What Happens When a President Refuses to Concede?

Kirstyn Hill

December 14, 2020

Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, lost the 2020 election to Vice
President Joe Biden. Since then, he has attempted to disregard the election results and pursue
the presidency through legal battles in the swing states. Trump’s loss of the election and refusal
to concede or even acknowledge the official results, has brought his cult-like following to
question the integrity of the American voting system.

Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the election with dignity is set to mark the US
history books for years to come. With no evidence or viable arguments, the Trump campaign
continues to push false arguments, only to get rejected by various judges nationwide. The 2020
election is said to be the most secure election to have yet been carried out, regardless of the
nationwide voter suppression carried out through voting poll shutdowns in the weeks leading
up to election day.

Trump would be the first US president in history to not give a concession speech and
formally accept the results of the election. Although nowhere in the constitution does it
explicitly require a losing candidate to give a concession speech, it is generally expected. By
giving a concession speech, the losing candidate can openly accept the results of the election
and encourage their followers to unite for the greater good of the country.

Trump’s apprehension to move on with a peaceful transition of power remains
consistent with much of his behavior throughout his presidency. Even before the election took
place, it was predicted that Trump would call fraud if the election were to play in favor of Joe
Biden. With a large majority of Democratic voters using mail-in ballots and a majority of
Republicans voting in person, the election results originally favored Trump. . So when he
called for all vote counting to stop at 2:30 am on election night, that was the initial indicator of
the direction this election was going to take.

Most comparable to the 2000 election of Bush V Gore, the final say of who will be
president on Inauguration day is entirely up to the federal courts. Although none of the Trump
campaign’s evidence is holding any legitimacy, and Joe Biden clearly won the 2020 election,
US democracy will continue to be pushed to its limits. As long as Trump is not declared the
official winner of the 2020 election, it is predicted he will continue to call fraud and disvalue
the American voting system while also disregarding the prized American tradition of peaceful
transitions of power.

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