is the most impactful, as the latest victim of Trump’s vanity becomes the system that elected him in the first place. Setting aside work on various policies, the future Biden administration’s most significant challenge will be to reinvigorate the reputation of the United States in the world.
What happens now?
The question of who the next President of the United States will be is no longer relevant. The Supreme Court rejected Trump’s pleas, and the US General Services Administration, despite the delay, confirmed the election results, officially putting in motion the transitional period. The president-elect Joe Biden is steadily forming his team and forwarding his plans. On the other end, it seems that Donald Trump still refuses to concede the elections, partaking in a Sisyphean task. Nevertheless, the presidential electors cast their votes on December 14th, which will be officially accepted in Congress on January 6th, opening the final door towards Biden’s inauguration on January 20th.