Letter: Trump is poisoning country’s confidence in fair elections
My wife and I spent four years as expats in Indonesia. During our assignment, there was a U.S. election that resulted in our president transitioning from one party to another. At the time, I regularly commuted with a young Indonesian, and since his country was a young democracy (one-man rule ended in the late 1990s), he was very interested in the election and the transition.
One of the first questions in the lead-up to the election was “What happens if the other party wins?” I replied that the losing candidate congratulated the winner, who then starts preparing for taking over the presidency. He was surprised it would be that easy.
After the election, he asked “What happens now?” I explained that the current president would start working to educate the next president the important issues at the national level. He was in awe. He said “He will help the next president?” I proudly replied that was the way it always went. I explained that the new president would be inaugurated on Jan. 20, the current president would leave, and the new president would take over.
The young man replied, “You mean he just leaves?” Again, I said that was the way it always worked. He was amazed, and as events occurred just as I had described, his respect of the United States grew. Through my experience, my pride in the United States grew even further.
Now, President Trump is poisoning our country’s confidence in free and fair elections, the same process that elected him. He has offered no proof of his claims of voter fraud, but yet he repeats them daily in hopes of convincing a majority of citizens.
The damage caused is real. He has not conceded, and he has not personally met with President-elect Biden to help with the transition. And now, this effort to undermine our election has been joined by some of our country’s congressmen, senators and even the Vice President. All these people share responsibility for the confidence lost and the damage done.
I spoke with my 93-year-old mother on New Year’s Day. She commented that in her life she had never seen anything like the events since the election. She further added she was embarrassed by it all. After the pride I felt explaining that transition process to that young Indonesian years ago, I had to sadly agree.
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