5 Ways Trump Has Undermined The Entire Democratic System
Like many people, I have a lot of concerns about this election. Both candidates lack the moral integrity many hope to see in a President. Hillary Clinton has a questionable amount of scandals in her history, and Donald Trump has a trail of several victims claiming sexual assault and fraud.
I could go on about all the scandals and slander that make this election the darkest and most fear-filled many have seen in a lifetime. But I’m here to talk about something even more serious.
Mr. Trump has done several things that truly undermine the entire system of government that works to bring balance, equality, and freedom to the United States.
More than Hillary’s sketchy past or Trump’s belittling of women, these outright attacks on America’s democratic process and personal freedom concern me most. From suppressing and racially profiling voters, to encouraging violence between the two parties, to refusing to concede the Presidency, Trump threatens to shake the entire infrastructure of our democratic government.
1. Refusing To Concede The Presidency
Part of what makes American government function is that we are able to change leaders without violence or bloodshed. You know how some other countries have revolutions, military coops, civil war, or violent takeovers? That doesn’t happen in America because we have a little something called Democracy. While our system is far from perfect, we pride ourselves on listening to the voice of the majority and passing off the baton of political leadership gracefully and peacefully.
But Trump is threatening that system. If he chooses to not concede, he is essentially rallying his followers to not respect the new President. There’s a reason it’s tradition that the losing candidate pledges allegiance to the new President-elect — to encourage his or her followers to respect the new authority and follow our government and laws. In America, we have defined ways of changing the laws — by voting, protesting, and trying to change laws they don’t agree with in legally acceptable ways.
2. Blocking Supreme Court Selections
Part of the reason this election is so important to our country’s future is the opening of several seats in the Supreme Court, which are historically filled by the President’s appointment of new judges. So whichever party wins the election will have more power than usual to shape the direction our country will go.
Appointing people to the Supreme Court is one of the rights of the President; however, the GOP has stated it may try to block Clinton from electing representatives should she win. Our system is meant to be one of checks and balances, but the two sides are meant to work together, not try to stop forward progress all together. If the DNC said they’d try to block all of Trump’s selections for the Supreme Court, Republicans would be outraged.
3. Voter Suppression and Intimidation
Trump has called into question the entire foundation of our democracy–the validity and accuracy of voting–without ANY evidence. This is causing his followers to potentially rebel against Hillary if she wins the election — again, without any proof. Because of these baseless allegations, many of his followers take pride in going to the polls and using intimidation tactics to keep people from voting. How do his followers know which voters to intimidate? Trump himself has told them to “monitor urban polling places.” You know — the places where inner city people of color might go to make their voices heard. He’s encouraging his supporters to racially profile and silence an entire population.
4. Threatening Free Speech
While I agree the media can be very slanted, Trump has publicly called into question our constitutional right to free speech. When Saturday Night Live did a segment that made fun of him (and Clinton, as well) he suggested on Twitter that the entire show be taken off the air permanently. This is a program that has a history of poking fun at nearly every President or presidential candidate. It’s done this for many years, and the President or nominee never causes a scene over it; they are mature enough to not let it get to them.
The fact that Trump suggested the show be canceled simple because he didn’t like it is actually very worrisome. No President has the right to take a television show off the air simply because they don’t approve of the content, and making a statement like that comes dangerously close to Stalin’s treatment of the media in Soviet Russia. In the United States, the government doesn’t control what we say on television, and the President doesn’t get to sue people for making fun of him. Can you imagine if our current president threw a fit every time someone said, “Thanks, Obama.”
5. Accusing The FBI Of Lying
The FBI investigation of Clinton’s e-mails has been a major upset in this election. However, she was officially cleared earlier this week. Trump, however, has called into question the FBI’s final decision – that Clinton is not a criminal. Without any evidence, Trump has blatantly stated the FBI is either lying or wrong — and without any proof, many of his supporters believe him and therefore will not trust or respect Hillary if she becomes President.
By questioning the FBI’s decision, Trump is calling into question more than just Clinton’s criminal status or integrity; he’s undermining the entire system of legality citizens trust to investigate dangerous foreign threats. Now, I’m anti-establishment, too; I have nothing against questioning our legal system, the FBI, and any powerful government forces. However, he’s doing this without any proof. Without any evidence at all, he’s making sweepings statements like, “Right now, she is being protected by a rigged system. It’s a totally rigged system. I’ve been saying it for a long time. You can’t review 650,000 new emails in eight days. You can’t do it, folks.”
This kind of baseless conjecture is able to convince many of his followers more and more that even if he loses the election, they should not trust our President, our FBI, our legal system, or our media. By saying it’s all rigged, he’s giving his voters a reason to resort to violence or even civil war if Clinton beats him at the polls. He’s playing a dangerous game with our entire system of democracy, and that’s not acceptable.