Is our democracy imperiled by President Donald Trump’s latest attempts to overturn election results? The simple answer is “No.” You can’t imperil something that doesn’t really exist in the first place — that is to say, the United States is not a democracy. It is a republic, and there’s a difference. The president is not elected by popular vote. He is elected by representative vote. What might be imperiled is the credibility of, and the people’s faith in, our method of electing the president. Trump has put it in the minds of millions that our method was subjected to large-scale fraud. I don’t think that was the case. If it was, people like Sidney Powell would already have brought that case to court once they had enough evidence…but they didn’t.
There are a number of reasons why a candidate can start off in the lead, lose that lead, and then gain it back. There are also a number of reasons why a trailing candidate can suddenly come out of nowhere and take the race from behind. Sports is a prime example of that. Nothing controversial or fraudulent there, not usually at least. But that isn’t the point. Is our method of electing the president perfect? No, it isn’t, but nobody has been able to come up with a better method in over 200 years.
What I think is imperiled is our ability to communicate with each other, the ability to admit when we’re wrong, and the ability to appreciate (perhaps even support) the other side’s perspective. If we can’t do that, then there’s no point to any of this.