Why Biden’s ‘High Road’ Strategy is Dangerous For Him and America
As a political observer, chances are you fall into one of two camps: those who believe President-elect Joe Biden’s masterfully handled Donald Trump’s 4-week-old juvenile “I WON!” national meltdown or, that for the sake of his own destiny and that of the nation’s, he should set an example and the right precedent by wiping the floor with him. For several critical reasons, I’m in the latter group.
To begin with, we must preserve the integrity of our free and fair elections by insisting that the winners won and the losers lost. There’s no wiggle room. We cannot allow a candidate to undermine democracy by ‘refusing to accept’ the will of the people. Will every sore-losing politician now believe he or she can simply deny that the results are real? Claim the election was rigged? Thereby sowing further division and fomenting even more partisan toxicity?
With his incessant “RIGGED ELECTION!” rhetoric, Trump’s successfully convinced two-thirds of Republican voters that Biden stole the election. This is a very dangerous landscape he’s tilling. It’s also incredibly counter-intuitive for the GOP. The more he hammers the base about rigged elections the less inclined they are to vote. “Why bother?” is what we’re currently hearing from Georgia Republicans as that state faces a critical run-off election January 5th which could decide control of the Senate.
By taking the high road, Biden is undermining his own presidency. He’s allowing Trump to set an impossible legislative table for him. The more Trump succeeds in de-legitimizing Biden’s presidency the easier he makes it for Senate and House Republicans to obstruct his agenda.
Biden not directly and forcefully addressing Trump’s democracy-raping behavior serves to normalize it. We let little children stomp their feet and march off into their rooms to sulk…not our presidents. It’s terribly misguided to adopt the ‘Oh, let’s just ignore him and his tantrums…he’ll come around eventually’ philosophy. Trump never ‘comes around’. He only digs in deeper.
The peaceful, orderly transition of power is the bedrock of our democracy. It’s simply not ok for a candidate to claim, even before the first votes are cast, that ‘It’s fair if I win but rigged if I lose’…and then claim victory despite…