An unpresidential transition


Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore

President Donald Trump

Since the election, President-Elect Joe Biden has described President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede as an “embarrassment,” however, it has grown far beyond that level. Although Biden and his team were able to begin moving full steam ahead before the start of the official transition of power, the weeks-long gap between the day Biden was projected to be the President-Elect and the day he was granted access to classified White House information did, undoubtedly, hinder our progress as a nation.
Despite the official transition between the Biden and Trump administration finally beginning, the long-awaited concession of President Trump is still yet to come. After weeks of trying to overturn legitimate election results and spreading unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, recently, Trump stated that he would exit the White House “if the electoral college votes for Biden.” 

As a democracy, we must be careful not to accept this statement as anything resembling a concession but recognize that this is yet another one of his manipulation tactics hidden in plain sight. In reality, this statement serves as a dog whistle to his supporters, who focus more on the fact that Trump said that he will leave “if” Biden is elected, not “when.” According to, this group of staunch supporters is not an insignificant portion of voters; an estimated 70 percent of Republicans believe that the 2020 presidential election was illegitimately conducted. 

It is this dispute between parading falsehoods and accepting the reality that keeps pushing our dream of regaining unity further out of our reach. This 70 percent of Republican voters, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Lindsay Graham, are putting conspiracy ahead of facts. 

According to United States Attorney General William Barr, the United States Department of Justice found no evidence to back Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud, and yet, Trump’s supporters still claim the election was rigged. 

To truly put the pieces of our nation back together, we first must all realize that simply accepting the results of a free and fair election should be a nonpartisan issue. The very fact that it is far from nonpartisan right now demonstrates just how far we are from where we need to be.

Not only will this late stage, highly-divisive transition affect our character as a democracy, but it will also affect our national security. During past periods of complicated transition, our nation has been especially vulnerable to foreign threats. In a piece from, it is suggested that the delay in the Bush v. Gore election of 2000, caused by the infamous Florida recount, significantly delayed the appointment of key officials and standard policy-making. Consequently, our Federal Government was significantly less prepared to deal with the 9/11 attacks than they would have been if the transfer of power between Clinton and Bush had followed a typical schedule. 

During the current pandemic, economic crisis and social crisis, the transition between Trump and Biden is arguably far more turbulent than the transition between Clinton and Bush. At the head of our nation, we have a President who mimics the behavior of a seven-year-old boy who is losing a game of Monopoly: since Trump knows there’s no other path to victory, he’s spending his time accusing others of cheating instead of continuing to do his job. Every day he refused to allow the transition process to commence was another day Biden did not have access to valuable vaccine information and another day Biden was not given national security briefings. Every day he refuses to concede is another day in which his supporters will hold onto the irrational belief that the election will be overturned and another day of increased tension within the White House and beyond. With countless urgent issues beating down on our country, we simply cannot afford a period in which our outgoing President refuses to do his job while, ironically, still trying to hold onto it for dear life.

In our state of turmoil, the transition between Trump and Biden should not have taken longer to initiate than it took for COVID-19 cases to rise by millions. Right now, Trump needs to be concerned with making sure that as many Americans as possible will live to see January, not making sure that he’ll still have power in January.