What if Donald Trump refuses to leave the White House?

In a way Trump has already conceded defeat by telling supporters he would be huddled with lawyers as soon as voting ends. What remains to be seen is how much more he can hurt the US and the world

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Zafar Agha

The United States of America, as TIME magazine in its latest issue says, will be facing ‘the moment of truth’ few hours from now. The race for the presidency of the most powerful democracy in the world will come to an end on November 3. But all indicators already point to incumbent President Donald Trump’s defeat even before the polling ends.

All polls indicate a landslide for Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Even Trump is hinting at defeat for himself. “As soon as the election is over, we are going in with the lawyers”’, Trump declared in Penysylvania just before his last rally. The President has clearly lost hope of winning the election through ballots and is now getting ready to use legal options to stay put in the White House. He has already packed the Supreme Court with conservative judges hoping for a favourable judgment in case he challenges the verdict.

This is the moment of truth that America is facing. Trump is not willing to accept defeat, something that no American President has dared to do so far. It means a big crisis for American democracy bringing the entire American system to a grinding halt. The indication of a looming crisis is already there with Americans stockpiling arms in their homes. So, what turn the American election result takes is now the issue that the entire world is waiting to know with bated breath.

The American election this time round, as Biden said, turned into a “battle for the American soul” right from the word go. If an American president himself refuses to accept the peoples’ verdict, the entire democratic system will be hollowed. If America does not honour democracy, what happens to the free world that looks up to the global democratic icon. Now no one really knows what happens to American democracy if Trump refuses to concede a fair electoral verdict and uses the legal system to continue in office.

Many questions with no cut and dry answers haunt America on the eve of its final day of the polling. In fact, Trump pushed Americans to a state of uncertainty ever since he stepped into White House in January 2016. Here was a president who indulged in blatant lies, thrived on fake news, mocked the media, hijacked the judiciary, tried to overrule the Congress, ran down rivals calling them names like ‘’wicked’’, blatantly encouraged white racism and openly justified brutal racist police killings that triggered Black Lives Matter movement. Here was a President who threw every democratic norm to the wind for the past four years. Frankly, a good majority of Americans were angry with Trump and as the polling trends show, they wanted to throw him out of office right from the day voting began.

Time magazine sums up the American mood stating in its latest issue: “it’s (the election) about Trump, the ultimate referendum on this norm-shattering presidency, the climactic episode of our national nervous breakdown, the final reckoning.” As to repeat Biden, “a battle for American soul”. Unfortunately, signs are that Trump is ready to hurt even American soul.

Well, Trump is ready to push America to an unprecedented crisis that may lead to street violence as people are already storing arms and shops in cities like New York putting up barriers to protect their stores from mobsters. What does it mean to the rest of the world if America slips into a prolonged crisis? Anyone’s guess.

But if the sole superpower goes adrift creating a sort of vacuum, others like China and Russia will surely step in to fill it up. The established world order will be rocked leading to unforeseen crisis. So, wait, watch and pray that Donald Trump goes out in a peaceful manner rather than putting up a show over his defeat which may cost both American and the rest of the world dearly.

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Published: 02 Nov 2020, 9:15 PM