History Tells Us That Contested Elections Will Not Destroy American Democracy


Together with the results of this 2020 presidential election hanging on the uncounted votes in a few battleground states, President Donald Trump has prematurely declared victory and he will take the election struggle to the Supreme Court. Joe Biden explained that It is not my place Donald Trump’s spot to announce who’s won this election, Mr. Biden said. That is the conclusion of the American men and women. This scenario compounded the stress felt by some before the election which a contested election could seriously undermine religion in American democracy.

Nevertheless the United States has a very long history of these contested elections. With a single exception, they haven’t severely damaged the American governmental system. That contested 1860 election that ignited the Civil War occurred in a special context. As a political scientist who studies, I feel that, if President Trump less probable, Joe Biden competition the outcome of the November election, American democracy will endure. Most contested Democratic elections haven’t posed risks to the validity of authorities.

Legitimacy, or even the collective recognition that government has the right to rule, is vital to a democracy. In a reasonable system, unpopular policies are mostly accepted because taxpayers think that government has the right to create them. By way of instance, a citizen could hate taxation but nevertheless acknowledge they are lawful. Illegitimate systems, which aren’t supported by taxpayers, can fall or descend into revolution. In democracies, elections create validity because taxpayers promote the choice of leadership.

Legitimacy And Peaceful Transition

Previously, contested elections haven’t badly damaged the fabric of democracy since the principles for managing such disputes exist and have already been adopted. While citizens and politicians alike have howled about the unfairness of reduction, they admitted these losses. It took 36 ballots to provide Jefferson the success, which was broadly accepted. The Home, again after the process set from the Constitution, chosen Adams since the winner over Jackson. Even though Hayes would become concessions were awarded to the South that effectively ended Reconstruction. In the long run, Nixon begrudgingly accepted the choice instead of drag the nation through civil discord through the extreme U.S. Soviet worries of the Cold War.

In every situation, the losing side was not pleased with the end result of the election. But in every instance, the failure accepted the lawfully derived outcome, and also the American democratic governmental system persisted. The election of 1860 was another story. Following Abraham Lincoln defeated three other candidates, Southern nations simply refused to take the outcomes. They viewed the choice of a president who wouldn’t protect captivity as illegitimate and dismissed the election results. The dispute over the validity of the election, predicated on basic differences between the North and South, price 600,000 American lives. What’s the gap between the governmental meltdown of 1860 and the joys of additional contested elections? In all circumstances, citizens were divided and elections were hotly contested.

Selection And Continuity Is Up For Grabs

Why is 1860 stand out so clearly is that the nation was split over the ethical issue of slavery, and also this branch followed geographical lines that allowed a revolution to shape. Further, the Confederacy was fairly merged across lines. While the America of today is surely broken up, the supply of political beliefs is a lot more dispersed and complicated compared to ideological cohesion of this Confederacy. History indicates, then, that if Trump or even Biden contest the election, the results wouldn’t be catastrophic. Secondly, voting irregularities can be researched from the countries, that are accountable for handling the integrity of the electoral processes. This looks unlikely to alter any documented outcomes, as voter fraud is extremely rare.

Another step may be an appeal to the Supreme Court or lawsuits against the nations. To overturn any nation’s first selection, signs of a miscount or voter fraud would need to be firmly established. If those efforts to contest the election neglect, on Inauguration Day, the president could legally assume that the workplace. Any residual ongoing contestation will be moot following this stage, since the president could have full legal authority to exercise the powers of their office, also couldn’t be eliminated short of impeachment.

Though the consequence of the 2020 election is guaranteed to make many taxpayers unhappy, I think principle of law will survive. The potent historic, societal and geographical forces which generated the entire collapse of 1860 simply aren’t present.

History Tells Us That Contested Elections Will Not Destroy American Democracy