There is a silver lining to the last two months. We have had a front row seat to an incredible American civics lesson. The lesson was a comprehensive tutorial on how to pursue justice in our country, and how not to react when you lose.
President Donald Trump ostensibly set out to prove that more people voted for him than voted for President-elect Joe Biden. I support people using our administrative and judicial systems to exhaust their arguments, bringing facts to bear and following procedures. There were recounts in two states, and 62 lawsuits in eight states, including a jump up to the Supreme Court. Americans got to see that voter fraud claims are treated seriously and investigated fully. We got to see our courts give speedy attention and guidance to claims that needed to be quickly addressed. We were witness to officials who competently investigated allegations of fraud, voting machine failure, and foreign intervention, to name a few of the many issues. Across the country Republicans, Democrats and Independents, state officials and volunteers, judges and justices, executive branch appointees, and federal elected officials professionally addressed each complaint. Their work was done by Jan. 6 when Congress was meant to accept the states’ decisions. This is how democracy works in real life.
Our democracy has barely survived Trump’s failure to trust that his complaints have been treated fairly (although he has a lot more money to pour into his lawsuits than most of us). We should be grateful that our institutions and most of our leaders stood strong in support of our nation’s shared values. We have to take this lesson seriously or else we risk reliving it, and maybe next time democracy won’t win out.