News   /   IN-DEPTH   /   2020 ELECTIONS   /   Politics   /   Editor's Choice

Incumbent refuses to concede defeat, blocks transition

A voter passes a Statue of Liberty replica after casting his early voting ballot at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City on October 30, 2020. Reportedly, the school is the busiest polling station in the city where voters, in some cases, wait up to six hours to cast their ballots. / AFP / Angela Weiss

Despite Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden having officially been declared the winner of the US 2020 presidential elections the incumbent, President Donald J Trump asserts the election has been fraudulent and refuses to accept defeat.

With a record breaking turn out for the 2020 US presidential election, surpassing that of 2016, despite the pandemic, election results were dragged out over several days with no clear winner in sight.

Eventually, four nerve wracking days after the polls closed, all major networks called the election in favour of Joe Biden after he won the state of Pennsylvania. This resulted in more than the 270 electoral votes required to secure the presidency.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who has made history by becoming, not only the first female Vice President, but also, the first of Asian descent, was seen phoning Joe Biden, to inform him that they had won the presidency and the race to the White House.

You're gonna be the next president of the United States

Kamala Harris , US Vice President-elect

Having secured the presidency, President Elect Joe Biden went out to address his supporters.

The people of this nation have spoken. They've delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory. I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide. But unify.

US President-elect, Joe Biden

Several foreign leaders and dignitaries also went on to congratulate Joe Biden on his win, including British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former US President Barack Obama.

Such a poor loser

Detached from reality, unless it’s reality TV, Donald Trump, the incumbent hell bent on staying, even after the news that Joe Biden has won Pennsylvania and has gotten over 270 electoral votes, still refuses to concede and insists that he has won the election.  The Trump campaign actually went on to file several lawsuits in battleground states including, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan.

For the good of this nation. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud in our nation. We want a law to be used in a proper manner. So we'll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We will win this and we, as far as I'm concerned, we already have one.

Incumbent US President, Donald J Trump

Whether Donald Trump is able to alter the results of this election in any substantial way through these lawsuits is yet to be seen. States have a safe harbour period of 35 days for them to all individually report their results to Congress before December 8.

The United States is currently very divided, in these last battleground states, the margins between Trump and Biden were razor thin, hence why it took so long to actually count the entire ballot.

In the meantime, Trump supporters have been protesting in some states for votes to stop being counted; yet in other states they've been protesting for votes to continue to be counted! Echoing and repeating what Donald Trump said, that the election is being stolen from him.

Extraordinary election and President Elect Joe Biden

How one perceives the election results and President Elect Joe Biden depends on one’s perspective.

And the way in which the media is shutting down Trump and his supporters, is unprecedented. And if it was any other country other than the United States, or, or other than some Western European country allied to the United States, there would be outrage.

Dr Mohammad Marandi, Tehran University, US Affairs Professor

Cheating the cheat

The very fact that Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, are shutting down dissent, is sort of cheating in itself regardless of whether there was fraud or not and how much fraud there was.

I mean, they've been doing it before the election and afterwards and of course Trump himself using the federal mail service and trying to slow down the process of, you know, ballots coming in through mail. That itself is a form of cheating but the accusations that are now being made, although we're not hearing it, even on Fox News, we have to see, we have to see how true they are, how extensive they are, but the very fact that even Fox News has distanced itself from Trump is saying a lot about the nature of the, shall we call it, the deep state?

Dr Mohammad Marandi, Tehran University, US Affairs Professor

Biden vs Trump

When it comes to US policy in the Middle East, Biden is no different from Trump. He supported the Iraq war, was alongside Obama when the Saudis were allowed to destroy Yemen, once the Americans had given the green light. He was Vice President when Libya was destroyed, not to mention the US led dirty war in Syria.

Turkey, Saudi Arabia, were at odds with each other back then along with Israelis and other people working together to support the extremists in Syria. Ssyriao Biden is not exactly the benign, friendly, old grandfather that he is depicted to be by some. Forget the fact that you know he was closely affiliated to big business, the credit card companies and of course, the accusations made against him with regards to a young woman staffer of his, years ago, makes him quite similar to Trump in many ways. So, the difference between Biden and Trump is not very great. The only difference is that Trump is more ugly in his language and behaviour, but Biden is ... he seems to have dementia.

Dr Mohammad Marandi, Tehran University, US Affairs Professor

Iran elections 2009, allegations of fraud

After the 2009 elections in Iran, the opposition put forward allegations of fraud. And right now we see Donald Trump, claiming that the election was stolen from him.

Social media actually played a big role in that they actually helped anti establishment voices during the so called Twitter revolution in 2009 in Iran, yet now with Trump they seem to be playing against him and silencing him.

I see something quite different actually because in 2009 the US government asked Twitter not to shut down because Twitter wanted to shut down and do repairs, and they said no, please keep going. We need you to help undermine Iran.

There was no fraud in 2009, regardless of whether one likes the president who won or his challengers, who lost, but in the United States the election outcome was extremely close. Yet the shutting down of all dissent, including on Twitter, is extraordinary.

So it's the exact opposite in the case of Iran, the Twitter and other outlets were used to try to undermine the country, within the United States they're being used to prevent dissent from creating any form of protest movement.

Dr Mohammad Marandi, Tehran University, US Affairs Professor

Social media used to shut down dissent

Twitter censored a New York Post article that was damaging to Joe Biden's son and then they also censored a bunch of tweets by Donald Trump.

Well I think it's becoming extremely complicated, especially now with artificial intelligence, and how these tech companies are becoming more powerful and the borderline between these tech companies and the state are increasingly becoming blurry.

So on the one hand, they can be used to undermine states, countries, that are independent of the United States but in the United States they're being used to shut down dissent, and it's becoming, in my opinion, quite clear that these companies are deeply in bed with the deep state, but in the past we used to view them as tools of the US of the state against adversaries outside of the United States, but now it's moved to adversaries inside the United States, and I find that actually extremely stunning and I find it extraordinary that liberals and many, many progressives are, at the moment, indifferent about this.

Dr Mohammad Marandi, Tehran University, US Affairs Professor

The cost of silence

These liberals and progressives may have to pay a heavy toll for their silence, or even worse, acceptance of the state of affairs.

I find it amazing that even, you know, outlets such as Fox News, they are sort of standing back now, so it sort of shows the extraordinary strength of the centres of power In the United States.

I am quite fascinated how well coordinated things seem to be, I don't believe in conspiracy theories and all that, but I think this ideological overlap, or the, you know, the interests of all these centres of power converge in a way in which they just think that they have to, you know, accept this and move on.

And I think that in future is going to make the United States a more authoritarian state at home.

Dr Mohammad Marandi, Tehran University, US Affairs Professor

Peaceful transition seems unlikely

This, according to Dr Marandi, is probably not the end of the story and we shall be seeing instability in the USA.

Despite Trump being unpalatable, to say the least, his replacement is no better, yet what is most noteworthy is the fact that  dissent is being silenced in the United States.

A Biden-Harris administration

The liberals destroyed Libya in the name of the right to protect. They supported Wahhabi extremists that destroyed much of Syria, and they are proud of what they've done.

They their allies are Saudi Arabia their allies are an apartheid state, and, you know, in, in Palestine. They are willing to strangle Venezuela. They never complained, they never were outraged by the murder of General Qasem Soleimani, or the siege on Iran, trying to starve Iranians of food and medicine.

You know their complaints have not been about Iran or Venezuela, or Cuba or the coup in Bolivia, or any of these, but their own actions their criticisms of Trump, his bombastic language, and some of his appointees and the Supreme Court.

But when millions of lives are destroyed and countries demolished, these liberals have been fine with it, so they are all, they have already been authoritarian abroad.

Why can't they be authoritarian at home?

Dr Mohammad Marandi, Tehran University, US Affairs Professor

Change in US policy on Middle East and Iran unlikely

There is continuity in US foreign policy; we have seen this continuity from one administration to another.

The maximum pressure campaign of Donald Trump was actually initiated under Obama. when Biden was his vice president.

And it was only eased after the nuclear deal but even after the nuclear deal the Americans, under Obama, never abided by the deal, whereas the Iranians did.

The Dirty War, for example the murder of General Soleimani by Trump is, as you know, outrageous but the dirty war in Syria began with Obama, and so all these innocent people who are defending Syria against the extremists. They were General Soleimanis, you know, in their own right, each and every one of them.

The United States is a diminished power

There will be a difference in tactics; the United States is much weaker today after this election. How it's conducting itself and how its regional allies are weakened across the board has become self evident.

The United States is a diminished power compared to what it was before, I'm  not saying it is no longer a power, but it is going to be much more difficult for it to maintain its hegemony as time goes by, and I think this was an important footnote in that process.

I don't see a great future for Saudi Arabia. I think Erdogan is going to have many problems, I think the Emirates is facing difficulty. All these allies in trouble, Europe is in trouble.

The world is changing fast. I think we're moving towards, not a new global order, I think we're moving towards greater chaos and disorder, which is a good thing and a bad thing because the old order was very bad, so it's good to you know be freed of that. But disorder, It's not necessarily a good thing either.

Dr Mohammad Marandi, Tehran University, US Affairs Professor

Protests are here to stay

Obviously the ruling elites, Wall Street and the ultra-rich are unfazed by the result of the election but there's a lot of social unrest which is unlikely to die down anytime soon.

The protests aren’t going to just disappear, but will they be covered as much?  Because again, with Trump [still in office] the TV or media would put a spin on things for him,  because he's somebody who doesn't know how to shut his own mouth, and he always thinks that he's in the right. When we look at the social unrest, just because Biden's president doesn't mean it's going to go away, whether the media cover it as much is yet to be determined. What the Biden administration will actually do to help families out is very important.

Kitt Cabello, Journalist, Hard Lens Media

40 million Americans at risk of eviction

Factoring in the 16 million Americans unemployed at present, if we include the underemployed and those no longer recognised by the unemployment system, we are faced with 70 or 80 million US citizens in dire financial straits.

It's not fair to say those numbers but the current numbers are at 60 million. Right, 30 to 40 million Americans are at risk of being evicted from their home.

You have an economic crisis as well. You also have the fact that we're still dealing with this virus. And there's no Medicare for All. This is a perfect storm that's brewing, plus the ever growing threat of climate change. There will be social unrest and if no action is taken, it will get worse.

Kitt Cabello, Journalist, Hard Lens Media

A Democrat in office, doesn't mean people will be polite

American families find themselves having to make tough decisions such as which bills they should pay and which they may defer, explains Kitt Cabello.

Do I pay the electric bill or the heating bill? Do I put gas in my car, do I take the bus? These are real questions Americans are asking themselves. We don't have universal basic income nor do we have Medicare for All.

Kitt Cabello, Journalist, Hard Lens Media

A lot of Americans in their late twenties and younger are struggling with 50K to 100K to 200K and maybe even a million dollars of student debt, because College in America is anything but affordable.

The problem isn't going to just go away

The Cauldron is boiling and it’s about to spill all over the place. The establishment thinks that maybe if they use certain rules here or there, if they bypass some problems here and there, everything and everyone will behave themselves.

What we're seeing, thanks to everything that we saw since COVID-19, the neoliberal lines that has been shown, or presented to Americans for years, is a lie, it doesn't hold up.

Nothing is working, and the system is failing, so what we can see is eventually more protests, but I think we'll see the activists, community organisers, and the protests, die down just for a little bit because everyone's going to go to brunch.

Because the orange bad guy is gone, But just because he's gone, doesn't mean that the problem is gone as well, because the system that made Trump is still here. It's just got the friendly old man face of Biden, with his good sidekick Kamala Harris.

They don't care, these politicians could have done something years ago; they chose not to. Give it time there's going to be a breaking point again where Americans are going to be upset.

And then all these people who already voted, for no matter whom, they're going to have to make a serious decision. Do we still keep this thing going on because something worse can fall after Biden? We... after Obama, we got Trump.

Kitt Cabello, Journalist, Hard Lens Media

House and Senate race

Mitch McConnell has said that even, even if Biden wins the presidency, he's going to wreak havoc and essentially block him from just putting in wherever he wants. We will more than likely face a Biden presidency with a republican GOP Senate for the next four years, or for the foreseeable future.

We're dealing with a divided house, again. And what's going to change, nothing. And so it's just going to be division, division, division. And all the while when the Americans are asking "Hey what are you going to do?" a response from the Biden administration is the republicans won't let us do anything. The Republicans won't let us do this or that, and it's the lack of courage and again, this is Biden, a pragmatic central Neo Liberal Democrat, similar to Obama.

They will compromise on the republicans' demands, and they won't really push back, but the average liberal voter, the blue checkmarks, the media pundits will say: "Well, there's nothing Biden can do", and McConnell, I'm not surprised with his response. That is, that's what he does.

And to your audience, our politicians here in the United States, don't care about us. Yeah, there's a handful here and there, but it's not enough to make a difference and unless the American people step up and end this abuse that's happening to us, McConnell is gonna play his game. The Biden administration will make excuses, and nothing will fundamentally change.

Kitt Cabello, Journalist, Hard Lens Media

The Supreme Court

On the night of the election Donald Trump announced that he be taking the case to the Supreme Court, but it turns out that he cannot do that. The elections are not controlled by the federal government.

Elections are controlled by the state, it's on a state by state process, and then it goes to a county by county process, so he can't just go directly to the Supreme Court, I don't know what tricks he does have up his sleeve.

I think he was just saying that to give his support, his base, some calmness there, thinking that they just got an elected, excuse me, a Supreme Court nomination into the court that that would be the fix, but it won't, and Michigan has already said, No, we're not going to get ourselves involved with any election scam right now. A judge already denied his lawsuit So now he has to go higher.

Craig Jardula, Journalist 

Citizens of a democracy strive to have free and fair elections

And the problem now is that you have democrats accusing anyone who's questioning or scrutinising the democratic process of being a Trump supporter, which is completely absurd.  

So they're they've tried to chastise anyone who even remotely raises this issue and this also happened during the primaries.

It was happening during the primaries too, as well. I mean you know nobody wanted to hear this stuff, anytime we talked about these things, that was a right wing talking point. That's a moot talking point you know, I'm saying it's, it's either one of those two. I mean right now I guess it's better to be, in spirit, a Trump supporter than it is a Russian apologist or Putin supporter. But yeah, it's the same tactics all over again they shame you, they shame you, they shame you.

Craig Jardula, Journalist 

In the past politicians would go after each other and shame each other. Now they shame the voter, now they have this whole mechanism in play, and this is the democratic establishment playbook.

And they really do prey on the, what I call the Neo progressives emotions you know I'm saying, where they just don't think logically, they think emotionally, they think they're doing something that's compassionate and once again to them, the ends justify the means.

So, in fact today, I mean, I should be wearing all black on your show because democracy is dead, and I don't see any hope from the progressives at all on this situation I mean and we're all gonna be, a lot of people gonna be, politically homeless right now, even more than that already are, because there's just no way out of this.

Craig Jardula, Journalist 

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a miracle of democracy

So while it is invigorating to see Trump gone one cannot be so confident about what a Biden - Harris presidency means. These people have spent their entire careers pushing right wing policies that have put workers in severe peril; that have caused wars and destruction abroad and untold suffering at home.

The one thing which is guaranteed is that the interests of the top 1% of the oligarchy will be looked after and taken care of.

Whether the working class in the United States is able to mount a successful opposition against the duopoly, against the 1%, against the crooks of Wall Street, whether we are destined to see a real vigorous anti war movement remains to be seen. I for one won't be holding my breath.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku