Journalism

Most Congressional Republicans Won’t Acknowledge Biden Won

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A recent survey by The Washington Post found the majority of Congressional Republicans won’t say who won the 2020 presidential election.

Do you still wonder who won the 2020 presidential election? If so, you probably won’t get an answer from the overwhelming majority of Congressional Republicans.

The Washington Post recently conducted a survey of them to determine their thoughts on the outcome of the race.

Only 27 of them acknowledged President-Elect Joe Biden, the former vice president under Barack Obama, defeated President Donald Trump.

Two remain convinced that Trump won, no matter what.

What about the rest? The remaining 88 percent won’t say. The Post conducted its survey of 249 Republicans who serve either in the United States House of Representatives or the Senate. The report states the survey began the morning after Trump posted a 46-minute video claiming he defeated Biden. He also leveled what the Post and others called “wild and unsubstantiated allegations” of “corrupt forces” who stole the election from him.

I have no doubt that Trump is sincere in his beliefs. I do absolutely think he believes there was genuine cheating and that he should have been re-elected by a landslide.

But no matter how fervently he believes this, that does not make it so.

Transition plans continue despite bickering.

Biden and his vice president-elect, former Sen. Kamala Harris, continue to work on the transition. Biden announced key members of his economic team this week.

But the president won’t acknowledge the loss, and it appears far too many Congressional Republicans choose to follow his lead.

Trump supporters continue to argue either that there’s no such thing as the title “president-elect,” or that Biden is not the president-elect yet. Both points of view are false. There is indeed such a title, but there’s no clear guidance in the Constitution about when a winning candidate “officially” earns the title. We understand the title to be assumed once a candidate is declared the winner. It rarely waits until after the nation’s Electoral College members cast their ballots. But for those waiting to see what happens there, the College meets on Dec. 14.

I hope The Washington Post asks those same Congressional Republicans the same question after that date. If the Electoral College members truly do vote the way election projections and final numbers add up, they will officially elect Biden as the next president.

In that case, of course, any survey would be largely academic. But it would still be interesting to hear what the answers might be then.

The claim of ‘stolen elections’ isn’t new.

Most of you who are reading this far certainly remember the election of 2000, in which George W. Bush defeated Vice President Al Gore. The results of that election came down to the state of Florida. In the end, Bush was declared the winner after some Democrats claimed he “stole” the election.

But Gore himself conceded the election. But before Democrats get too high and mighty about that, they should remember that Gore did not concede until Dec. 13, 2000. His concession followed weeks of legal battles, just as we’ve seen this time around.

So anyone using that controversial race as a basis of comparison to this crazy year’s election should be willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt.

Gore did not concede after the Electoral College vote, but rather after the U.S. Supreme Court put a stop to the recounts.

In his speech, Gore said it was time to put aside “partisan rancor.”

If there were ever a time to put that aside, it’s today, folks.

The 2016 wasn’t stolen, either.

Some Democrats claimed Trump himself “stole” the 2016 election from former first lady and former Sen. Hillary Clinton. That year’s conspiracy was based on the fact that Clinton received more actual votes, but did not reach 270 electoral college votes. That year had some calling for the abolishment of the electoral college.

But our Founding Fathers felt the college held great value in trying to equalize the states against each other better than a simple popular vote would. It added value to some smaller states so that a candidate couldn’t just count on only the large states for a victory at the polls. In my home state of South Carolina, for example, we might not have had a single visit from either candidate if popular vote alone were enough. Both Trump and Biden campaigned here numerous times for every vote they could amass.

Like Gore, Clinton called for a mood of unity in her concession speech, which she delivered the day after the election.

“Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans,” she said. “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

Republicans cheering that sentiment as they celebrated Trump’s win should be considered hypocrites if they don’t carry the same attitude in this election.

They have the chance to be bigger than many Democrats who clearly did not carry that attitude during Trumps four years in office.

Should the survey surprise us? No.

Don’t be too hard on Congressional Republicans at this point, no matter how “obvious” you think the outcome is. If the situation were exactly reversed, we might see a similar pattern from Congressional Democrats.

That wouldn’t surprise me, either.

Of course, I realize people don’t get enjoyment out of cutting each other any slack. More’s the pity.

It’s up to all of us, no matter who resides in the White House after January, to do better. Each president, no matter which side is victorius, should expect that level of respect and patriotism.

We’ve forgotten the fine but critical art of disagreeing without being disagreeable. We’ve forgotten how to stop screaming and start listening.

We need to start listening again. Now more than ever.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.