Schism grows as politicians disagree on reality of election results

After the outcome of the 2020 Presidential Election was announced on November 7 and President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris held their victory rally in Wilmington, Delaware, most citizens in the United States had some sort of reaction to the news. Some marched in the streets, cheering for a future without a Trump administration. Others protested in front of polling centers claiming election fraud.

While news sources continuously covered the election and people from both major political parties reacted to the results, the same could not be said for many members of the Republican Party; both regular citizens and politicians failed to acknowledge the victory of President-elect Biden. Those in the Democratic Party did congratulate President-elect Biden. Experts like Steve Schmidt, a communications and public affairs strategist who has worked on campaigns including those of President George W. Bush, Arizona Senator John McCain and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and co-founded the Lincoln Project, have stated on MSNBC that President Trump’s influence on American politics and the Republican Party is drastic, and will affect politics in America for the foreseeable future.

Kevin McCarthy, the representative from California and current House Minority Leader, appeared on Fox News, stated that “President Trump won this election, so everyone who’s listening, do not be quiet … We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes.”

Similarly, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the Senate on November 9, he said that “no states have yet certified their election results” and that President Trump was “100% within his rights” to consider legal courses of action, according to CBS.

In another parallel, an article from the New York Times described how “with unsubstantiated claims of vote-counting errors and calls to officials in several states, the South Carolina senator (Lindsey Graham) seems bent on reversing Joe Biden’s clear victory over President Trump”. This is particularly worth noting because it contradicts beliefs that Senator Graham previously held. In a Twitter statement, Graham wrote in regards to Donald Trump in the 2016 election: “If he loses, it will not be because the system is ‘rigged’ but because he failed as a candidate.”

In what seems like an alternate universe, Democratic politicians are issuing their congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, mimicking a small aspect of what a normal election might look like in contrast to the Republican party’s lack of recognition of election results.

After the election was called, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, representing New York, said in a statement that “President-elect Biden will be a great president for all Americans … to help the American people.”

“Congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden & Vice President-elect Kamala Harris!” wrote another Democratic representative from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Also on Twitter, Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote: “Congratulations, President-elect @JoeBiden and Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris! Let’s go make some big, structural change.”

“I want to congratulate all those who worked so hard to make this historic day possible,” Bernie Sanders tweeted. “… Let us create a nation built on justice, not greed and bigotry.”

There were some exceptions to the Republican lack of recognition for Joe Biden’s win. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, one of the few Republicans who congratulated Biden, tweeted that he and his wife “extend our congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.”

This stark contrast between the actions of the Republican and Democratic Parties begs the question: What will the future of American politics look like? With changes so drastic as politicians not being cordial enough to congratulate a president-elect, it is hard to predict what will come next.

Many politicians, like the aforementioned Lindsey Graham, changed their beliefs in order to become close with President Trump, proven by Graham’s contradictory statements above.
Because of instances like these, it is a possibility confirmed by former RNC Chairman and Lincoln Project advisor Michael Steele that those same politicians will change their beliefs again to cozy up to President-elect Biden. The divisions down party lines (and the polarization of the country) have not been so extreme since the presidential election of 1800. Donald Trump’s influence on the Republican has dramatically shifted its positions on key issues like immigration, and with such strong opposing views on the Democratic side, it is likely that Americans will stay just as divided as they are now.

One completely unpredictable factor is how politicians will interact with Joe Biden. With the difference over their vision and in their platforms, it is expected that the Biden presidency will differ from the Trump administration. It may take politicians some time to adjust to the new administration, and might motivate them to reevaluate their interactions with the new president-elect.

Donald Trump will no longer be president after Jan. 20, 2021, but his impact may still be present. His brutal separation of immigrants at the border will forever affect the children who will struggle to be reunited with their parents. Trump’s lack of response to COVID-19 caused the death of 284,000 Americans (so far) and 15 million Americans to contract the virus.

Effects like these will factor into deciding who those people the Americans will vote for in upcoming elections and will be a precedent on how the country would raise the next generation to vote, etc.

There is also the possibility that Trump will run again in 2024, and there are even talks of Donald Trump launching his campaign on the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration. The future is largely unknown, and there is only so much that past information can reveal about the coming years.