Across the US, a return to democratic order. Will it last?


WASHINGTON (TBEN) — There was no violence. Many candidates who denied the legitimacy of previous elections lost and gave in quietly. And few listened as former President Donald Trump tried to foment unfounded allegations of voter fraud.

In any case, there is a moment of normality in the US. The extremism that has consumed political discourse for the past two years has been replaced by something akin to the traditional democratic order.

The post-election story focused instead on the electoral fate of each party: Republicans disappointed that sweeping victories didn’t materialize, while relieved Democrats braced for the possibility of a small GOP majority in the House. The serious threats to democracy looming on election day—domestic extremist violence, voter intimidation, and Republicans’ refusal to respect election results—were not materialized for the time being, at least.

“It was, I think, a good day for democracy,” President Joe Biden said, even acknowledging that his party might lose a House of Congress.

New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu said voters were concerned about Biden’s leadership in the medium term but had a more urgent message: “Correct policy later, drive crazy now,” he told CNN.

Still, the “crazy” that gobbled up at Sununu’s party this fall is still looming.

Even as many GOP leaders blame Trump for elevating weak and extreme candidates who struggled, the former president sought to undermine the interim results of his low-profile social media platform. Trump has posted no fewer than 20 messages since Tuesday afternoon raising the false prospect of voter fraud in the 2022 election, increasingly focusing on Nevada and Arizona as the vote counting continued there into the weekend.

His expected announcement on Tuesday of a third presidential campaign could give Trump another high-profile platform to spread election lies.

Of the high-profile candidates on the ballot in 2022, only Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor of Arizona, has been aggressive in promoting Trump’s unfounded concerns about the elaborate vote counting process, which is typical in some states. Lake is engaged in a thrilling race against Democrat Katie Hobbs who has not been called up.

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In Pennsylvania, Trump-backed candidate for governor, Doug Mastriano, was soundly defeated. Mastriano’s senior legal counsel, Jenna Ellis, a former Trump aide, stated unequivocally that there was no sign of serious voting irregularities.

“There’s not this kind of concern like we had in 2020,” Ellis said on her podcast. “We can’t just say, ‘Oh my god, everything has been stolen.’ I mean, that’s ridiculous for this election.”

And in Michigan, Trump-backed Republican Tudor Dixon, a leading 2020 election denier, quickly gave in to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer after The The Bharat Express News declared the race.

A leading progressive, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who expressed concern about far-right threats to democracy before his own 2020 presidential bid, suggested the GOP has begun to act more rationally.

“I think some Republicans now understand that Trump’s desire to undermine American democracy is not only wrong, but bad politics,” Sanders told the TBEN. “For all those people who want to uphold the lies that Trump actually won in 2020, Tuesday was a bad day for them and a good day for the rest of the American people.”

Indeed, across the country, so-called election deniers lost some of the country’s key races.

Only one of 14 self-proclaimed “America First” candidates for secretary of state, Diego Morales of Indiana, won his race. The group of potential top election officials, including candidates in the swing states of Arizona, Michigan and Nevada, was defined by Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election had been stolen. Candidates who embraced such beliefs also lost races for governor in the midwestern battlefields of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and in the northeast battlefield of Pennsylvania.

Republicans who denied the legitimacy of the last election did win in Senate games in North Carolina and Ohio. In Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp won re-election outright after battling Trump’s conspiracy theories, but Senate candidate Herschel Walker, who has promoted lies about the last election, moved into a runoff election in December.

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Before Election Day, NAACP President Derrick Johnson said he was “extremely concerned” that black people would be disenfranchised by voter intimidation or other voter suppression tactics — especially since hundreds of pro-Trump activists had signed up to run as GOP. election observers across the country.

US intelligence agencies issued a bulletin less than two weeks before the election warning of an increased threat from domestic violent extremism that could target elected officials, election workers or polling stations.

But days after polling stations closed, Johnson said the voting process was largely going well. However, he noted that it is impossible to know whether the threat of intimidation or violence may have had a “chilling effect” on voter participation.

“It was frustrating that in our democracy we have to operate from a fear attitude,” Johnson said. “We should make voting easier.”

Meanwhile, world leaders noted the relatively smooth election in talks with Biden at a weekend summit in Southeast Asia. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the outcome “established a strong position for him on the international stage”.

“I would say that one theme that came up over the course of the two days was the theme about the strength of American democracy and what these elections said about American democracy,” Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One. . “So, the president feels very good about — obviously, about the results.”

On Election Day, Trump tried but failed to cause disorder in multiple states, especially in regions with large minorities.

Trump posted on social media Tuesday afternoon falsely claiming voters were being denied the right to vote in Detroit. “Protest, protest, protest!” wrote the former president.

The message caused no protests or even visible tensions outside the Detroit convention center where the votes were being counted. Four years earlier, dozens of Trump supporters screamed and slammed the glass during the tabulation process.

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At Milwaukee’s central counting facility, several election monitors harassed election commission members when about 250 workers mapped the city’s absentee ballots Tuesday night. Republican Commissioner Doug Haag, who witnessed when the flash drives containing vote totals were sealed in envelopes, was among those who scolded the hecklers. They calmed down after a final warning and were allowed to stay for the rest of the process.

In Arizona’s crucial Maricopa County, there were early calls from far-right groups, including some known to attract Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and other extremists, for protests outside the building where the ballots were counted for a manual count. demands of the voice. The police responded with a heavy presence on election day, bringing in mounted officers and helicopters. But even a handful of protesters failed to show up. Four years earlier, a large group of armed protesters gathered outside the same table learning center.

And in Nevada, local officials were prepared for disorder, but bad weather than voter intimidation marked Election Day.

In heavily populated Clark County, a Democratic stronghold, a man walked into a polling station and raised his voice to polling station members, saying the machines had been tampered with, according to the Clark County School District Police Department. Poll workers told him to calm down before walking outside, where he tried to pull down the “vote here” sign.

In the Reno, Nevada area, where voters braved snow and ice on Election Day, Washoe County Interim Clerk Jamie Rodriguez said there was only one case of voter intimidation. Two men threatened polling station officials and were “aggressive” with voters before a poll manager escorted them outside. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said it was investigating.

“It was a lot of comments about not being patriots and not doing the right thing,” Rodriguez said.


The Bharat Express News writers Michael Balsamo in Washington, Harm Venhuizen in Milwaukee, Corey Williams in Detroit, and Seung Min Kim in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, contributed to this report.