What are the most dangerous threats facing the United States today? President Biden does not think it is the growing influence of China. Nor does he see Russian expansionism as the main threat to be wary of. It is Donald Trump and his fringe MAGA supporters who don’t accept election results. They are what poses the most existential threat – according to Joe Biden – or at least whoever it is that writes his speeches.
Being a sore loser is certainly not a popular stance. Donald Trump’s non-acceptance of the results of the 2020 election do not reflect well on him – whether or not his arguments are justified. But let us not treat the controversy around the 2020 election as if it is an unprecedented phenomenon. Actually, it is more the norm than the exception that in a close election – and it was a close election – the loser claims that the election was stolen.
In 1960, one of the closest elections in modern history, John F. Kennedy won the election when Richard Nixon conceded. What won the election for Kennedy has been and will be debated by historians for decades. Some things though are clear. Without Joseph Kennedy’s significant “donations” in critical swing states, the political machinations of Mayor Daley of Chicago, Richard Nixon would probably have been President in 1960, not 1968.
The next seven elections of 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, and 1988 were not very close. In 1992 and 1996, Bill Clinton won, but without major controversy about his victory. The year 2000 saw one of the closest Presidential elections in history. It all came down to who won Florida. Al Gore probably should have won that election by a few hundred votes. But due to one irregularity that was probably a foolhardy mistake and not a conspiracy, Pat Buchanan received hundreds of votes instead of Al Gore. That put George W. Bush on top. James Baker made sure that the election wasn’t “stolen” by the Democrats. But many Democrats justifiably felt that the election was stolen from them.
Donald Trump certainly did not steal the election in 2016. Hillary Clinton made almost every possible mistake to help pave the way for Donald Trump into the White House. But the Democrats – and many Republicans – were so sure that Hillary had it in the bag, that nobody seemed too focused on any irregularities that may have occurred in the election. Hillary cried foul, but not about cheating. She blamed everyone in her staff, the media, and Donald Trump himself. But she and everyone in America knew that she was just a sore loser.
The 2020 election was different in every way. It was an election that was profoundly impacted by the coronavirus epidemic. Millions of votes were submitted via drop boxes in early – and late – voting. Was their widespread cheating in this election that was more than other elections? Almost certainly. Was it enough to tip the election. That is a debatable point that will go on for decades. But it is not unprecedented and it does not pose a threat to the future of the United States of America.
Biden’s speechwriters should focus on illegal immigration, the loss of freedom of speech, runaway inflation, and Chinese dominance. If they continue to attack Republicans and Donald Trump, they will energize the Republican base who will focus on the economy, jobs, and energy independence. 2022 will be the year of Republicans. But 2024 is the big show.