A Great Election, Against All Odds

Nov 22, 2020 · 528 comments
CommonSense (Arizona)
There has been an awful lot of talk about the progressive movement in the Democratic Party vs the center-right old guard. The fact of the matter is that both sides are absolutely correct in what they are saying. The progressives are correct when they say that immediate, radical change in our entire way of living as a society is essential if our future is to be something other than a waking nightmare. We have absolutely no time to lose. All the science supports this assertion. The center-right Democrats like Pelosi are also right. Talking about any significant changes aimed at ending the environmental collapse, ending the gun epidemic, forging a more equal society, curbing Wall Street criminality, reducing disastrous military waste, dealing with systemic racism, etc will alienate voters and lose elections. The horrifying mental state of our electorate is the reason that our elections have just made things worse and worse. Like our addiction to fossil fuels, our reliance on open elections that allow a depraved and half-crazy citizenry to decide the future of America has become a suicide pact.
William Burgess Leavenworth (Searsmont, Maine)
The people again passed their test. Donald Trump failed.
‘Ol Redhead (United ....States Of America)
Democracy shone because of all the thoughtful, honest, hard working poll workers....god bless each and every one of them and their families...and blessings for making this Thanksgiving truly thankful
M (CA)
You wouldn’t be saying that if Trump won, LOL.
George (NYC)
Why would anyone believe the endorsement of the liberal media after 3 years of their continuous assault of the Trump Administration? Where has all the liberal rhetoric gone on the Russian Conspiracy? The liberal media has jumped from storyto story in hopes of undermining the Trump Administration to not end!
Bill (Terrace, BC)
This election was a success--despite Trump's nonsense--but we still need the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, election funding, & a real Postmaster.
Meredith (New York)
Emotionally unstable people refuse to accept reality, and demonize any opposition. When they have power, they drag their enablers into their fantasy world. Psychiatrists in 2018 testified to congress that Trump showed signs of paranoia and delusions. Some doctors wrote a letter to NYTimes. Dr. Bandy Lee of Yale University cited Trump's conspiracy theories in his public statements as a troubling sign. "As he is unraveling he seems to be losing his grip on reality and reverting to conspiracy theories," she said. "There are signs that he is going into attack mode when he is under stress. That means he has the potential to become impulsive and very volatile." America's King Donald the 1st is in attack mode now. Much of our political culture has accommodated him. Culture, or cult? We hope a couple of years of Biden/Harris will start to set new standards, respect reality and calm the roiling waters.
Un-elected Bureaucrat (San Angelo, TX)
Yes, voting fraud is a hoax and a dangerous one to our democracy. But one very uncomfortable thought I had regarding the election: how many voters cast their ballots against Trump rather than for Biden and Democratic Party policies? If Trump is not a candidate in 2024, will those voters return to the Republican side if their candidate is, say, Jeb Bush. Has the Democratic Party become the minority party, and if so, do they have anyone to blame but themselves?
blowback (Queens)
Trump, the American Socrates. Socrates was put to death by "Athenian Democracy" because he refused like Trump to bend the knee to those in power. Like Trump Socrates was unwilling to flatter the establishment by pretending that they were wiser, more moral, or that they possessed any true knowledge. The liberal elite outrage is based on the fact they could never tolerate that a underclass could stand up to them and decide differently. Democracy and freedom of thought can only exist if they and only they decide and no one else. Only they have the right to control the lives of others and impose their will. They think they should get whatever they want whenever they want it. Any resistance to them will be crushed--they will lie, cheat, destroy any one who stands in their way. As a class they are not interested in learning lessons-- clearly-- but they are interested in "teaching lessons"--as in we will teach you Trump voters a lesson you will never forget. We now have an official party we all must belong to --the Democrat Party & an official ideology that we must adhere to without question. We now have a media class who has the power to decide who we must hate. At this moment it is Trump and his supporters. Who will be next? It is indeed hard work to keep the status quo in power and the Biden swamp alive--Trump was a hope that the unexpected might counter the hegemony of the ruling liberal elites-- who now cry-- submission or punishment!
Enrique Puertos (Cleveland, Georgia)
The ballot workers and the postal workers were the heroes that saved our fragile democracy by doing their job. It’s unfortunate that the Republicans were too afraid to do their job and speak out against the only president in modern history is still trying to subvert this election.
Jack Haffey (Anaconda, Montana)
Congratulations to the editorial board for thinking deeply enough to help readers understand the wonderfully good news that Democracy works. And, that a rambling, perhaps calculated but rambling effort by one person, Donald Trump, cannot break it. In addition, equally and curiously disordered allies, like Mr. Giuliani et al (including some leaders in Congress) cannot break it either. There is work to do, though. The trustee role of members of Congress, especially most Republicans but also many Democrats, needs to emerge. The delegate role (the constituents (voters) will not re-elect me) has paralyzed so many. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris must lead a cooperative effort to bring Congress to the table going forward. Time for adult behavior to be the order of the day.
JobieMac (NYC)
Truthful and well written. However, I question if this editorial would have been written if the vote would have swung the other way in PA, MI and AZ. My guess is that instead we would be reading about Russian, Chinese and Iranian meddling in our democracy. Anyone beg to differ?
Jack (KC, MO)
Here, Here! Our local election workforce are the real heroes. We still have a democracy thanks to them.
AKJersey (New Jersey)
Vladimir Putin is smiling. His disciple and asset Donald Trump has learned well the rules of corrupt dictatorship. Lie, rally around the flag, and attack your opponents as dangerous and incompetent. And most importantly, falsify the Presidential election to win with 76.7% of the vote. Putin did this in 2018. Or at least that is what he says – people who disagree with him tend to get poisoned. But the American people have voted in a free and fair election, and Biden won a clear majority of both the popular votes and the electoral votes. However, Trump and his cult followers in the GOP are doing their best to overturn the election. This would violate our Constitution, laws, and democratic traditions. Patriotic Americans of all parties must unite to restore American democracy, and stop Trump. Starting on Jan. 20th, President Biden will represent American interests, not those of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
Daniel (St. Louis)
The Microsoft Certified IT Professional who just testified at Michigan Certification Hearing that computers in Detroit that tabulated votes were connected to internet would kindly disagree with your assessment. Anyone would understand that is open line to hacking that election and changing votes at will.
William Case (United States)
The Trump campaign has not challenged presidential election results. The presidential election doesn’t take place until Dec. 14, when members of the Electoral College cast their handwritten ballots to determine who becomes president. The turnout will most likely be 100 percent. There will be no squabbles over voter identification, mismatching signatures or voting machine malfunctions. Congress will count the ballots on Dec. 6. A total recount, if required, would take less than one hour. Only members of Congress can challenge electoral votes, and both chambers must concur before an electoral vote can be rejected. Since Democrats control the House and Republicans control the Sente, no electoral ballots that would alter the outcome will be rejected. America’s constitutional system of choosing presidents is secure.
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
The national media is the biggest co-dependent enabler of Trump, who is not a politician, but an entertainer and salesman. They both thrive on publicity, the former for likely psychological reasons, the latter because their business model depends on clickbait for specific demographic niches. Local papers, on the other hand, must appeal to a relatively broad swath of people in order to succeed. The other day, when the this paper's home page was wall-to-wall Trump, not one of the top ten stories in the Montana paper I was reading even mentioned him. And that's in the middle of Trump country. Compared to the internet, Trump is just a two-bit wannabee, when it comes to doing damage. He doesn't exist without the internet, the real enabler of lies, false information, and gossip. And therein lies the real danger.
Nreb (La La Land)
HEY, TIMES, it ain't over yet!
The Observer (Pennsylvania)
Even though 2020 election has been the most secure and well executed, it has also exposed many fetal flaws of our Constitution. No checks against a leader with dictatorial ambition and who is able to control his party like a cult leader. The lame duck time period between the election and transfer of power to the incoming administration is too long. There is nothing to prevent the out going president form doing harm to the country out of anger. The out going president must not be allowed to make any appointments of any permanent nature, make any major decisions without consulting the incoming administration after the election is over. The start of the process of transfer of information should be immediate and automatic to the team of the president elect and not subject to the discretion of any one individual. The constitution assumes that any elected leader would be descent, having total respect for the constitution. This has proven to be a very weak assumption. The possibility that a president can pardon himself for any crimes committed, as some have suggested, makes him above the law. In senate, disproportionate power of the less populated states guaranties minority rule. Winners for all elections should be decided by popular vote. Get rid of Electoral College, money in politics (Citizens United), gerrymandering, voter suppression, voter intimidation, and respect voting rights. Provide adequate resources for voting. Only then we can call ours a true democracy.
Meredith (New York)
Yikes--- "Lawmakers approved 1/10 of that amount" needed for funds to 'ensure a smooth election' ? Which lawmakers? Why? Write a column specifically on this. Did TV cable news report it? Yikes-- "Some of the shortfall was made up by private philanthropists, who gave hundreds of millions of dollars to state and local governments." So this once great democracy has to depend on wealthy, generous 'philanthropists' (mega donors) to protect our election functions? Yikes-- what kind of democracy is this? And since the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010 removed all limits to mega donor money financing our candidates, our democracy is legally run by super rich donors. See 2015 NYT on 158 families who dominate election money. Then we must stand in long lines to vote for what we're offered in candidates & policies that affect all our lives. The upshot-- mega donors can call the shots, can set the 'norms' of what's 'centrist' in US politics--for their advantage, not ours. We see deliberate voter suppression and misinformation campaigns on social media that manipulate millions of voters? We let parties draw voting districts for their increased power, instead of letting an independent commission do it? And, uniquely among democracies we use a long outmoded electoral college decide our elections? Most voters want to abolish it and have 1 person 1 vote. Is that so radical? What kind of distorted democracy is this?
Paul Sutton (Morrison Co)
Great points. You would enjoy a book by a and giridharadas titled: winners take all: the elite charade of saving the world
Meredith (New York)
@Paul Sutton ....yeah, a good book, I read some of it by Anand G, his columns, too. He used to write NYT op eds. Plus Kurt Andersen's book I'm reading now. I'm going to watch this--- should be excellent: "Kurt Andersen speaks to Anand Giridharadas about Andersen's new book Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History — the abandonments of American principles of fairness and how, as long as big business gets whatever it wants, only the rich get richer, and nothing can ever change. Evil Geniuses: Kurt Andersen with Anand Giridharadas | The ... www.nypl.org/events/programs/2020/08/27/evil-geniuses-kurt-andersen"
Kolam (Texas)
Editorial misses the most serious disinformation campaign: the daytime RAdio Talk Show Hosts ( RATSH) constantly twisting truth, raising conspiracies, and feeding lies to the “ frenzy” mob culture . When facts do not check in a story, the free media fired Dan Rather of CBS ( Bush story) and Bryan Williams of NBC (Iraq story), Jayson Thomas Blair (resigned) of NYT etc. Unfortunately, these do not happen for stories from RATSH. The rating game which feeds to frenzy brings in FAT CHECKS, but not the fact checks. The last 4 years is the “ darkest” history in American Democracy. Trump voters: please think about the president in place in worship whether he is worthy of a role model president for next generation. This “MAGA {Make America Grief Again} ” tax dodging man who has $ 300 million in personal and 600 million in real estate loans claims to be “tired of winning “ but lost 27 election cases so far. No wonder he is desperate to be president to avoid all future prosecutions and use his office to postpone/avoid payments on his loans. It is more painful to see 72 million voted for him! The democracy in USA had a narrow escape in 2020. Those RATSH and Trumpism still remain for repeat in 2024.
Shawn Coggins (Montana)
We can ‘Thank’ Ronald Reagan for Faux news He did away with the Fairness Doctrine which would have shut it down
PS (San Francisco)
The winner is clear, but the election was still far too close for comfort. I’m deeply troubled that so many Americans still supported Trump after 4 years of lies, grift, incompetence, divisiveness, racism, sexism, and xenophobia. Clearly we need to do better with education in this country, particularly civics and media literacy.
Michael S (Red Bank, NJ)
What a glorious thanksgiving this will be. THANK YOU...THANK YOU...THANK YOU to all who voted to stop trump. Now let’s focus on Georgia’s senate races. And if only the media will start focusing less on trump and more on Biden, please? I am looking forward to less ridiculous tweets and more sanity. And for goodness sakes, a heck of a lot less of Rudy. A family intervention is necessary with him. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
cass phoenix (australia)
"Americans enjoyed one of the most secure, most accurate and most well-run elections ever." Until gerrymandering and voter suppression, both inherently corrupt practices, are removed from the American electoral process, you will never have an ethical or fair election,
Len (Pennsylvania)
We skated this time as a nation, but as this editorial clearly points out, we may not be so lucky the next time. So many of our traditions are unwritten, and became political fodder for a tyrant like Donald Trump and his cult followers. And that includes Republicans in Congress. They did not even post a platform at their convention. They have all drunk the Kool-Aid. So what happens now? Republicans like Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell and a host of others in the Senate and the House are drunk with the power that comes with being in Congress term after term after term. Special perks, a great healthcare system for life, a pension that is generous, and the prestige that goes along with the office. If ever there was a time for a frank discussion about term limits for Senators and Representatives, now is that time. If a politician knew going into the role of Senator or Congressman that s/he would be in office for a set time, say 8 years, or two 5 year terms and then they were out, it would eliminate their desperation to hold onto the power that comes with the office. It would open up the seats in Washington, encourage more people to run, bring fresh blood to the chambers. There are people in charge of protocol in both the Senate and House who would ensure that proper rules were followed. Clearly, the nation has to do SOMETHING before 2024.
Maynnews (The Left Coast)
Perhaps it is time to step back from the "details" of the election and evaluate the larger picture. Namely: From a governance standpoint, the country is essentially dysfunctional. The (Big D) Democrats believe in (little d) democracy. The (Big R) Republicans only care about (little r) republicanism -- which is their way of maintaining "power over" control as they continue to shrink into a minority. Clearly, the Republicans are playing the game that way (gerrymandering, stacking the courts with conservatives, bullying and threatening others with white supremist "militias", etc, etc). But the Democrats don't seem to have gotten "The Memo" .... blithely continuing to perpetrate the democratic myth, heading down a dead-end street. It's time to call the Republican's bluff and suggest a redo of the country. For instance, let's "divvy up" the regions into a half-dozen countries and let each one self-determine their preferred form of government. As a Left Coaster, I'm tired of playing "hit the ball and drag Willy" .... Let's go it alone and free ourselves from the "red zones" ... If we do that, when we go to our polls, our votes will truly be determinative of what we really want. ... The time for a "do-over" is here and now!
Jackson (Virginia)
@Maynnews Where to start? Filling vacancies is NOT stacking the court. Obviously you should do a little more reading on the subject. And gerrymandering is not done just by Republicans - open your eyes and look at Maryland. And yes, we would like you to go it alone since we’re tired of subsidizing your SALT deductions and funding your public pensions, My preference is to give you back to Mexico.
Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 (Boston)
In spite of the maelstrom that surrounds the president's refusal to accept his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, we need, as a country, to take a deserved victory lap. The threat of authoritarian rule became real this year, not just a rumor throughout four years of Donald Trump's tenure. Way back in 2016, when the candidate-who-would-be-president told interviewers that he might not accept the results of a "rigged election," thereby freeing genie threat of a new kind of president from the bottle, we were warned that, if Donald Trump succeeded in beating Hillary Clinton, we could never return to a relaxed and careless assumption that previous elections' results were prologue to an expected peaceful transfer of power. Even as we speak, the president, cornered and angry, denies his defeat. He is summoning every argument, absurd or non-existent, to his command. He is obviously attempting to disenfranchise voters and to discourage citizen participation and the acceptance of election results. We have seen how dangerous this can be; enough of us were frightened or hardened to a patriotic resolve to turn out an unworthy president who harbored unworthy responses to the will of the electorate. So, yes, we did our jobs and the various certifying boards will tell us (or have already told us) that Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be our next president. It wasn't easy. Millions of voters were mobilized by an existential threat to what constitutes the American Way. Take a bow, citizens!
Kathy Lollock (Santa Rosa, CA)
@Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 Sir Red, your "Take a bow, citizens," was pretty much the context of my comment just sent minutes ago. It is certainly reassuring to be reminded that we Americans still have it, and to use an old but true adage: When the going gets tough, the tough get going!
hen3ry (Westchester, NY)
@Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18, yes but we have to hope and pray that our choice is accepted and sworn in on January 20, 2021. It's beginning to feel as if voting for Biden isn't enough of a message to the GOP.
beaujames (Portland Oregon)
@Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18, If I may be so bold as to quote one of your enemies, the late, great Yankee catcher Yogi Berra, "It ain't over until it's over." Yes, the odds are definitely in our favor, but I won't be able to celebrate in full until the oath of office has been taken.
KEF (Portland, OR)
Donald Trump was (and still is) one of the most serious threats we have faced as a country in a long time. That we *Americans* can pull off such an incredibly complex nationwide collaborative effort - should make us all proud. And it really ought to remind us of what we can really accomplish - when we all work together.
Ann (California)
@KEF-Absolutely. Once out of office Trump will still remain a serious threat as he will need millions to pay off his debts and salvage his failing businesses. A desperate man will do anything and everything--including selling state secrets.
DC (Maine)
@KEF Except that we're not "together." We're riven more or less right down the middle, with not a chance of finding middle ground for years.
Kathy Lollock (Santa Rosa, CA)
One very large factor which should not be underestimated is the fact that close to 80,000,000 Americans voted for President-elect Joe Biden. If it weren't for those who did, I believe this election would not be successful in spite of the vigilance of our communities, local and state governments, and hard-working individuals. The success of this election in large part had to do with the difference between morality and amorality. It had to do with millions of weary Americans fearing for their lives and livelihoods. It had to do with utter disgust toward a corrupted Donald Trump and a compromised Republican Party. Yes, many deserve credit. However, this victory has everything to do with the voter who chose democracy over autocracy.
hen3ry (Westchester, NY)
@Kathy Lollock and this reader fears that if COVID-19 hadn’t happened Trump would have won re-election. There remain plenty of Americans who continue to support Trump and what he says and does.
Dean Fiora (Mansfield Center, CT)
@Kathy Lollock: Exactly! I'm sick and tired of hearing about the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump, and how they aren't going anywhere. Well, guess what? The 80 million of us who voted for Biden aren't going anywhere either! So one way or another, we have to learn to co-exist.
Kathy Lollock (Santa Rosa, CA)
@hen3ry No argument there, hen3ry. A sad state of affairs...
Dearson (NC)
The manner in which the 2020 Election was prosecuted is a testament to the dedication of the tens of thousands of American patriots administering it. Yes, democracy is hard work and the 2020 Election is clear evidence that the decentralized election structure used in the United States is a safeguard built into the system that is very easy to under estimate. Assessing the recent attempt by Trump to overthrow the Election is an indicator of why a centralized system could potentially result in an end to American democratic processes as we now observe them.
R B (WashDC)
Good editorial, but more is needed to protect American democracy. Namely, an energized, competitive Democratic Party with a firm opposition to what many Republicans have become. Here is a link to my draft resolution that local and state Dem parties can adapt to their needs: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wut4ne7tobxqd79/RB_resolution%20for%20Dem%20party%20orgs_generic.pdf?dl=0
MushroomsRus (Beautiful Oregon)
Well you know...It was Black Americans who pushed us over the top and I will forever be thankful. For those who believe that the wrongs of the past need to be brought to the light and corrected, I am on your side. Those who want a country that cares for its sick, I am with you. Those who recognize the plight of the immigrant and those who work in the field, I am with you. Those who stand up against all forms of fascism, I am with you. Those who believe in fair and honest elections ,where every vote counts, I am with you. Those who still believe we can create a society free of tyranny and oppression....yes , I am proud to stand with you.
Ralphie (CT)
Unfortunately, our election depends on trust -- you have to trust that the voter rolls are clean, that votes are correctly counted, that special interests can't threaten their members if they don't vote as directed, etc. But as Reagan once said, trust -- but verify. And that's where our voting system breaks down -- it's difficult to verify. How many of you got a receipt saying your vote was counted and here's how you voted? I know the dems are ecstatic that Biden won, but that doesn't fix holes in our voting system. Those need to be fixed so that it is easy to verify.
Carlton (Brooklyn)
I would like to thank all the people ( mostly women) who worked so hard to ensure this fantastic end result. That they all worked in the face of daunting challenges, plus the Pandemic makes there effort even more impressive. Thanks to all.
Imperato (NYC)
despite Trump’s extraordinary efforts for fraud.
DC (Maine)
The second week of this month was the happiest time in four years by far. Putting aside the 73 million for the moment, Trump succeeded in dragging all of us down. I've spent a great deal of that time thinking angry thoughts which simply weren't there under the Obama administration. Our energies have been diverted and wasted in so many ways. So when Biden finally went over 270, I was ecstatic for a day or two. I flew a flag, I drove demonstrably past neighbors' homes where Trump banners were still staked. But with Covid cases ticking up in Maine, several of us decided against a little celebratory get-together over a bonfire. We celebrated as we will for Thanksgiving, with only our immediate family. A load has most definitely been lifted - and kudos to election officials of all parties everywhere! - but the fact remains that 73 million people voted for a three-yr-old (apologies to all toddlers out there) and what to do with those folks is absolutely beyond my ken.
PABlue (USA)
True! Lots of promising developments. We'll need to work to make some advances - such as much more widespread mail-in voting - stick. Republicans hate mail-in, because it bypasses most of the voter suppression measures they've been working on for a decade or more. So they will push back hard against easier access, whether by mail, extended days for voting, better polling places (why haven't we been using sports stadiums all along?), easier new-voter registration, etc. Trump revealed many weaknesses in the system, such as lack of specific laws and constraints on electors in some cases, that should be addressed by new or enhanced legal boundaries.
Subhash Aneja (Navi Mumbai)
Americans value their democracy and came forward to save it in earnest manner. In future, can the print and TV media also help by attempting to use some humor rathar than bias much like a cartoonist does in response to a malfeasance, not only making a greater impact, but with a chuckle,. And above all, the social media has the responsibility to not become anti-social by letting lies spread at lightening speed. To begin with, can it please change its name and call itself something like "Media Wind" portraying a more humble origin, existence, and importance.
allen (san diego)
this is the most important take away from the 2020 elections. that despite covid and republican party leader's efforts to subvert the process, on the whole the election went off remarkably well. we still have a lot of work to do to overcome republican efforts to disenfranchise voters in minority communities, but the fact that democrats and republicans at the local lever worked together to carry out their election duties is a very hopeful sign for the future.
michaelscody (Niagara Falls NY)
The only place I disagree with this column's suggestions is in the social media area. The people peddling the truth have access to the same tools as those peddling nonsense. What they have to do is use them as well as the others do, and make their truths more appealing to the masses than the nonsense. Truth is, after all, consistent with reality which gives it a head start on believability. It just needs to be marketed as well as the lies are.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@michaelscody: The right wing has worked for decades to dyslexify words like "liberty" to mean "tyranny". Agreement begins with common understanding of words. It doesn't happen when the same words mean different things to different negotiators.
michaelscody (Niagara Falls NY)
@Steve Bolger I agree that a common vocabulary is essential, that is why in any disagreement the first thing necessary is for each side to define what they mean. That does not, in my opinion, call for regulation but for discourse.
Robert (Princeton, NJ)
"Also, it’s obvious that most of the disinformation right now is coming from one side of the political spectrum." NYT in a nutshell - we are the truth, those bad people on the right are telling lies and must be silenced. This philosophy is borrowed from TASS and the China Global Times. Not a good look to have in these pages.
Edgar (NM)
Thank you to all who made this election possible during a pandemic. And to the racists in the Republican/Trump party you debased yourselves.
Pitchforks: check Torches: check (Fl)
I have seen Democrats talk about adding states to make our government more fair. The real conversation is about removing states . If N.Dakoda and S.Dakoda want to stay in the Union then they need to combine or be removed. Wyoming and Idaho also.
Irving Franklin (Los Altos)
Arrest Trump for treason!
Paul from Oakland (SF Bay Area)
Maybe the most important thing learned is that Trump's bark was a lot bigger than his bite. He relied on his spineless collaborators in the Senate and Republican appointed judges to unflailingly back him up, but when it actually came to the true court of public opinion shown best in a free election, Trump's balloon popped. Trump's entire strategy was running the country like a TV reality show, projecting a false reality using social media and staged publicity events, while actively sabotaging democracy, sometimes blatantly breaking laws. Many anti-Trump people got sucked into this carny show, thinking there was nothing that would stop Trump from remaking the US into a dictatorship. They need to think hard about this, because the hard right wing will keep coming back, baring their teeth more aggressively with or without Trump as President. Either we commit to more boldly fighting for expanded Constitutional democracy or the hard right wing will come up with another, more successful formula- such as the tried and true "the nation must go to war..."
Un Occhio (Doyers Street)
"China’s Surveillance State Sucks Up Data. U.S. Tech Is Key to Sorting It." That's a headline in this journal today. The one world you liberals clamored for is nigh. Instead of awake, you pat yourselves on the back, as in this editorial, for the every-four-years ritual soma, and you publish meaningless deflections from minor chorus members - an "Indiana legislator"? really?? - as if they held any gravitas. The real news is too frightening we suppose. The reaction to the ignorance of it will be world-changing.
Alice (Louisville KY)
Hell hath no fury like an abused electorate. We not only won; we won with a tremendous turnout. We stood down covid, a crippled USPS, and voter suppression tactics to beat the people responsible for these barriers. We won.
Greg Hodges (Truro, N.S./ Canada)
Everyone involved in the Hurculean task of conducting such a massive election with 153 Million votes cast, should get a medal under such trying circumstances. Instead they get nothing but stinking Trump garbage thrown their way. How sad; How Pathetic. But here is the thing. I received a strange phone call out of the blue last night; from faraway Washington State. Seems some Trump supporter saw a comment from me that concerned Americans had a choice between Trump OR Democracy. Seems he wanted to set me straight from 4,000 miles away that (straight from the horse`s mouth) the U.S. is NOT a Democracy. Never was. That is the point of the Electoral College. The will of WE the PEOPLE is not the deciding factor. When I informed this gentleman that Biden won BOTH the E. C. and the Popular vote; he assured me that the election was not as it seemed. WELL that was all I needed to hear. He and I had been very polite to each other up to this point. But I immediately inquired where he was getting his "information."It became immediately clear (Surprise) that most of it was coming from right wing crap media. I then suggested politely that he needed to have a Long Conversation with REALITY...and to stop listening to all this Trump conspiracy Garbage immediately. I hope someday he does so. It is a grave insult to the thousands and thousands of American citizens who put their health on the line to do this vital duty. Their sad and pathetic Reward? In some cases death threats from sick minds. !!
Valerie Elverton Dixon (East St Louis, Illinois)
And more than 73 million people voted for the con man president and his rotten to the core party.
Michael Woolsey (Eden Prairie, MN)
Hear, hear!!
Morgan Child (Ohio)
How utterly absurd! What ARE you talking about?! "Bring in the clowns!" Word: fencing your way to the ballot box to vote and jabbing the other fellow with your pommel before he can prevent you from doing so—IS NOT A SUCCESS!! Such an interpretation is outrageous! Americans' REFUSAL to face facts and stand up and CORRECT what is WRONG with America is heartbreaking and WILL BE our downfall! Voting in America is beyond stupid! Requirements for doing so can vary across the street! Our system of governance is ill-conceived and a farce, which everyone sees but US! ONE MAN has brought this country to the edge of the cliff and you, the Editorial Board, want to celebrate our not being pushed over it! There are no words. Having been defeated at the polls—defeated!—ONE MAN has two months to wreak havoc that well may cripple the economy for years to come if not catapult us into a war! I find this editorial disgraceful.
Jay (NY)
This is one more in a series of articles by the Times forcing us to disregard that election hasn’t been called yet and just move on. Thus making everyone who wants to process the election results and analyze the razor thin margins and how they happened and if they were achieved fairly, feel like a fool. I am disappointed by the bias in this newspaper, of which I am a reader for many, many years. If the country is deeply polarized you should be dead in center as a newspaper of record but unfortunately you are firmly in league with Democrats. In other words 75 million people who voted for the other side don’t deserve consideration - you can see all of them have been reduced to some imagined caricatures of bigots and racists. It is only a combination of snobbery, laziness, ego and lack of empathy that can explain this bias.
Jesse Wegman (New York, NY)
@Jay Hi Jay, In 2016, Trump won the Electoral College thanks to a combined margin of about 77,000 votes across 3 states. His electoral-vote victory was 306-232. Despite the "razor-thin margin" of that vote, this paper called the presidency for him on Election Night, and the editorial board acknowledged that victory at that time. I'm curious what you think is different this year, when the outcome was almost exactly reversed (Biden won the Electoral College by 3 states by around 100K votes, and his total electoral vote margin will be identical to Trump's in 2016.) As for your concern about being made to feel like a fool, it's hard to know how to respond to the allegations of fraud or irregularities, all of which have been thrown out by courts for lacking any actual evidence at all. Finally, it is not bias to portray accurately the reality of the political landscape of this moment in our history. The fact of deep political polarization does not obligate a truth-seeking institution like the Times to give equal weight to both sides. If one political party fundamentally exists in reality and the other in conspiracy theories and fact-free allegations, failing to recognize that would be the real bias.
Albert Ross (CO)
@Jay I regret that you feel as if you have been fooled. I feel as if you've been fooled as well. When Obama disappointed me he lost my support. It is your right to remain loyal to someone who has lied to you consistently and led you to feel the way you do. But you can choose to do otherwise.
Armo (San Francisco)
@Jay Please for yours and your family's sake, get off the fox.
bob c (new york city)
America dodged a bullet; we can only go up from here.
Shawn Coggins (Montana)
Faux ie fake not fox an animal that chases weasels
Taiyi (San Francisco, CA)
New York Times, being a DNC cheerleader, will never talk about Democratic Party's successful effort to use legal trickery to take Green Party off the ballots in many states, taking away people's legitimate political choices.
Mark (MA)
I'm sure if President Trump had prevailed nothing like this would have been published in the NYT.
Jesse Wegman (New York, NY)
@Mark To the contrary. We also defended the integrity of the election in 2016, when Donald Trump won and yet, rather than expressing his gratitude to the poll workers and election officials for a job well done, chose to spend his energy accusing the vote count of being fraudulent.
Mark (MA)
@Jesse Wegman Please provide the link to the editorial piece you are referring to.
Thomas (Singapore)
And that is how you handle the accusations of a cult leader.
IAmANobody (America)
I scream this at you all and hope someone hears and heeds. These are dangerous times and will continue to be as long as the GOP exists as it now does. Beware! Don't be apathetic, complacent, lazy, or have misplaced cynicism. Don't abandon proper logic and critical thinking. Don't abandon truth; don't abandon the march to a more perfect Liberal Democracy because not every step/marcher is perfect. Be very scared. Lovely wife and I at the end, well positioned, we'll probably be OK. But the Nation we love will not be, nor our grandkids. We worry. We should. Thus we VOTE and send money. I carry my immigrant roots. The Country my people loved and served and I love and served is in danger; in danger of becoming what my not too distant relatives fled. Here are the facts (yes facts! it is obvious and what I will say is NOT hyperbole) The GOP is NOT an American Party. It is a cult with designs to undo our Liberal Democracy, to install a Plutocracy, to rollback to 1850. It is akin to the Parties in Europe circa 1930; Parties with exulted akin to Mussolini and operators akin to the Black Shirts. Its misinformation and propaganda machines surpass Goebbels'. It is evil! For whatever reason 42% of us love them; most are GREAT and GOOD people. Still, they are DANGEROUS voters because their GOP selection is DANGEROUS. They must NOT win at the polls! 58% of us MUST VOTE and VOTE EXISTENTIALLY. Normally flawed D Party only American Party now! Vote for America!
Blackmamba (Il)
Nonsense. Democracy in America was aborted by the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant Founding Fathers who owned property including their enslaved Black African American men, women and children working on lands and using natural resources stolen from multiple brown Indigenous men, women and children nations. What the Senate, Electoral College, Cabinet, White House Staff, Supreme Court of the United States and state's rights sovereignty don't the New York Times Editorial Board accept, believe and understand that the United States of America is not and never was meant to be a democracy. America is and always has been a very peculiar kind of republic. A divided limited different power constitutional republic of united states.
Greg (Chicago)
Democracy won in 2016 too but NYT refused to accept the results and sabotaged the winner.
Taoshum (Taos, NM)
The NYTs could lead here... yesterday, there were 16 instances of "trump" on the website home page, zero for Biden. Today there are 4-5 instances of "trump" and 3 for Biden so that's progress!!! The instances of "republican" vs "democrat" are about the same, ok. We are watching!
Jontavious (Atlanta)
A resounding success? Hmm, I am fairly certain what your storyline would have read had Trump been reelected. Voter suppression! Election a travesty! Democracy destroyed! Pathetic, NYT
LRR (New Haven, CT)
I'm starting to think that my atheist goddess sent COVID to get rip of Trump. Would Biden have won without COVID? Bizarrely terrifying to think...
Adrienne Friedes (East Hampton, NY)
Life Traveler (AH)
Simply put, Donald J. Trump is a truly enfant terrible who did not get what he wanted so he cries like a baby, sans a dummy in his mouth. The simply truth remains that NO Republican observers at election counting station has stepped forward to lend credibility to his outrageous claims of widespread frauds. Because there is NO such thing. Therein lies the true personal character of Donald J. Trump: a CONMAN.
Rudy Ludeke (Falmouth, MA)
Are democrats so nefariously clever that they succeeded in altering millions of ballots in favor of Biden, yet, idiot savant-like, incompetent in completing the "greatest political scam in history" by not altering the down-ballot votes for control of the senate and simultaneously barely hanging on to their lead in the House?
Martin (Germany)
I've been thinking about the U.S. "democracy", which isn't really one, because of the way the constitution puts one man, the president, in such a powerful position. This is the reason that there are no third parties in the U.S. - at least none that counts. And "independents" are just disgruntled Dems or Reps: they know they can never really change anything, but cling onto the job for the fame, the money, idealism, whatever. But now there is another danger: "The Movement". If you've wondered why few Reps speaks out against Trump it's because the moment Trump quits the GOP he'll take his 40+ million followers and form a new party. They can't have that, it would put them into the minority. But Trump isn't a Rep, he's a psychopathic narcissist and doesn't care about parties. That new "Party of the Donald" (PotD) would also not be bound be tradition, rules or common wisdom. As we've seen with Trump "anything goes" (remember how he tried to buy Greenland?). PotD would wreck the country just to hear the sound it makes in collapsing. PotD would have brownshirts in the streets just to see if anyone objects. In order to stop PotD to destroy America the GOP would have to join forces with the Dems. Given that they would only have 10% of the voters at that point it's suicide. But letting Trump reign supreme would be too. In other words: Do or don't, the GOP is finished, and they did it to themselves by allowing Trump to take over the party. "I pity the fool!" (B.A. Baracus)...
PB (Northern Utah)
What kind of people would work to: (1) make America's federal government weak and dysfunctional; (2) dismantle foreign alliances with U.S. allies in favor of positive treatment for dictators and enemies; (3) spew endless lies and propaganda to devitalize our federal government and diminish its constructive role in the world's stage; (4) divide Americans from each other and gin up racism and hatred; and (5) block almost all positive federal legislation that improves healthcare for all Americans; clean air and water; rebuilds our crumbling infrastructure; lowers prescription drug prices; and imposes harsh penalties for corporate, financial, and political corruption? a. long time enemies of the U.S., such as Putin's Russia b. terrorist groups bent on destroying American society and its power in the world c. the right-wing Republican Party under the leadership of Trump, McConnell, Barr, most of Trump's cabinet, and big GOP donors d. all of the above Mirror, mirror on the wall, Which one of these 3 adversaries of democracy in America (a, b, or c) is the biggest threat of all to the stability and functioning of our government and country? The answer is truly frightening.
fg (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
I would think that more obviously than that the "Republican Party fundamentally distrusts the American electorate" is that they are continuing their death grip on power by a minority that is deservedly losing that power. However, we in the majority have come to mistrust the cult of trump.
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
It was a two horse race. The GOP people want you to believe that one horse winning is a conspiracy. Its ridiculous, especially given that all polls predicted it. What is so unbelievable about one of two horses winning the race?
mrfreeze6 (Italy's Green Heart)
You just experienced a "media event," not a democratic election. If the DUS (dis-united States) were truly a country with a functioning democracy, you would not have an electoral system and all the nonsense that goes with it (like being anti-democratic). And here's the truly dangerous problem you face, long-term: you are powerless to change this fatally flawed system because those who benefit the most (the losers), aren't about to give power up to the winners. Notice how strange that is? In a country so much about "winning," it seems the losers win?
Al M (Norfolk Va)
A New Day! You think this was a victory? And yes, for the moment we've won, but don't celebrate delusion 'cause we're a long way from done. Corporate democrats voted in cursing those who brought 'em we've still got to fight them from autumn to autumn We'll fight them for the climate We'll fight them for our health We'll fight them to topple the dictatorship of wealth We'll fight them for jobs with livable pay We'll fight racist cops by night and by day We'll fight them for justice all of us or none We'll fight to end war and when we are done We'll celebrate freedom our banner unfurled and together begin to create a just world
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita, Kansas)
This was the happiest day of Voting in my entire life. Even more than when I Voted for Obama. Why ? I felt I was actually helping to save our Country. Not hyperbole, just my sincere feelings. I practically skipped out of my precinct, with a huge smile under my mask. There was absolutely some giggling involved. Thank You ALL.
Brian (Massachusetts)
The results are celebratory in the extreme. There are many voting challenges cited here that are sobering and alarming, and yes. they need our active energies to mitigate. What to to say about the state of the Republican Party? My God, I've never seen them more a cult, a mob, more cynical and willing to undermine, betray, defraud and backstab the collegial (though competitive) democratic, deliberative process of Congress. They were happy to thwart all reaching across the aisle, while a strongman did their unilateral legislating through executive orders. And they brought lawsuits galore to attack standing, decent law that supported Americans. I'm going to use an ugly,crass analogy- the john, the pimp and the prostitute. The Congressional Republicans were the cowering, needy, selfish John looking for gratification at any cost. Trump was the abusive, violent, charismatic, coercive, seductive, sexualized Pimp, and we, the citizens prostituted our lives, rights, thoughts, hearts and votes for him. Shameful. And we need to heal bigtime.
Adam S Urban Warrior (Bronx NY)
So “ fraudulent” ballots for Biden still count if they indicate down ballot voting for Republicans? But ONLY for the Republicans? Heads i win Tales you lose Told my family of origin years ago what they could do with THAT attitude
Mark (Washington DC)
You must be grading this election on a curve. All of the pre election panic about mail ballots, all of the pre election legal work to change the ways that Americans vote. The ridiculous emergency session in Congress regarding the post office. None of this was needed. This is 2020 and we had to wait weeks for multiple States to declare a winner! You call that a success? I call it a national embarrassment.
Dorothy Wiese (San Antonio)
Election was OK. After the election is awful.
Hugh Massengill (Eugene Or)
Ah, yes, but me, I am going to wait before taking any kind of verbal victory lap. Wait until Trump is out of office, physically, and until I have a sense his control over the insane Republican Party is over. Hate is addicting, and there are millions of his followers addicted to his form of behavior. Democracy in America is tied to the Electoral College and the hold the far right has on racist voting. Hugh
teach (western mass)
We voted to get rid of a President who (1) refused to reveal the truth about the coronavirus in order, he insisted, to prevent a panic, and then (2) lied early and often about voting in order to cause panic about our voting system (and prevent his own panic over losing). January 21,2021 can't come soon enough.
Purple Spain (Cherry Hill, NJ)
I spent much of the year promoting Vote by Mail on YouTube and newspaper comment sections. Every time there was a negative, false or dishonest comment I was there to contradict them with facts, examples, and a little American optimism, “We can do this!” And we did. Hooray for us!
silver bullet (Virginia)
The 2020 election eas a resounding success, by any measure. More Americans voted than ever before, in spite of a killer pandemic, Republican voter suppression and an indifferent USPS that was determined to do the president's bidding and slow down or lose votes in Democratic cities and neighborhoods. As things stand now, Republicans and the president are trying their darndest to call the black votes fraudulent and therefore illegal. American democracy has withstood the challenge from the president and the GOP to overturn the will of the country. The rule of law, especially in red states, has prevailed over anarchy, chaos and despotism.
kirk (kentucky)
Of the last four presidents two failed to win the most votes in their first terms. Those two were republicans.In our heavily weighted to the right and far right democracy...(or should an election that makes the second place finisher the winner be called something else?) our courts are loaded to the right.Authoritarianism / fascism reside right around the corner at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave awaiting a smart and intelligent Putin-like character to pick up the reins. Our sacred institutions are made of paper mache..apparently.
Southern Scribe (Atlanta)
Trump keeps traumatizing us. I can scarcely bear to watch and read the news. He cares nothing for the citizens, for the rule of law, for honor, for democracy. For the hundreds of thousands of Americans whose lives have been sacrificed to Covid, and for those who will die because he and the GSA fail to allow the presidential transition, with its needed briefings and preparedness for vaccines, to begin. The idea of this horror show resurfacing in 4 years is too much. What gutless creatures many in the GOP leadership turned out to be—unprincipled enablers willing to support the disgraceful Trump at any cost, subverting voters and endangering our very union. Make this nightmare stop.
Karen Lee (Washington, DC area)
I can’t imagine how an election can be considered to be “great”, when the candidate who clearly lost is spinning out of control and attempting to obstruct the legitimate outcome of the election. And a clear majority of this pathetic man refuse to stop him.
matilda rose (East Hampton NY)
Thank you poll workers and officials who helped to keep this election safe despite the many obstacles thrown in the way. It is comforting to know that that there are still many good honest and decent people in this country who care about doing their job in a reliable and efficient manner. Unfortunately their service has been overlooked because of the stupidity and reckless behaviour of this President and his enablers.
Hamid Varzi (Iranian Expat in Europe)
After the dust has settled, people will be wondering how a relatively educated democracy could elect someone exhibiting narcissistic, schizoid-paranoid personality disorders to the highest land in the office, how almost half the population tried to reelect him and, lastly, how many of the most senior and experienced Republicans knowingly fed these disorders to the detriment of their nation. Many fundamental problems remain to be resolved, so it is time for relief rather than celebration.
Chiz (Christchurch, NZ)
How long before Trump decides to try and find a way of using executive orders to overturn some of the results? Maybe the Guinness Book of Records should have an entry for Biggest Sore Loser?
Pheasantfriend (Michigan)
What irritates me is “who pays for all these court filings and slowdown of real work. Who is working in his cabinet”all we hear is Pompeii is using gov workers to run errands and walk his dog manuchin takes a 727 for a holiday weekend with his wife for 790,000$ Ivanka and don’t jr use treasury as their own piggy bank why hasn’t the mainstream republicans complained why
Art (Nj)
I am appalled at the fragility of our democracy. If 2 canvassers in Michigan can overturn the will of the people of a state, then it is not a democracy it is an oligarchy!! Russia wants the US to break up into a civil war and foolish GOP and Trump are playing into their hands!!! Can someone stop this ill-fated train!!! Perhaps like everything else we should outsource the execution of elections to India, they do a much better job with 1.3 billion people and results available in 2 days.
Norville T. Johnstone (New York)
Sorry, but I find the accolades from The NY times’ EB to be disingenuous at best. They are only proclaiming the sanctity of the process because they like who won. For four years we hear daily from this propaganda machine how Trump won because of Russian interference that occurred under the Obama administration and that Trump is Putin’s puppet. Yet the Trump administration, declared as the most incompetent by the NYt, is able to prevent the Russians from interfering this time? And China and Iran as well. The results are suspect because every time there is evidence of mail in errors or mistakes or fraud, The NY Times, despite running some of those stories themselves, bend over backwards to say there are no issues. C’mon, 140 plus million people vote across 51 jurisdictions and numerous overseas military installations and there is ZERO fraud ? There must be a small percentage of things that go wrong. The question is how much and can it swing an election. Some people think Hillary won. Stacey Abrams has still not conceded. Over 70 million people do note want Biden as their president, that’s the highest national tally of votes ever against the likely winner of the EC. Let’s see what the Electors actually do when they vote as that is when the president is actually elected.
Luisa (Peru)
Indeed, the US is not a banana republic. The world needs her not to be one.
Al (Philly)
I was never before involved in a political campaign. Thought it was kind of beneath me. Not because I'm uppity, because thought 1) everyone should be informed and vote their conscience without needing encouragement or persuasion, and 2) campaigns in the US are pathetic. They should be publicly funded only, issues driven and mercifully short. So much for that dream. This time it's different. Half the country is in thrall of the Republican propaganda machine and a wanna-be dictator. For real. They really are off the rails. So I couldn't not be involved. I had to do something. So I started donating to the Lincoln Project right after I read Conway's editorial in the Times in 12/19. I started donating to Biden as soon as he became the nominee apparent. Not much, $5 a week each for the duration, a couple hundred bucks all together. I made ~1000 phone calls for Biden between July and November. I sent 100 letters for Vote Forward. I knocked on 100 doors in PA. I remember one call to a young lady in Philadelphia. She said she was a felon and couldn't vote. I said hey, I think you can, and texted her some info on getting registered and how to vote. The campaign said we made 80 million calls! One in one thousand of 80 million is 80,000. That is the margin of victory in PA! So maybe, just maybe, one out of 1000 of my calls got one vote for honesty, integrity and sanity, and it made a difference. Get involved and help make a difference. We really need you. This isn’t over.
Rob Hoff (Erie PA)
Democracy dodged a bullet.
Shawn Coggins (Montana)
Democracy dodged a Flame Thrower
Heard Islander (Australia)
What a sad mess is America currently. That is not unusual. America will cope. After Trump has with small hands attempted to choke democracy the world will be better for non voting penguins and koalas. Men bald ugly and beautiful and hairy are angry about Trump. Yellow back old gentlemen who inhabit the Senate do not have voters from soil from France to Vietnam who were peers and probably of better character and integrity. The death for democracy is not buried in Vietnam of France. The Senators in Rome did choose Caeser. Choice. A foreigner is happy to assist as did the French who donated the statue of Liberty. Americans are surviving crazy an attack on reason not seen repelled since the French Revolution that made your nation an Icon of the future. Australians remember the best of American culture
PS (Vancouver)
Where is the courage - not that courage is needed - to speak simple undeniable truths? The very same GOP that used to walk around (ostensibly) with a copy of the US Constitution in their pockets during the Obama presidency (remember that), are suddenly silent in the face of outrageous attacks on that same (sacred?) document. What gives ? Is your loyalty to an unhinged and unfit person greater than your sworn oath? What a silly question - of course it is . . .
Al (Philly)
I was never before involved in a political campaign. Thought it was kind of beneath me. Not because I'm uppity, because thought 1) everyone should be informed and vote their conscience without needing encouragement or persuasion, and 2) campaigns in the US are pathetic. They should be publicly funded only, issues driven and mercifully short. So much for that dream. This time it's different. Half the country is in thrall of the Republican propaganda machine and a wanna-be dictator. For real. They really are off the rails. So I couldn't not be involved. I had to do something. So I started donating to the Lincoln Project right after I read Conway's editorial in the Times in 12/19. I started donating to Biden as soon as he became the nominee apparent. Not much, $5 a week each for the duration, a couple hundred bucks all together. I made ~1000 phone calls for Biden between July and November. I sent 100 letters for Vote Forward. I knocked on 100 doors in PA. I remember one call to a young lady in Philadelphia. She said she was a felon and couldn't vote. I said hey, I think you can, and texted her some info on getting registered and how to vote. The campaign said we made 80 million calls! One in one thousand of 80 million is 80,000. That is the margin of victory in PA! So maybe, just maybe, one out of 1000 of my calls got one vote for honesty, integrity and sanity, and it made a difference. Get involved and help make a difference. We really you. This isn’t over.
JJGuy (Washington)
Meanwhile no one is minding the shop.
Walking Man (Glenmont NY)
Imagine for a minute having to wait in the rain for 6 hours for anything. To get a gallon of milk. Or in line at a toll booth. Or to get gas. Or to pick up a prescription. But doing that to vote....now that is totally acceptable to the voters in America. They see no problem there. Because America is such a great country. Democracy at work. I bet they don't wait that long in places like Iraq. Think about that for a second. Oh, I am sure many of you Trumpers out there will find a rationalization for people having to wait 6 hours in line to vote. But as to a solution.....you got 4 years, Dems. 4 years to make sure that every voter that wants to vote can vote. You know what the Republicans are going to do. You can stand there and cry 'foul', but , at the end of the day, you can have a temper tantrum or do something about it to elect the leaders who will make sure it ends. Stacey Abrams for DNC head!
K. (Ohio)
an election with its foundation rooted in the gore v bush election. We are the better for it. One problem your newspaper is going to have. They are obsessed with and addicted to Trump. It does not seem right that a newspaper have a political base by there is no denying you cater to that base. It will be interesting to see how you wean yourself from Trump.
SineDie (Michigan)
Kudos to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and SOS Jocelyn Benson for taking the bull by the horns early on, getting ballots to registered voters early, and issuing prompt warnings about avoiding USPS too close to the election. Michigan does elections simply and well.
LiquidLight (California)
I guess the Editorial Board hasn't realized that Biden isn't the president yet, and trump has no intention of leaving, ever. It's an error to assume the battle is over because it is not.
Shawn Coggins (Montana)
I hope you are wrong but I have similar fears Putin will not be happy losing his puppet!
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
Accurate assessment of the great perils of a democracy maligned on purpose...by non other than a superb lying demagogue and charlatan in-chief. It seemed clear weeks before the election that Trump was concerned about losing, hence, his vigorous try to discredit mail-in voting and devious maneuvers to suppress the vote, especially where democratic majorities were known to exist. And now, his stupid lawsuits to reverse an election clearly won by Joe Biden, losers all, just show how desperate this president is in insisting he won, trying to cling to power...to avoid the inevitable as he leaves office, the long arm of justice, to indict his multiple abuses of power in detriment of people's well-being, obstruction of justice being most prominent. And we didn't even mention yet his criminal indifference to Covid-19, now with a quarter of a million deaths under his belt...and counting. As Obama titled a book of his, 'The audacity of Hope' was worth the fight...to preserve this democracy!
wryawry (the foothills of the headlands)
Lots of folks are saying that the Lizard People are still holding their collective breaths that all of their millions of falsified mail-in ballots pass muster. If these illegal votes should be rejected, that will be one more stumbling-block in the Lizard People’s march towards world domination. It’s true! I saw it on the interweb!
Alberto Abrizzi (Bay Area)
A positive-side is well needed and well-justified. Thank you! While social and NYT reader commentaries could be summed up as “The Sky Is Falling!”—this editorial shifts back to a more positive—and realistic—take on what just happened. Democracy prevailed! The Trump nonsense will run its course. Is it messy? Sure! Is it realistic to believe with an election this big there are zero discrepancies and miscounts? No. Was there widespread fraud? Of course not. Did the Russians influence this or the last election? Nah. Stop the self-shaming to the world. Take a breath. We’re almost there.
Jim (Boston)
You know what's hard work? journalism. We expect more than another 4 years of Trump is the Root of all evil and all our rage.
cheerful dramatist (NYC)
Really? Biden should have won by a much greater margin and you NYT know it, stop gilding the aged lily here. The polls were wrong again, yes he did ok, but not what the once again faulty polls claimed. Any one should have beaten Donald by the biggest landslide in history. Biden and his limp and faint policies excited no one. Kamala never got a single delegate and tanked her campaign, giggling and sliding all over the place on policies. Obama wanted her for president a long time ago and shoved her on the ticket with Joe. Yes it was a relief Joe won, he is a Wall Street boy and bows to corporations which you will never admit, he is one of your kind, the status quo kind that brought us trump in the first place when we the people got short changed by the Dems Interesting isn't it that the progressives running on progressive policies which poll very high with voters, won most of their races, but the so called moderates, read those that take corporate bribes and work only for them and not us, well lots of them lost, gee you think we the people might be awful tired of never being represented or something? But before you congratulate yourself for the rebirth of good old status quo which benefits you and the elites only, you might want to check out how trump is trying to force states to use republican electors to declare him the winner when he is not. It can still happen and Amy and Kavanaugh and others owe him and could make him president. Wake up please. You are welcome!
jb (Santa Barbara)
"the Republican Party is awash in conspiracy theories and — there’s no other way to put it — fundamentally distrusts the American electorate." Of course there are other ways to put it than this loonytunes framing. The GOP does trust the American electorate--to vote against it, which is why it does all it can to suppress the vote. The GOP is corrupt top to bottom, a fascistic and racist movement that doesn't care a whit about democracy, only power. They have been quite clear that elections are only "fair" if they win.
James, Toronto, CANADA (Toronto)
Without the minimum comity of publicly acknowledging one's own party's electoral loss and the opposing party's win, how can America's 2020 presidential election be described as "Great"? Four years of Donald Trump relentlessly tweeting, mugging, threatening, lying, abusing and whining did not reduce his electoral support. It increased it! Why? Because Trump voters don't believe their opponents are real Americans worthy of respect. They are "socialists", "communists", "pedophiles", "baby-killers", etc. And Democrats think, as Hillary Clinton so impolitically uttered, that Trump voters are "a basket of deplorables". So, how can democracy function in a country where members of opposing parties don't consider each other as human beings, much less as worthy opponents?
Les Anderson (Australia)
Hard to see what all the fuss is about. Biden won and Trump lost seems to what the numbers are saying. Trump should now just let it go and get on with life, just like Hillary, Bernie, CNN and many many others, refused to do after Trump won ? Pot meet kettle. Americas problem is that they whinge and whine about interference in their democracy all the bloody time. And that from a country that has actively, publicly worked at overthrowing elected governments in other countries, for decades now is bloody hilarious. Grow up.
AhBrightWings (Cleveland)
The tragedy lies in the disconnect between your apt title and germane points and how the story is being told. 70% of surveyed Republicans now claim the election was stolen. That is not just a gross disservice to Harris and Biden, though it is that; it's the bastardization of our entire electoral process. It has to stop. Stop normalizing this. Every time a camera and mic are turned on DJT's "legal" "team" we unwittingly prop up the myth that there is some "there, there." On the charges of electoral irregularities and voter fraud, there is not. But there certainly is a deadly dangerous "there, there"... the treasonous intent to subvert the will of the American people to one woefully, epically, unforgivably compromised party and man...the GOP and Trump. Of the two, the most serious breach of ethics is the GOP's. History coughs up its grubby, pathetic, deadly, broken tyrants every cycle or so. That is a quirk of human nature that allows profoundly maimed and dangerous men to gain power. The full force of our excoriation and accountability must fall on those who know better but who choose to prop up, excuse, and enable thugs and tyrants. There is no excusing what this GOP is doing. Any member of that party who has not already congratulated Biden should be forced to resign. They clearly do not know how a democracy works and therefore have no right to a seat at the table. Lack of accountability is what is destroying us, so it's time to get serious about it. Now.
Michael (Los Angeles)
I think this country is destined to fascism. Fortunately, by the time it is firmly established, I will be dead. A word of advice to the wary: If you ain't armed, get armed.
Keith (Nyc)
Yes, We can take a bow.....and the Republican enablers...they can take a hike. May they come to the table of reason and sanity before the holiday, and yea, make it Donald's last supper at the White House.
Sleepless in Seattle (Seattle, WA)
has it, though?
G Petrie (Oregon)
Editors say, "good reason to fear." I think that pretty much sums up the Nytimes. When bad things don't happen, it's was averted because we were afraid, not because the risk didn't exist.
gregdn (Los Angeles)
The Times has spent the past four years screaming about our election machinery was 'broken' and subject to fraud (usually by those pesky Russians), and pleading for the Federal government to take over. I find it laughable that this paper now praises this election as one of the the 'most secure, most accurate and most well run elections' ever. I never thought there was any major problem with our voting systems, but the level of hypocrisy here is stunning.
Barbara Steinberg (Reno, NV)
John Lewis would have been proud,
James (Los Angeles)
Wow. The paper of record for "Our Democracy is at Stake!" does an about-face. You could have spared your devoted, trusting readers so much anxiety and sleeplessness if you yourselves had always trusted the strength of our democracy over the capricious whims of an unworldly, ignorant circus barker. But that wouldn't buy as many clicks. Democracy is a steak. However you enjoy it — rare, medium, well done, or vegan — just relax and enjoy it.
samp426 (Sarasota)
The fact that our national dummy started railing against “election fraud” months before the actual election made it clear for me that the old adage is true: he that smelt it... dealt it. Only a criminal mind would hatch such wholesale nonsense, and Trump is very definitely a criminal by any standard. He’s also a liar, cheat, coward and bully, but, no need to pile on.
Ted Siebert (Chicagoland)
Trump can thank himself for getting Biden elected. Everything Trump touched on and spouted about backfired spectacularly. The militia did not show up, the post office delivered the mail, voting records were broken and the voter fraud never made a single peep as Trump spewed like a volcano. But when your mantra is that everything sort of resolves itself in your imaginary world like a miracle it’s a tell tale of an incredibly ignorant and lazy man.
math365 (CA)
Despite what the New York Times predicted for four years. How does it feel to be so wrong and feel so right?
Greg (Chicago)
“The most secure election ever.” Democrats and NYT (D) begin to sound like Trump.
Marsha Granville (Forest Hills NY)
Thank you Editorial Board. I needed that.
Christy (Catskill)
Indeed. 73 million of us dammed up the blue wave. In a mere two years, comes the Red Tide. In the meantime, no one gets to sail.
MIMA (heartsny)
How do we truthfully answer our grandkids when they ask “What’s the matter with President Trump?”
Huge Grizzly (Seattle)
Sad to say, but we’re not done yet, EB. I know, I know, they’re losing all their lawsuits and appear to be hair-dye fools from an outer planet, but it ain’t over ‘till it’s over.
Robert (Out west)
I suggest scrolling down to read the obit of Daniel Cordier, who died yesterday, aged 100. “Long is the struggle, hard the fight.” Nobody said the moral arc of the universe is a cheap one-armed bandit that’d pay you off in the mext five minutes.
Wilson Woods (NY)
Forget polling and the census! Doesn't anyone see the earthshaking results of this election? Just identify someone's approval of Trump and his mafia-like crew, (signs, bumper stickers, comments, etc,) and, VOILA... We then immediately know who are gullible, somewhat evil, lack meaningful intelligence, and are really really dumb among American citizens!
Kev (Sun Diego)
I understand the point of the article - to restore confidence in our elections after team Trump is trying to do the opposite. However, you also spent the last four years saying our election process is broken and illegitimate for various reasons. I question whether or not your current and past opinions are based on the outcome and not what actually transpired. Such as Trump won = bad, Trump lost = good. The truth is that both elections can be good.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Kev: The mechanics of vote counting are the most straightforward part of the process. The legitimacy issues all revolve around the random and ill-conceived variations in the access to and power of a vote. A country that maintains "battleground states" is at permanent civil war with itself.
ken G (bartlesville)
The electoral college was designed to perpetuate slavery. Now it perpetuates minority rule - and that minority represents the most regressive in this county. The electoral college needs to be eliminated.
This wonderful piece has completely changed my perspective about this truly american feat. It is a shame that the con man in charge, now about to leave, is trying to taint the entire noble rituals of the democracy process.
Bruce Williams (Chicago)
The voting went really well, but fraud is stalking the implementation of the result. Lies from the White House, lying suits in the court, manipulation of the certification process are all being deployed to frustrate the proper course of election. There is danger now.
H. Clark (Long Island, NY)
The greatest issue with the 2020 election was the authoritarian tyrant Trump himself, who struggled hard to vanquish democracy with the aid of miscreants and felons. domestic and foreign. In the end, his penchant for criminality, larceny and malfeasance lost out to a clean election (something anathema to Trump) that installed a legitimate president — someone who actually wants and can do the job. This was a close call, however: This election exposed the myriad flaws in our Constitution that has allowed one substandard president to question a system built on the blood, toil and tears of centuries of patriots and everyday Americans. He overestimated himself, yet underestimated America’s resolve. We need to keep both eyes on the road, and take nothing for granted. A smarter, wiser, more cunning Trump might be lurking in the floorboards. We need to be prepared to confront it.
rhythm (phoenix)
Raw and Truthful commentary. I applaud you for adding substantiate to this very good article. And you're right — a more complete tyrant is waiting in the wings and America should prepare NOW if we are to survive him/her.
Irishgeezah (Cork, Ireland)
A binary choice in a deeply flawed electoral system whose outcome is still disputed is not deserving the adjective "great".
Robert (NC)
It’s an outright shame our own president wants to delegitimize the very thing our Founders strove to make possible: a free and fair and honest election with an outcome determined not based on your bloodline but on the will of the people. They did not our “near perfect Union” to be an authoritarian country, run by a King or by Czar but by a president, selected by the majority of the people (and not by Electors or a court system either). Thank you to all who made it such a success this year.
Barbara Snider (California)
It’s evident that both Republicans and Democrats want free and fair elections, except for the politicians, of course. The problem is Trump doesn’t, and his followers don’t understand that. Fox, OneAmerican and all the rest are responsible for riling people up. We will get through this however if anyone is injured or killed, Trump, GOP elected officials and social media must be held accountable. Enough lives have been lost this past year due to the virus and Trump’s racist remarks. These people need to understand life is sacred and to show respect for it, which they certainly don’t now. Supposedly, we life in a country that values every citizens’ life. I know there are people that think some lives are more important than others, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make an effort to value everyone. Impeach Trump, problem solved.
Rufus (Planet Earth)
Of course it was a great election. Trump is gone. That's all that matters.
sdw (Cleveland)
Americans made sacrifices which included standing in long lines to vote, older citizens risking their health to cast a vote in person and postal workers defying the highly politicized Post Master General to make sure mail-in votes got through. Citizens contributed to candidates and to groups dedicated to protecting our democracy and to the principle that everyone's vote mattered and had to be counted. In the face of a sitting President and Republican politicians determined to cheat in the election and, at the very minimum, to sow distrust for the process, this was an enormous achievement by the American people. Now, although we can pause momentarily to pat ourselves on the back, we cannot relax our vigilance. The worst health crisis in our nation's history rages because of the dishonesty and ineptitude of a spiteful outgoing President who refuses to honor the will of the American people.
rhythm (phoenix)
Trump never cared about the American people. Not one day.
Antslovehoney (Medford, MA)
"Democracy is a fragile thing, and it requires constant tending and vigilance to survive." Note the ecological resonances of this assessment: democracy is fragile, it needs tending or caring, and it can - like a living organism - survive...or not. It is appropriate to argue that, as with an environment, democracy is the air we breathe and, when it is polluted, it is American well-being that suffers. Ask any psychotherapist across the country: how well were we breathing under the former president? Not so well. Our reactions were visceral for we could feel our basic environment, our civic infrastructures, crumbling around us. I would hope that, with respect to information, the systemic harming of our information landscapes will come to be treated as an ethical harm of the highest order. It may be impossible to prosecute a lie (and for good reason), but liars and fabricators should receive the same regard that, today, we reserve for abusers and fraudsters. But the shame they deserve will rise only in proportion to media and information literacy among the American populace. Absent any _ethical_ concern for the truth, I fear that we will be fighting ecological battles on two fronts: our environmental landscapes, of course, but no less so our information landscapes.
Sally (California)
Democracy is a fragile thing. This surprisingly uplifting take on the election highlights how we all turned out in droves, how we sent our votes in or waited in long lines (thanks to Trump and postmaster Louis de Joy's Machiavellian efforts to make things difficult) and voted like our lives depended on it. _Because our lives do._ Overall, Americans voted for progress and against a bully who lives in an alternative universe full of invisible enemies. This has been the most closely scrutinized election ever and many people worked together to achieve a fair and just tally as Mr. Trump's sleazy attempts to seed doubt (where there really is none) become more and more ridiculous. I'm glad it turned out well. In fact, I think I'll pour myself a glass of wine right now and drink to America- To us!
Marcus Brant (Canada)
The fact that Trump is considering a 2024 rematch indicates that he doesn’t feel he lost, 70 million people bolstering his delusion. By then, the Oval Office may have transformed from a room in the White House to a cell in the Big House where kings and dignitaries have to be searched on admission and masks are definitely suppressed. However, his perception of victory is fed by the notion that democracy is a strategy game, or a survival reality show, that requires connivance and bloody mindedness to persevere. Sadly, this game only has one contestant and it is the Republican Party. The Grand Old Parasite is attempting to build an exclusionary system in America just for its acolytes. It sows the seeds of racism and bigotry, conflated injustices and mayhem, in order to appeal to a popular base that will blindly vote for it despite prejudicing the base’s own interests while, really, it only caters for the elites - its true and valued base. The fact that 70 odd million fall into this trap means that the GOP is down but nowhere near out. It can regroup in 2024, probably with another wingnut like Pompeo or Haley at the helm. Hopefully, wingnuttery is out of vogue by then. Who’s nostalgic for Romney? Anyone? Biden has four years to eruditely show the recalcitrant working class Republican the error of his or her ways. Whatever he achieves will define the world that teeters on the edge of conservative craziness. The rules don’t state that one has to competent to be an ideologue.
Ben P (Austin)
Trump and this past election has given one important lesson, that the gravest threat to US security and the US democracy is not some terrorist group or Russian hackers, it is the vast American ignorance. For our democracy to be truly healthy and functional, our investments in armaments and armies needs to be refocused to invest in the education of our citizenry. Only then can we celebrate the health of this country's institutions.
Floyd (New Mexico)
I am an anti-Trumper that spent the best part of the last few months willing to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt. I was certain he would not win re-election because, as far as I was concerned ,he is the most unpopular president, probably in the history of the US. Despite his outlandish behavior - so vast it couldn’t be described here - I was not on board for calls to prosecute him and jail him as soon as his term was over. I was against the impeachment. He is the duly elected president, and I felt as if going after him in such a way simply descended the Democrats down to the petty level of the far right. However, those days are over. It is absolutely appalling what this man is doing to jeopardize the national integrity and national security of the United States by way of attempted and overt voter suppression and, let’s just get down to the brass tacks, blatant racism. I’m not an attorney, or student of the law. But someone please tell me how this is not the highest crime ever committed against the the United States by its chief executive? It’s a shame that Donald Trump, in his madness and his anger, has managed to turn the wonderful victory of Joe Biden to the presidency largely into something that is not about Joe Biden, but is about Donald Trump. He is exactly the kind of person our mothers and fathers taught us not to be and urged us to avoid. He is the person that when approaching you on a sidewalk you immediately cross the street.
nolongeradoc (London, UK)
Which ever way this goes (and Trump's not done fighting yet), around one half (or the other) of the American electorate is going to claim that the USA is INCAPABLE of running a free and fair election. That it simply did not do so. That's its own citizens claiming that. This isn't a handful of whackos screeching, it's tens and tens of MILLIONS of US citizens. D'you see how that plays out in the wide world? A world that's been lectured for decades about 'American democratic values' and yet, is currently looking at a banana republic on steroids. I sense that many feel that once Trump (or Biden) and Covid are history, it's business as usual for the US on the world stage.
RNS (Piedmont Quebec Canada)
The one thing trump could take credit for, a well run election, he trashes. He certainly is one hard dude to figure out.
Knucklehead (Charleston SC)
Obviously I don't know what the Donald really thinks. Babbling for months how fraudulent the election would be doesn't he realize that those in charge of the election would see to it that it wasn't rigged or fraudulent. Except by his side. Yikes.
Alex B (USA)
The election process was stronger than Trump and the election workers were remarkable, but Trump’s continuing lies, instigation of violence, and efforts to damage our democracy must be stopped. Jack Dorsey, do the right thing and ban Trump from your platform.
theresa (ny)
What this election has exposed is how undemocratic our system is. Now that the Republicans have shown that they are willing to walk through the door to autocracy, this must be addressed. We must have a one person-one vote system, not this absurd monument to an 18th-century slave-owning society. I know it won't be easy, but it is essential. And then move on to a Senate based on population, not acreage.
DLM (Albany, NY)
It's all good and well that our democracy worked; that is worth celebrating. But it worked following a horror show in which federal lawmakers and civil servants have refused to recognize the legitimate results of this election. And some of these people think they'll be back in four years, deserving the trust of the American people. So I hope that people who really love this country remember what this sick, unstable and inhumane monster in the Oval Office unleashed against us. I hope they remember that he played golf while the daily death toll from the coronavirus exponentially increased. And I hope they remember that Mike Pompeo, who has taken more than one oath to protect the constitution, thought it fitting to crack a joke about the transition. These losers should be grateful they live in the United States. In the parts of the world they seek to emulate with their anti-democratic tactics, they would now find themselves rounded up by the new administration, thrown into prison and silenced, with no charges brought against them, no chance to see an attorney and no one to hear their protests of innocence, for a very long time. West Point should revoke Pompeo's diploma; the rest of Trump's enablers should be voted out of office.
Jack (Kelly)
This is a great Editorial and it gets right to the bottom of the issues we are facing to get through the election. The problem is that no one in Trumps base will read it, nor would they grasp the utter seriousness of it. The real problem is that the GOP is now a house of cards based on racism and lies.
Susan (Paris)
It is rare that I find anything to praise in the stance taken by a Republican, but I am grateful for Brad Raffensperger’s strong statements refuting baseless accusations of voter fraud in Georgia from the likes of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who also demanded his resignation. Mr. Raffensberger made a point of saying that he had voted for Donald Trump and was disappointed in the results, but he added - “ I understand half of the people will be happy, half of the people will be sad, but I want 100% of the people to understand that the process was fair and accurately counted.” Amen to that.
Eddie B. (Toronto)
One could argue that Trump shenanigans are intended to force some kind of agreement with the Biden-side. But all sides know that will not happen. They know that Trump will abandon such an agreement the moment it no longer suits him. They also know if Trump is given an inch, he will take a mile. So, why is he engaging in these mischiefs? Conceivably, Trump is emboldened by Biden’s thoughtful, low key, statements. Indeed, he may have perceived them a sign of weakness and Biden’s only weapon for unseating him. And, obviously, Biden’s soft words are no more than “bootless cries” to someone like Trump. The fact is bullies only care about – and respond to - power. Trump may in fact believe that his intransigence, rule breaking, and blatant contempt of democratic norms, manifest his power. He is demonstrating that he can “exercise his will over others” (Max Weber), and that should tell everyone who is in power. To dislodge Trump, Biden has to stop being the nice guy. He has to stand up to the bully and show that he has sharp teeth. He needs to show Trump that his intransigence will damage something more significant than his legacy; something eminently more cherished by him. After his base, Trump’s businesses are his primary source of power. It is at their helms where he feels most powerful. Convincing him that his refusal to accept the election results will irreparably damage his businesses should give him pause that should make him realize his time is up.
Edward Ehrenberg (Swan Lake, NY)
Thank you New York’s Times and all of your reporters, editors, for the hard work of keeping your readers informed during these difficult times in American History! Long time subscriber and reader of the digital edition of the New York Times.
Vicki (Queens, NY)
Yes, kudos to the election workers who worked hard to protect the integrity of this election. They deserved it and apparently their work is not over yet. But an even bigger thanks goes to the generations of patriotic Americans who risked their lives fighting to keep our democracy alive. Many died for this country. Their work will never be forgotten. Nor will we stand to watch some charlatan like Rudy Giuliani try to wrestle away our democracy and overturn our election via a string of dubious lawsuits. We won’t stand for anything that smells like a coup cooked up with the revolting participation of a few partisan electors. Yes, democracy is a fragile thing. And Yes, Mr. President, we're keeping it. Your plot with Rudy to destroy it and cast doubt on our free and fair election will not stand. Stand down and bye bye.
John (LINY)
Virtually every account of voter fraud that has been found, has a republican committing it.
Kevin (CO)
Thank You to all the states that backed this election of no fraud. Stop the trump lies and the republican lies. Vote for the democrats in Georgia and vote the republicans out of office in 2022, 2024. Let's work together as a country of individuals for the good of all not a certain select few. E Pluribus Unam, Out Of Many One.
Jackson (Virginia)
Yes, the Dems losing 12 seats in the House was truly “against all odds”.
Jay Orchard (Miami Beach, FL)
Instead of thanking the tens of thousands of Americans who worked extremely hard to make sure there was a secure, accurate, election in which the most voters ever participated despite the dangers of coronavirus, our sorry excuse for a President continues to slander and libel these Americans with baseless, vicious and dangerous accusations of fraud. I would add thousands of defamation claims to the legal trouble that Trump hopefully will be facing when he is dragged kicking and screaming from the Oval Office.
Robert (Out west)
The election went good. Leftists need to learn that, “long is the struggle, hard the fight,” and work on earning half the dignity of James Clyburn. Or of all those, all over the world, who fight and fight and fight for better, without bragging, without posturing, without impatience, without saying that their victories are not good enough, without flying into a huff because the day ain’t coming when everything’s just peachy. This is like mowing the lawn. There’s never gonna be a day when the grass just goes, okay, I’ll just grow to one inch, and my buddies rhe weeds have agreed to just go die. Jimmy Carter was trying to get up a ladder with a hammer and nails this last spring. We’re massively lucky we even got to humiliate the likes of Donny. Celebrate that a little, okay?
JR (Bronxville NY)
Lindsay Graham disagrees: “If Republicans don’t challenge and change the U.S. election system, there will never be another Republican president elected again.” Too many votes
Jim (Boston)
17 million new guns sold in U.S. in 2020. Opioid deaths and suicides up %15 to %30 by state due to the lockdowns. A mental health crisis. NYT editorial board has said nothing on any of this. The only imperative is strict lockdowns, no matter what the harm, not matter what the devastation to us.
Alan R Brock (Richmond VA)
People need to get a clue. It's not Russia or other outside influences forcing Americans to stand in line for hours or otherwise limiting the right to vote. The threat is from within. And we all know which faction of the American political machine is consciously undermining democracy in a desperate effort to cling to power. We must demand a stop to it! Now!
George M. King (Detroit)
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.9 MIllion votes. Joe Biden won the popular vote by 6 MIllion. "Of the people, by the people, for the people."
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
Congratulations to America and thanks from outside the USA for upholding democracy. It affects much more than just America. His perfidious lawless corrosiveness is, like Covid19, highly contagious; especially emanating from the most consequential nation on earth- your nation The editorial board summarises it well as follows: "In the face of a raging pandemic and the highest turnout in more than a century, Americans enjoyed one of the most secure, most accurate and most well-run elections ever." Success. That was tougher than being first on the moon and a comparable triumph. This well run election has benefited the world and those conducting it should be lauded. Again, well done America. Democracy needs you.
KAN (Newton, MA)
Your third action item, thwarting disinformation, needs to combat much more than social media. In every town where local news has gone bust and is now supplanted by Sinclair and other faux news outlets, an active and trusted local source needs to be supported. It will need to be subsidized by all of us who care that huge numbers of well-meaning people, no different from us in their distribution of intellect, heart, and motivation for civic duty, believe the nonsense they continually hear from all the sources that inundate them. We wonder how people could support Trump after he authorized the separation of babies from their parents and lost the connections between them. That's not so surprising if they believe that the kids were all brought by coyotes and were the vanguard of criminal rapist drug-dealing caravans coming to invade and infest our country. I didn't make up one word of that description, which was repeated continuously on every right-wing "news" source. It's the same now with the election. These people aren't stupid. Like us, they believe the sources that everyone around them respects. We need a generational project of very local "Radio (and TV and social media) Free America" that earns respect through honest reporting, including critique of our side whenever warranted. The current generation of kids will find it intriguing as they grow into their own identities, even (maybe especially) if their parents hate it. But only if it's available to them.
cherrylog754 (Atlanta,GA)
My hat is off for all those pollsters and state governments for all that hard work. Next up SDNY. Hope sometime after January 20, 2021 I can say my hat is off to you, for you brought the American people justice. No one is above the law!
Todd (Wisconsin)
Yes, this election was impressive. It was conducted during a pandemic, with many states doing voting by mail on a large scale for the first time. I practiced election law for many years, and know how fundamentally sound our systems are. That’s why the Trump administration’s baseless claims make me really angry. At its basic level, believing Trump’s conspiracy theories require one to believe that blacks and Latinos in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Detroit and Phoenix really voted for Trump in huge numbers, but their votes were changed. That’s ridiculous. And Sidney Powell must have some kind of mental illness. The Trump team says she’s practicing law “on her own.” Lawyers don’t freelance, they represent clients. Powell has lost her mind, and ought not be practicing law.
Bill (New York)
Most well-run elections ever? What a laugh. It's been over for 3 weeks and we're still not finished counting ballots in New York or some other States. Florida was finished on election night. We need to do a lot better in the laggard states in future. As for most fraud free and accurate, the NY Times must not have looked into absentee ballots very closely. By their very nature they are more prone to fraud and errors than in-person voting, and we had a lot more of them this year.
erwan (berkeley)
Maybe so, if one ignores the action of Trump and the underlings to this day (How deep is this ocean?). In that sense it is a very close call my friends, too close to rejoice fully about the turnout which was overdue after 4 years of this ... absurdity.
DBR (Los Angeles)
Yes, and it proved that Donald Trump, in spite of the many voters who believe(d) he deserved a second term, is crazy. His behavior says it, and at this point in time his intransigence begs for the 25th Amendment so that we can transition to the next administration without threatening our security.
Hugh MB (Illinois)
It’s quite telling that even in this article the best we can hope for on the voter suppression front is “less” of it...
Sophia (chicago)
It was a great election. But it won’t be complete until the loser stops trying to kneecap our democracy.
Ed Marth (St Charles)
Odd president, odd personality. Odds favored good things for autocrats everywhere, but it was not odd that most Americans want sense, science in health care, and no more nonsense.
Grove (California)
Republicans have been dismantling America for 40+ years, and the “regulations” that they really want to end are the ones in the Constitution meant to protect democracy. We can keep democracy if we just have real enforcement of basic tenets of the Constitution. Trump broke the law. He claimed to be above the law. The House impeached him. The Senate betrayed their oath of office to protect Trump. The Constitution becomes a meaningless piece of paper if these people are not held to their oath. Hold McConnell and the rest of them to their oath. Prosecute them for betraying their oath. If laws are enforced, democracy can survive. https://www.citizen.org/article/violation-of-oath-of-office-by-sen-mitch-mcconnell-r-ky/
Joe (NH)
I completely disagree. This past election was just the latest chapter is what we Americans refer to as "our democracy" but is hardly such. Thanks to "our system of government" the ridiculous electoral college delivered us a very probably mentally compromised unqualified racist dictator-wannabe as our President for the past 4 years. During which time he and his cronies like McConnell and Graham tore down our institutions, attacked the free press, and raked in corporate-personhood money for their own gain. Trump used his bully pulpit to add to his base through pure lying and nearly exploited the electoral college a second time to eke out a victory despite the fact that Biden got 6 million more votes. All you need to see is the picture of the hair dye-dripping freak that is Giuliani to know how unhealthy our democracy is. His failure in the 2016 primary should have been the last we saw of him. But thanks to the electoral college there he is on prime time spewing lies, vitriol and venom. Our democracy has an advance case of covid-19. It's on a ventilator in the ICU bring cared for by nurses who don't have PPE. This past election is a tribute to the thousands of poll workers from both parties who did their jos with integrity. Statues honoring them should be erected where the Confederate monuments used to be.
First Last (Las Vegas)
I have stated before, not with cynicism, "Democracy is wonderful, until you lose" This presidential election has revealed the worst reactions of a losing candidate; the sore loser of any competitive event. If I can't win, I will encompass lies, deceit to prove I am the winning loser. Some graciously accept defeat and only engage in internalized self deprecating flagellation. And some want to flagellate all the participants of the winning side.
Jim (Texas)
Now if only they will release Trump's tax returns to show what a fraud he is and then prosecute him. These two things may end the misconceptions Trump's true believers have and put him in the dustbin of history.
Jack Becker MD (Youngstown,Ohio)
Computer literacy was rightfully taught in the school systems throughout the United States and much of the world for at least the past 20 years. The Republican Party and the white evangelical thought leaders have made it painfully clear that our children need to be armed with an intelligent approach to acquiring useful and unadulterated Information to make informed decisions regarding the health and welfare of themselves and their families. Americans need to understand that misinformation fed to us is an assault on our families and learn how to discern genuine sources with labor intensive fact based narratives vs cheap conspiracy fantasies
Steven (Earth)
If Trump succeeds will you say the same thing?
Bon (AZ)
So many kudos to all the poll workers and those up on the lined in every every state and of the government.. Election people, USPS. Front line workers and everyone who is supporting you. Bless all of you for holding the line despite the efforts to diminish you. Without all of you our democaracy could not have held off against the opposition.
Imperato (NYC)
@Bon indeed...wouldn’t have had a prayer...
Rich (Tapper)
Combating disinformation does need to be the focus for the hard work to be done over the next few years, at least. We cannot have reasonable dialogue without a common ground of conversation, and a common world. Healthy and effective political dialogue ought be about sharing and cross-pollinating faithful perspectives, and tailoring our conclusions with faith. That said, it is remarkable how many Republicans have simply argued and bargained in bad faith over the past 4 years particularly. Their willful deceit enabled trump's behavior, itself baldly manipulative and destructive. That trump exposed the cracks in our political system, and our culture, is hard to either dispute or regret. But justice demands that we have a reconciliation over the next bit of road. We cannot go on as if this were just the way things happen sometimes.
j.p.c. (US)
It's worth saying again, would-be usurpers of our Democracy: We're not going to let you get away with it. Our Constitution and our institutions of freedom are so much stronger than your attempts at any take-over. Our free media and our free speech will find you out, will see through your machinations of manipulation. Your legal subterfuges will be impotent in our courts, your looped, public orations will drown in shallowness, and your appeals to our baser instincts succumb to reason. Now go on your way, lick your wounds, and feel the shame. The American people have a better parade to go to.
George Kvidera (Cudahy, WI)
I don't know. It's too early for me to call this election a resounding success. Right now in Wisconsin, Trump's people are trying to throw out 170,000 ballots. That would be all the absentee and early ballots, including mine, cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties. I feel violated. All of us who took the care and time to vote are just trash to Trump and his attorneys. I won't rest easy until Biden is safely inside the Oval Office. Where Trump ends up I don't really care.
Jefflz (San Francisco)
The hard work element of democracy is creating a political environment free of corporate money, a media environment free of political lies and propaganda, a voting environment where voting is easy and not threatened by voter suppression, an electoral process that truly represents the entire population of the United States. That we have a national electoral process whereby a mere 60 to 65% of eligible voters participate will continue to make it work to have a functional democracy with fair elections.
Assay (New York)
Trump presidency and McConnell's senate has exposed serious issues with American democracy. This statement is not a judgement on founding fathers and authors of original constitution, but rather a wake up alarm for citizenry as whole. Constitutional scholars need to lead the way in shaping public opinions - not the politicians and not the media - about much warranted changes to prevent another calamity from happening which can be as soon as 2024 if Trump decides to run again. Here are major issues that the citizens need to demand for fixing: (1) Depoliticize judicial appointments at state and federal levels. SCOTUS; same. Additionally, introduce a term limit and remove life time appointments. (2) Standard election processes and laws across all states. (3) Independent office of attorney general; not to be appointed by POTUS. (4) Remove electoral college and let the will of people in all states matter, not just a handful of swing states. (5) Limit reelection into senate to two, or at the most three, terms.
Dan (Canada)
America is generally recognized as the founder of the great experiment in Democracy and has attempted to export it - with some success - worldwide. People in countries currently being encouraged to embrace democracy must be wondering what difference there would be between their current third world or banana republic system and what they see going on in the US at this time. You can all be so proud of Guiliani and his stellar team of lawyers. They are certainly fine examples of the best that democracy has to offer.
Wesley Struebing (Dubuque, Iowa)
Yeah, the voting worked, despite the roadblocks set up. The election? Jury's still out on that. And if the election is up for grabs, democracy in this country is also under fire. I'm withholding judgement, though I'm cautiously optimistic.
dr. c.c. (planet earth)
When it takes six million more popular votes to squeak by in the Electoral College, a clean election does not a great election make. And it is nowhere near democratic. Democracy in the US is a fantasy. And there is still way too much voter suppression, achieved in many different ways.
Dom M (New York area)
America's response is what makes this country so much different from those other democracies that have failed. The people stood up and voted for their candidate during a catastrophic health pandemic which had caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. There is a reason that communism failed in Russia, is being rejected in Hong Kong, and totalitarian regimes threated wherever they exist. People want a better life. This election is not only a victory for American ideals, but for people all over the world who look to America hoping for a better life in their corner of the world. The best way to encourage Democracy is to show all those hoping for better what is possible, but that takes effort in that Americans have to make sure that America remains a Democracy. And we did.
James Dalziel (Toronto)
Of course, invest in making the vote more efficient. Get an accurate count. And let’s be prepared to accept the fact with mature grace if our favourite candidate loses the election. It happens.
Action Tank, DC (Charlotte, NC)
Voter suppression, controlling the media, misinforming the electorate, and packing the courts are all tactics of third world dictators and strongmen. Donald Trump has used them all in an attempt to exploit the public, and continue his self-serving control of an entire political party. It didn't work this time! What did work was many of the "down ballot" supporters and enablers of Trump--who share in the deception--did survive. The result should have been a clean sweep to reconstitute the House and the Senate. Perhaps we will have to wait for the next mid-term election to correct this oversight.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Action Tank, DC: The Electoral College Algorithm and grotesque Senate malapportionment combine to make a complete travesty of small d democracy with respect to the most important corporation in the US, its federal government. Taxing everyone to fund projects and services of benefit to everyone is socialism common to all mixed economies. The US is mired in a sociopathy of misunderstanding the word "social".
just Robert (North Carolina)
The people who give of their time and resources to support our voting system are not alone in their giving as teachers give of their own money to support their students and health workers risk covid to help their patients. These have been the unsung heroes of our present situation and times in the past. Many of these volunteers are especially so as they are retirees over 65 with high vulnerability to the virus. Denigrating the election itself as Trump and the GOP has done cheapens the value of their service and our democracy . Our system relies on evidence of wrong doing not specious claims. As Joe Biden takes office these volunteers need to be honored as well for paving the way for a safe and secure election and the preservation of our democracy.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
Well said. The order and dedication of so many was as patriotic as it gets. What doesn't fail to impress is human fallibilities and, sorry to say, fecklessness, when there is a shrewd demagogue that, taking advantage of people's gullibility and need for direction, able to pocket them emotionally...and do his devious biddings. Case in point with these elections, as pure and clean as they possibly can. And yet, the criminal intent to sow doubts so to stay in power...ought to be Trump's undoing...as we take control of reality as is and allow the truth, based on facts, to rein supreme.
Terry Roberts (Brookings, Oregon)
A clear and present danger is the GOP to the world. We need to: 1. fight to rest our government from their hands; 2. greatly reduce the American military - a danger to the world; 3. and amend the Constitution in several important ways as soon as we can insure no Republicans having anything to do with it. OUR ENEMY IS THE GOP.
Sidney Sridhar (Vancouver,Canada)
No Sir! Democracy is not at work but democratic Institutions are at work. These Institutions are fighting against forces out to discredit the election. Down at the grassroots level, democracy functions well when we have a well-informed electorate and people willing to compromise and allow dissenting opinions. What we have witnessed is an ill-informed electorate and a hatred for someone with an alternate view. We still have a long way to go to cultivate the art of practicing democracy. The idea of a 'Speaker's corner' in Hyde Park is to allow dissent, no matter how distasteful. First task for Biden will be to restore tolerance and civil behavior
Jaap van der Straaten (Surabaya)
With the Republican party so obsessed by the imminent sunset of their party consider to help their obsession go away by creating a new party for moderates. And create more parties still. Make many choices of coalition-building possible. If there are folks who need to be extreme right-wing or left-wing, let them have their own party - if there's enough interest. Have a vitality minimum size. The present binary choice is crazy.
K Rosales (SF Bay Area)
I couldn’t agree more with this op/ed and would suggest only a minor edit. Republicans don’t “fundamentally distrust the American electorate” so much as they fundamentally DISLIKE the American electorate. I was one of those people who substituted in for our poll workers. It was my great honor and privilege and it gives me hope.
TL (New Canaan)
The victory by the Biden campaign was in some ways a miracle with all the voter suppression and disinformation by questionable interests. The political crisis the Republicans continue to advance is not something that should in any way be tolerated. This is a criminal attempt to exclude Americans of their rights and their votes. Those who are part of this conspiracy to deprive of their votes should be vigorously fought; their law licenses should be voided, colleges that gave them degrees should rescind their diplomas, especially the University of PA with Trump. Civilization requires adherence to the law and our institutions; those who attack these institutions need to pay hefty prices and not be able to enjoy all the trappings of prosperity and status without paying their fair share. There is no way to reason with those blinded by their own ambition and corruption--they have to be punished!
Lauren (San Antonio, Texas)
I agree with everything said in the article. Next job is to make voting easy for everyone. Having a system where people have to stand in line for hours to vote is an attempt at voter suppression. Thankfully I’m now old enough to vote by mail but my fellow Texans who voted in person had to brave mask-free citizens during a pandemic as our governor mandated masks were not required to vote.
Ray Willis (Saint Paul, MN)
Assuming we recover from the Trump Era (and I think we will) I would suggest that there is one bright spot in all of this - a message to the rest of the world that descent into totalitarianism is not inevitable but can be successfully fought and overcome.
John Hurley (Chicago)
A better idea -- get rid of polling places. Four states already vote only by mail and it works well for them. More states should adopt this practice. The polling place is an unnecessary artifact from the time before the secret ballot, a reform from the 19th century. It was necessary to go to the polling place and publicly state ones preference, which was then recorded by the election board. Secret balloting ended the oral voting but left the polling place intact. Voters in most of the states proved that mail ballots work better. The Biden administration should include grants to states to purchase ballot reader tdd s and other equipment to convert to mail-in elections in the new economic stimulus programs.
Vicki (Queens, NY)
@John Hurley I agree. There should be no reason to have to leave the house and stand in line for hours to vote. I will say there was something gratifying about physically pulling the lever and hearing the clicks of the old style metal monsters previously used in NYC. Gone the way of manual transmissions.
Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma (Jaipur, India.)
But for the obstruction by Trump and the Republicans' complicity in it, the presidential election has been an affirmation of the popular faith in democracy, that still remains hostage to Trump's evil machinations.
August Becker (Washington DC)
TO: Free speech: If there is a communications system that by its very nature attracts cruel commentary, factoids, scurrilous attack, conspiracy fantasy, it is not a curtailment of free speech to limit access to it. No more than a newspaper choosing one letter to the editor over another is an infringement of free speech. The fictive idea that a free media market is the only way to sustain free speech is a very dangerous idea. Truth has not the appeal of falsity let loose. The giants: Twitter, Face Book, et al, are not remotely interested in being purveyors of the truth, on the contrary: their greatest profits lie in the realm of confrontation, controversy, calumny and crudity. As the education of society, its entertainment--its sports-- has shifted away from the development of ethical citizens to simplistic efficacy, and trust in only the market place and its cannibalistic codes, there is no way, except by outward force and controls to reign in the monopolies and level the playing field so that truth has a chance. We have reached a time when "free speech," is license for not just telling lies, but subverting truth itself. Reasonable, effective, rules of conduct and speech are possible that would cause truth to flourish over falsity, the communication giants are aware of it and they know how to go about it, its just not the best way to increase profits.
Elaine (Colorado)
Every state should look to Colorado for a model of voting by mail that has been incredibly smooth and reliable for years now.
Somewhere (Arizona)
"In the absence of a whit of evidence, a majority of Republicans say they believe Joe Biden’s victory is the result of fraud." That is totally unacceptable. We can not have a functioning democracy when the majority of one of our two major parties lives in a world of lies and misinformation. We need to find out why and change it.
Kodali (VA)
Under Trump administration, the 2020 election is the most secure in American history. Yet, Trump doesn’t want to take credit for it. What is wrong with the picture? I think, Trump must have really believed that he will win the election if they are not rigged by democrats in collusion with China hacking. So, he took the steps so that there will be no rigging. Now, he lost and so he believes that rigging must have occurred and so he fired the head of the cyber security overseeing the election. False beliefs and real facts are based on very similar, almost identical, brain mechanisms, it is difficult for the false belief bearer to distinguish between them. So, Trump still believes that he won if all legal votes are counted. No worries, he has very good health care coverage.
Jim Anderson (Bethesda)
Way too much complacency and back-patting among readers here. Congratulate the poll workers and election officials, yes. Raise a toast to a disaster averted, yes. But then recognize this four-alarm fire for what it is, and get to work. Almost 60 percent voter participation? That's a bad joke, not something to be celebrated. Australia has over 90 percent. People standing in line for over 8 hours? That's something to be condemned, not applauded. Voter suppression in plain site, and fascistic efforts to overthrow the votes of those who managed to squeak through the suppression? That's darn close to dictatorship, and it should prompt everyone reading this to put down the champagne and sober up, fast. Write to your Congresspeople. Many of them listen. Get involved. Participate in voter reform efforts. Rail against the electoral college and disproportionate representation in the Senate at every chance, and support efforts to right these systemic wrongs. If you're breathing a sigh of relief, fine. But get real, people. The United States just saw an inept man attempt to install himself as a dictator in the United States of America. "12 more years," he said. He wasn't joking. The next republican will not be so inept, and you can bet he will have learned what Trump has been teaching for 4 years. The United States does not have much time left. So you better use it to fix the flaws in American democracy after you take your 5 minutes to feel good about what just happened.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Jim Anderson: It is a plain mathematical fact that the Electoral College Algorithm invariably makes a majority of the votes cast superfluous no matter which party wins a US presidential election..
Concerned (Cambridge, MA)
@Jim Anderson So overcoming voter suppression in swing states and sending a message to GOP sycophant candidates are critical. At this time, it's all about Georgia runoff, and the parties are saturating GA with money. GOTV efforts are also in full swing by the diverse GA grassroots groups that conduct efficient outreach in communities typically beyond the reach of party efforts. Registering new voters for the runoff. e.g., New Georgia Project, Asian American Advocacy Fund, SONG, Black Voters Matter, ProGeorgia, Georgia Shift. Such orgs were probably essential to beat Trump there this month.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Concerned: Word of mouth is still the best advertising. Political ads tend to make the whole system look bad.
Practical Thoughts (East Coast)
The article states that voter suppression and disinformation are problems to be resolved. How do we solve those problems when a political party has suppression and disinformation as a core belief and electoral strategy? The GOP no longer supports democracy for all. They are trying their hardest to rig the democracy like Eastern Europe, Turkey and Apartheid era South Africa. How do you fight a force of 74 million that are bought into this worldview.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Practical Thoughts: Pandora's box was opened by the 1953 legislation that undermined the only pillar of separation of church and state in US law: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". Now claims to know what hypothetical deities think have to be taken seriously.
Lonnie Anixt (NYC)
In 4 years Trump can run again, he can bring his style of presidential governance that was acceptable to over 70 million of our fellow Americans. A style of governance that includes among other things : overt racism and sexism as evidenced in his cabinet that includes one black man and no women., that turns its back on allies that we have gone to war for and with, that favors dictators , that makes fun of opponents , that threatens a free press, that now threatens free election. A style of governance that is mean and angry and cruel, boastful and dangerous, that has actively tried to take away healthcare from millions knowing it is causing fear and angst to millions, a man who says he loves the common everyday people who attend his rallies but does not care if his rallies spread a virus that can kill them In 4 years this man can run again , the fight is not over, it is just beginning , 80 million people voted to stop him , we Need every one of those votes maybe more , millions of teenagers now 14, 15,16 will be of voting age then, we cannot allow laxness to be our downfall, many countries have fallen through laxness. Keep the foot on the pedal, Trump must be stopped for good in 2024. Even if it takes 85 million or a hundred million. It is said : they also serve who stand and wait , we will stand and wait and vote and we will protect our democracy and all our freedoms, the enemies are ignorance, racism and cruelty and they must not win
Jan (Orleans MA)
I get choked up when I think of the millions of Americans who exercised their fundamental and most cherished right as citizens in this most important election, and of the tens of thousands of election officials and volunteers who selflessly helped them to do so. But I also agree that it is way past time to aggressively and relentlessly call out the GOP leadership, in its craven loyalty to a defeated president, for its unceasing efforts to defame and disenfranchise this most cherished of American rights. This party's basic approach to voting is "Heads we win, tails you lose." When voting in any given district isn't going their way, by golly they'll find an avenue to change it, whether it's suppression, intimidation, gerrymandering, or what-have-you-got? "Heads we win, tails you lose." Enough is enough.
Rolf (NJ)
@Jan Yes, but you missed a very important problem, The Electorial College! JB is 6 Million votes of DT. This election should have been a non-event. The other major democracies of the world all have elections which take 6 weeks at the most. Some politicians in the US will soon be preparing for 2024. American exceptiolism at it's worst!
Ann (California)
Trump and his enablers insult the patriotism of Americans everywhere and the selfless acts of hundreds of thousands of officials and volunteers who work tirelessly to preserve and protect our election process. Voting is one of our most sacred and fundamental rights as citizens. Injecting baseless claims and fear does not still well. Nor does using our taxpayer dollars to wage spurious lawsuits.
wazoo9 (Seattle)
Every voter in Washington state receives a ballot, plus a voting pamphlet from our Sec of State. We also have online resources available. It's easy to vote, and most people do it. I have noted that Mitch McConnell was re-elected in Kentucky, but heard on a podcast that state has very few polling locations in minority neighborhoods. If you mapped out my state, every single voter has an easy, simple chance to vote. What would KY look like? Or NB? Or NC? Or FL? That would be an interesting mapping project for the NYT; how many of these 'red states' have very limited polling locations?
David (Oak Lawn)
I know a person who was in a cult once. The person required a lot of deprogramming to go back to normal life, which I'm sure was very hard. Not all, but certainly some, of Trump's support was cult-like. It's hard not to make the comparison. When you deny reality so much and lie to people who look up to you, there's not much separating Trump's magnetic appeal from that of a cult leader. There are always fanatic supporters who never allow themselves to let go of a past leader. Franco still has supporters in Spain.
Nasty Woman (Earth)
Trump cheated with Russia’s help in 2016. And he could not win in 2020 without Russia’s help again. Fortunately the democrats and the media kept election security on the front burner and with people glued to the news because of the pandemic Putin was intimidated enough to not give trump the assist he needed. Trump is now using what he’s familiar with and that is to accuse the other side of what he is in fact doing, or in this case what he was planning to do. Putin told trump that he must find a win on his own so Trump has been testing the waters to see if he could garner enough republican support to thwart the will of voters. Of course trump went to Lindsey Graham first. Lindsey struck out, special shout out to the republican secretary state in Georgia for having principal and a back bone. Rudy was next and his “elite strike team” crashed on takeoff, strike two. The crash was so spectacular that it’s unlikely that any others are willing to pilot that plane so it looks like we’re getting lucky and Biden will take charge. This week trump is going to realize that his plan bombed. He’ll now move to his next phase and that is to leverage everything and anything. I truly believe that before he concedes he will want some sort of prosecution immunity. That’s when things are going to get incredibly ugly within the Democratic Party. Biden being old school will consent I’m afraid. Can’t wait to see what AOC will say!
Ralphie (CT)
This is dangerous thinking. Anyone with half a brain can see that our voting system offers the opportunity for fraud or incompetence or both to influence the outcome. Just because the dems won is no reason to proclaim the election was free from fraud or incompetence. There's simply no way to do that. Universal Vote by Mail opens the door for possible fraud or error. Maybe we were lucky this time but that doesn't mean that we should continue a practice that threatens the secret ballot. No one who vote by mail received a receipt saying -- we got your ballot and here's how you voted. We need a bullet proof system. In person voting offers that but the voting rolls have to be up to date and poll workers vigilant. And demanding photo IDs isn't voter suppression. People need ID's for every important transaction they make so asking that when they vote isn't suppresion. It's just another opportunity to cheat. On-line voting can work and ensure that fraud can't occur. Making voting easier doesn't inherently make it safer. We need to ensure that 1) voter rolls are accurate 2) the secret ballot is sacrosanct 3) only citizens who live in a given precinct can vote. 4) Votes are counted accurately (why do we always find errors in recounts. The size isn't the issue -- in retail or banking if a teller or clerk continually makes errors in counting the money, they lose their job). 5) Voters receive a receipt that confirms their vote and how their's was tallied.
Andie (Ithaca)
Trump's unrepentant, indeed horrifying, use of Twitter to sow disinformation is one of the greatest threats America has ever faced by one of its own presidents. Thank you for pointing out that more has to be done to prevent this from ever happening again. Trump has been aptly called a carnival barker and a criminally inclined narcissist. But for him to have Facebook and Twitter to complete his destructive mission is beyond reason and decency. Yes, abundant thanks be to those who made our recent election run smoothly amidst a raging pandemic. But, most of all, praise to the citizens who used the power of their vote to try and rescue our flailing ship of state by electing Joe Biden who behaves like a statesman and patriot. The seas remain perilous but we can get through this.
Milliband (Medford)
It's the height of both hypocrisy and projection that it was Trump who embarked on a dangerous and debilitating crusade against the honesty and accuracy of democratic elections, while he engaged in a Mafia like stratagem to sabotage the US Postal Service by destroying its processing capability. This action was a "Russia if you can hear me moment" that was clear and in plain sight, and I would hope that both Trump and his associate Louis De Joy will fact legal ramifications for this sorry attempt to rig the election that was thwarted by the people.
It was hard but done. For that, we must celebrate more than 150 million voters to rise up and vote, regardless of who they voted for. The only loser here is Trump, not his voters, they showed up 72 million. but Trump didn't want to be a President of 150 million, he excommunicated them. so 75 million showed up for Biden. Election and after courts, and recounts, America did its best to show the world, Yes autocratic presidents can be beaten, but you need to show up at ballot. Now Georgia, you did already your best, now unfortunately in these very trying times, you have to show up one more time for the senate election. Democracy is the boring, hard, tedious but the only thing we can live under.
Pop (PA)
Why is it that the same efficacy quality assurance logic that we use for drugs, airliners, cars, etc. we refuse to use regarding our most cherished right as Americans ... voting and elections. With regard to drugs, airliners, cars, etc. the stringent and scientific proof of efficacy is on the groups that generate those products/outcomes, NOT the public ... NOT the users. Why? By the time enough raw, non-scientifically sampled and collected raw public experiences have been collected that point possibly to a faulty or corrupt product, it is too late. The damage has been done. Deaths and/or other adverse outcomes have occurred. The horse is out of the barn and the barn door closed before we would know we have a serious problem. But, when it come to our elections it is up to the public, the users, the public to prove that they are efficacious, not the system that administrators the elections. Anyone who even suggests that the scientific method of quality assurance be applied to the election process is branded as one with evil intentions. The tried and true Soviet, Cuban, Chinese method of immediately heading off any hint of an alternative thought, let alone an alternative possible approach is applied.
Ralphie (CT)
@Pop Excellent points, but I don't think progs get it -- because they won. But the burden of proof should be on those who run this system --- they need to demonstrate that there are not ways to game the system. That you can't have miscounting of ballots, they won't get lost, the tallies will add, ballots can't be harvested, the rolls are cleaned, etc. Proving fraud or incompetence is difficult but individuals or candidates shouldn't have that burden -- Universal VBM is a bad idea. It destroys the secret vote as a human is always between the voter and the counting of his/her vote.
Judith Stern (Phila)
Yes, we (and every other country) must address the ease by which conspiracy theories, disinformation, and hate speech can be read by thousands of people within minutes. Everyone (journalists, the government) focuses on Facebook and attacks Zuckerberg for his failure to adequately monitor millions and millions of daily posts. Fox News comes under no scrutiny, though we wring our hands about the fact that Fox News watchers live in a seriously different reality. Fox trumpets Trump and then Trump trumpets Fox, in an endless cycle of misinformation and the echos of conspiracy theories. Something needs to be done about Fox, or does Rupert Murdoch contribute to too many politicians?
Jane (New York)
I was glad to see this piece. Our democracy depends on those who understand what is required to nurture and protect it. I believe that this requires not only money but education about how our republic works. Most Americans are woefully ignorant about their government. Thanks to the Times and other newspapers for being a part of informing and educating people. Let’s work together on ways to educate all Americans.
greg (Upstate New York)
Assuming Trump's absurd and wicked attempt to undo the election fails what we will be left with is a democracy that worked even as it's blind side was exposed. It worked because a majority of the voters have been enraged at the abomination that this presidency quickly became after the election of 2016. This majority mobilized from the first Women's March the day after Trump's inauguration thru the mid terms of 2018 up to 11-3-2020. Without this wide and layered mobilization the cult that developed around Trump could have giving him another four years to dismantle what remains of our government. What is learned from this experience is that democracy requires a highly involved electorate. That authoritarians and con artists are always lurking in the hallways of power. That we can build a more perfect union but it is an unending task that must be passed from generation to generation. And that the Fourth Estate is alive and well.
Todd (Evergreen, CO)
Your editorial repeatedly calls upon social media companies to change or consistently uphold policies that would enable them to thwart the spread of disinformation. But what about your media company? Republican Party disinformation did not start with Twitter or its ilk, nor was Trump its first purveyor. The Republican Party has been denying evolution, climate science, rational economic theory, and racism for at least 40 years. None of these denials are news, but your newspaper has been reporting these nonsensical Republican ideologies and others as though they are equal to facts. The only "truth" was that Republicans said them. And the only change has been a few media companies, including the NYT, finally woke up during Trump's administration and started calling out some of the lies. Let's be clear, though. As reliably as Old Faithful, the Grand Old Party has been spewing easily demonstrable lies ever since "supply-side economics" became a phrase reporters took seriously.
@Todd "But what about your media company? Republican Party disinformation did not start with Twitter or its ilk" Indeed, a recall a certain "newspaper of record" parroting lies about Weapons Of Mass Destruction that led to the worst foreign policy decision in the nation's history. And that newspaper was so convincing that it even duped the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time. Fellow named "Biden".
Brian Prioleau (Austin)
As regards "Thwarting misinformation," when Trump is no longer President, can he be kicked off Twitter, for at least a period of time (six to 12 months)? Because it seems that would be a requirement to get our country back on its feet again. Trump's endless, bullying critiques of every move made by Biden and even Republicans is counterproductive, to say the least. Twitter is a private company. They can decide what is in their interests and the interests of the country and act accordingly. So many of us have just had enough of the bragging, bombast and lies. It is an imperfect solution. Trump would no doubt come up with workarounds. But branding a workaround is time consuming and imperfect, and would give Twitter time to root them out too. Devoid of the instantaneousness of Twitter, Trump would be just another hysterical, immoderate and immodest voice without a global platform. He would have to work harder to make his voice heard, and he would require collaborators to amplify his voice who may be only intermittently interested in collaborating. And we can all get a measure of peace and quiet.....
Al Jenkins (Atlanta, GA)
It is difficult to square how these mitigation efforts stand a chance of realization. They are, after all, addressing timeless problems in politics. Perhaps we should focus on addressing qualifications of a prospective President over and beyond simply winning an election. How is it that we allow such a low bar for the highest office in the land, if not world, knowing full well the danger one person can inflict through executive action not to mention the final arbiter of nuclear code.
expat.de (germany)
"Congress"? The House of Representatives, lead by Democrat (and democratically minded) Nancy Pelosi, included election protection in both the CARES and the HEROES acts designed to help Americans in the pandemic. It was also part of the very first legislation proposed by the current House, House Bill #1. What has happened to this proposed aid? "Congress", this time the Senate, lead by GOPMitch McConnel, once again proves his clever ability to deny the body politic its democratic rights. Please put the blame where blame is due.
Gary Valan (Oakland)
"Democracy is a fragile thing, and it requires constant tending and vigilance to survive. Americans were lucky this time. They were also well prepared. When pushed to the brink, they mobilized to protect their democracy." This is true even in third world democracies where people stand in line for hours to throw out an unfit leader and his/her party. But in a leading democracy that pats itself in the back at every instance and promotes Democracy around the world? It is pathetic. Our system is held together by bandaids. We need to show politicians who don't support fixing the failures, gaps and other norms that were trampled on in 2020. If not, I can see an Orban 2.0 in 2020. How do we battle that?
Plato (CT)
Yes it paid off. But how are we assured that all of the votes cast for Donald Trump were valid ? Why aren't we questioning the validity of the votes that he received. Has anybody stopped to think that 70M + votes is probably 40million too high for a man with his vile character ?
Charles (Kabul, Afghanistan)
In short, both Trump and the Democrats are constantly guilty of perpetuating crazy conspiracy theories. All the apocolyptic warnings from the left have proven false, and Donald Trump's claims that he won are certifiablly delusional. For two presidential elections in a row, the losers have refused to fully accept the legitimacy of the elections. Both Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020 won free and fair elections, and any refusals to accept those wins as legimate plays into Putin's hands.
Mor (California)
The election was undoubtedly fair and square. Biden won, and I am very pleased about that. But the election was not just about Trump. And in the down-ballot races, Democrats suffered defeat after defeat. The “progressive” props in California went down in flames. Some House seats were lost. In local races, centrist and Republican candidates won. So I hope all talk about “voter suppression”, “Russian trolls” or any such conspiracy theories will be silenced, at least for a while. Voters did not want Trump. Voters did not want the “progressive” agenda. I hope Biden reads this clear message and starts governing from the center.
Paul from Oakland (SF Bay Area)
@Mor Voter suppression is alive and well. Nationally, 2-3 million people were removed from voter registration rolls through states annual culling of the rolls. These weren't people who died or moved out of the state. They were disqualified for easily cured problems, and in some cases for no problems at all (see the case of Ohio's removal of some 250 thousand people in these categories in the last two years) Progressive campaigns indeed were successful in some communities. And why is appealing to suburban white people more important than reaching the tens of millions of youth, people of color, the really poor who need critical economic and social changes ?
James Dalziel (Toronto)
@Mor Actually, a lot of people did want Trump. Amazingly.
Bernard (Dallas, TX.)
@Mor - Thanks for reminding us of what "voters want". Indeed what they "want" is the misinformation spooned out to the entire population miscalled education, news commentary, history, and fairy tales about how great capitalism is, that it is the best of all possible systems, the terminal destination of mankind, and eternal verity not to be disrupted by such far out notions of working class ownership and democratic control of productive industry. Meanwhile, as we tumble toward obliteration of life on the planet, speculation on which capitalist party controls the American political state in the final analysis is totally irrelevant. (www.slp.org)
Laura (Minneapolis)
This was beautifully said! Thank you
dkensil (mountain view, california)
I understand that, like Trump in 2016, a mere 76,000 votes (approx) could have meant Biden would have lost this election. If we ever needed a reason to support the National Popular Vote movement (or ending the Electoral College) , we clearly have it now.
wak (MD)
Voting, including participation, is fundamental to representative democracy, which is why the process must be guarded and even improved when obstacles, say, a pandemic or cyber intrusion from outside adversaries, present. The participation level in the General Election this year was impressive, though not full enough, in my view. True, there is no law against refusing the patriotic obligation to vote, which is right; but willfully not participating seems very wrong. President Trump complains that the Election was unfair due to being flawed against him. While he, in the interests of democracy, ought to do that if there was evidence for this, the fact is, as revealed through Court presentations from his legal representatives and decisions, there is no such evident. NONE! In fact, not even a reasonable argument. A duly elected president ought to be listened to. But with Trump, a proven con/ flimflam, we are made to look like fools when we do so. This charge of flawed Election by Trump is exactly comparable to his “birther” claim in order to cause doubt of President Obama’s legitimacy as president. At some point, we must stop being made fools of by Donald Trump. We know who he is; we ought consider how he is enabled ... by us ... or many of us. The “light” we seek cannot be found at all in him who personifies the “darkness” of hopelessness.
808 Murfin (Ann Arbor)
This election is a testimony of the greatness of ordinary American citizens as a nation. Also it revealed the fundamental flaw in their education system as evidenced by 73M citizens did not see that their constitution is at stake.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@808 Murfin: Neither the Electoral College nor Senate apportionment makes sense to any advocate of small "d" democracy. They are only domestic exacerbators of internal divisions.
WorkingMan (Vermont)
I have to disagree with your characterization of widespread voter suppression. There is no more evidence of that than there is evidence of widespread voter fraud. Excluding the Trump campaign's legal efforts, which amount to throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, I don't see the various lawsuits as voter suppression. Most are centered around efforts to change election rules once voting starts. The courts have ruled right down the line that states get to administer their own voting rules, but need to lock them in before balloting. The only votes I know of that were effectively suppressed were those of Florida felons who have not completed their sentencing, and I don't feel bad about that at all. At any rate, we have four years to lock down new voting procedures. I recommend: Free photo ID. It's time for a national ID just like other western democracies. Make Election Day a national holiday. Start counting mail-in ballots the day before Election Day. Establish compact, contiguous districts nationwide. We may not be able to enforce them but at least we will have a fairness map overly to put pressure on politicians. Standardize post-election day for mail-in ballots. Two weeks is too long.
wryawry (the foothills of the headlands)
@WorkingMan Ummm-kay ... so these proposals would work for you? Good. Do you think these proposals would work for about 350 million of your fellow citizens? Here’s a different view: the effective election and subsequent appointment of a representative Government of the people, by the people, and for the people is inarguably the single most profound influence that any individual can have upon his own circumstances and the circumstances faced by his or her family, friends, community, and Country. I believe that this fundamental democratic right should be facilitated in every conceivable manner. 1. Establish “Election Month” ... 2. ... leading to Election Day, 3. ... a National Holiday. 4. Provide standardized ballots for National elections. 5. ... and standardized-format ballots for local and State elections ... 6. ... to every registered voter. 7. By mail, or 8. obtainable at local State, County, or City offices. 9. Votes may be submitted at any time, and counting may begin and votes recorded as determined by election officials. 10. All votes must be counted by a specified date ... 11. ... and certified by a specified date. 12. The Electoral College is abolished. Oh, and campaigning is limited to the preceding six months, period.
Chris Winter (San Jose, CA)
@WorkingMan "I have to disagree with your characterization of widespread voter suppression. There is no more evidence of that than there is evidence of widespread voter fraud." Take a look at Wisconsin, 2012-2016. Or read the book One Person, No Vote. "The only votes I know of that were effectively suppressed were those of Florida felons who have not completed their sentencing, and I don't feel bad about that at all." They completed their sentences, but hadn't made full restitution by paying their fines. In most cases, they couldn't find out how much they owe. The citizens of Florida ordered in a referendum that those felons should get the right to vote back. It looks like the Republican legislature in the state of Florida is determined to thwart them.
Walter (California)
@WorkingMan Welcome to Vermont. Pity you have no conception of how privileged you come across. Oh, and we all work...
Richard Hahn (Erie, PA)
Excellent, excellent summary. Thank you! To the suggestions, I would just add that Electoral College workaround until getting rid of it entirely--simply let the majority of the people rule with respect for the non-majority.
Old Ben (Chester Cty PA)
The House, with it's Democratic majority, will have an interesting opportunity from Jan. 21 forward. By creating a Select Committee to investigate claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, they will have the power to subpoena Citizen Trump along with Rudy and the others, offer our former President Trump limited immunity in return for truthful testimony, and dig deep on the questions of why they have made so many claims the election was stolen. Yes, this is a form of Truth Commission that has been effective in other countries. No, this would not be about Trump's taxes or other possible crimes. Yes, Republicans on the committee would make nice-nice with Trump. But the idea that Trump would come away like Ollie North as a brave hero to his fans is unlikely given that Trump's assertions began long before Nov. 3 that if he lost it could only be by Democrats cheating. Trump, expecting to lose, began a concerted campaign to undermine our democracy. Separate from other crimes he may have committed, this is an issue that the American people and the world need to know the truth about. We cannot ignore the 50 million Americans who say they agree that the Biden presidency is illegitimate. This corruption of our political basis needs to be aired in public under oath. Then let Fox News or Bannon try to Trump-splain it
Jack brooks (Milwaukee)
Why does the NYT not mention the Electoral College problem? Many of the issues discussed here could be dealt with simply by getting rid of it and replacing it with a popular vote. I would like to see a discussion of the National Popular Vote compact or even the need to consider a constitutional amendment. Mr.Biden talks of no blue states or red states but this distinction is never going to change as long as states are thought of only in terms of a block of electoral votes. This could also serve to right some of the power imbalance among the states. No system can be sustained when the Presidency is determined by a few thousand votes in three or four states out of many millionaires cast nationally.
Ellae (Oregon)
Thank you for this affirmation that our democracy is holding up, even strengthening. I have the same observation and find my belief in our countries commitment to democracy very much alive. Good to see you affirm the same,
Pedter Goossens (Panama)
I do not want to diminish anything of the overall title "A Great Election, Against All Odds - Democracy is hard work. That work paid off" While indeed against all odds it functioned. However, there are underlying currents that are extremely worrisome. An minority that is getting smaller with every election, is cementing an ever increasing hold over the US political system. One would think that this is destined to come to an end sometime, but initiatives in too many red states and battleground states currently (temporarily?) blue, will continue to reduce voting rights and "the ease to vote. This to a point where we will need to declare that in some states (growing number) democracy does not exists anymore (I know, I know, we are not a democracy, we are a republic). In short, an ever dwindling minority is gaining more and more power. This should be scary for all of us, people that care about the USA.
Lolly (SW PA)
A wonderful, heartening editorial. About a wonderful, hearting election. Democracy won because our better angels walk among us. However we sit around our dining room tables on Thanksgiving day, we, once again, have much to be thankful for.
Jdrider (Virginia)
Yes, and thank you - so much - to the many citizens of both parties who actually believe in our country and our force for good in the world who worked tirelessly and ingeniously to make sure that we had a fair and legitimate election in 2020. The citizens of the United States thank you. The citizens of the world thank you.
eclectico (7450)
As you say: "Democracy is a fragile thing"; it relies on cooperation among the parties. The 2020 election was a great success, but democracy has not yet enjoyed similar support. Not just Donald Trump, but a number of powerful Republicans have determined that confrontation not cooperation is their anthem. Isn't that the way it is in nations where the military, by force of arms, determine who will lead ? As another op-ed piece today said something like "Democracy needs people (and parties) willing to lose"; think about Al Gore in 2000. Cooperation, agreement, fair play, for democracy to be allowed to work, all those must be practiced by the powers that be and those trying to become the powers that be.
FreeSpeech? (New York)
These two sentences are somewhat alarming to me, especially coming from a newspaper of this caliber. "Also, it’s obvious that most of the disinformation right now is coming from one side of the political spectrum. Social media companies need to confront that reality head-on and stop worrying about being called biased." I am 100% in support of truth and facts in reporting. However, I believe it is a slippery slope when the media or a political party tries to muzzle opinions that they don't agree with. Cancel culture and censoring are not the answer. We need to tone down the rhetoric and demand better from our politicians on both sides of the aisle.
dave (montrose, co)
@FreeSpeech? The overwhelming polarization of our political system occurred because one side began a policy of total political warfare. This started with Newt Gingrich, who basically ruined the entire idea of bipartisan compromise to advance his political agenda. Then Fox News came along, with their deliberate one-sided (right wing) take on the news; because, like sex, anger and division sells. Now that the GOP Genie of Evil is out of the lamp, it will be nearly impossible to stuff it back in, but patriotic Americans (not flag waving trumpist goons) will at least try
Chris Winter (San Jose, CA)
@FreeSpeech? You're talking about suppressing opinions. The NYT and I are talking about suppressing lies. When someone says, e.g., that the noise from wind turbines causes cancer, that is a lie because no evidence supports it. Such a lie should be suppressed when it comes from an authority figure -- ideally by the authority figure's own sense of integrity. If the authority figure has no integrity, what then? Should we trust the ability of the electorate to recognize BS? Recent experience shows the risk in that.
CV Danes (Upstate NY)
More money, END voter suppression, and thwart disinformation. Also, get rid of the Electoral College.
Nan Socolow (West Palm Beach, FL)
Election Day should be a national holiday, like all our other holidays. If voters can't get to the polls, mail-in balloting works fine as it did this year during the pandemic. "Numbers don't lie". The turn out on both sides (Biden and Trump) was huge, the greatest in our history. Now the world awaits Trump conceding the election to President-Elect Joe Biden in our time-honored democratic tradition of changing American governments every 4 years. Shout out to all the protectors of democracy, regardless of party, who worked from sea to shining sea overseeing the just and fair 2020 election.
Jeff M (Chapel Hill, NC)
It's a triumph of democracy because of the record turnout. A democracy is not about outcome, a democracy is about participation. I am grateful to all those involved to make the election happen, especially to all the young people who worked the polls when older folks were hesitant because of the pandemic, who canvassed for their candidate, and who voted. The younger generation has also volunteered in the vaccine testing and have peacefully protested in the streets to bring about the world they want to live in. Without the younger generation being involved, our democracy has a more limited future.
Peter (Syracuse)
This election proved that in spite of their best efforts Republicans were unable to keep Trump in office. Voter suppression, election demonization, rigging the mail, and all the rest did not prevent 80 Million voters from exercising their right to vote and throwing Donald Trump to the curb. What does this tell us? That we need to be vigilant because history tells us that Republicans will redouble their efforts in advance of 2024.
Voting day should be a holiday. Anything less disenfranchises the poorest and hardest working Americans. Is this so controversial, difficult, or expensive?
rtj (Massachusetts)
@CD Ok then. No food stores open, no convenience stores, no coffee shops.. No medical care for a day. No gas stations, no public transit, no public services. Because it's the highly paid workers who provide these services. Maybe just extended early voting, with mail in allowed?
Greg Bancroft (Nashville)
Just straight up mail in voting. Oregon and Utah (blue and red) make it work. Find out how they do it. Do it across the country. Rinse. Repeat. Tweak where necessary. Done.
Eilonwy (NC)
Our election officials and volunteers--from all parties--have stood up for Democracy. This election has served to remind me why it is safe to trust my Republican neighbors even though I cannot trust the Republican senators who won't admit Biden won, the federal level Republican appointees who won't admit Biden won, and most especially the Republican President who won't admit Biden won. My thanks to everyone, regardless of party, who worked so hard under such terrible conditions to protect our democracy.
LBGee (Vortex Az)
Yes I agree. This was a successful election if only because we had a mentally ill person rerunning for re-election and his backers whose white privilege is being threatened every-night by media companies sowing chaos, not unity. It also helped to vote by mail which I think was THE big success story here. After years of disenfranchisement, finally, people of color did not have to show up and count jelly beans in a jar. The pandemic played its role by reminding us what is at stake. Life or death.
swbv (CT)
It's a weird world in which a president can garner 5 million more votes than his opponent and still have quasi legitimate questions being raised about "fairness" on a state to state level. The electoral college was a quaint/clever fix back when the country's population was largely not concentrated in the cities but it is now an anachronism. And with self-serving leaders like Leader McConnell actually in charge, our entire country is at risk. We all need to encourage term limits and the elimination of the electoral college (or, as a half measure, mandate that electoral college votes be proportional and do away with any winner take all practices).
BillC (Chicago)
Yes the election was successful, but barely. People had to overcome unbelievable barriers to vote. Voter suppression is a fundamental and overriding objective of the Republican Party. They even trashed and crippled the postal service in an attempt to win. (Have you noticed the postal service Christmas commercial- like you believe them. The postal service was nearly dismantled by Trump, Mitch McConnell, mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, and Susan Collins. Oh but now it’s okay. Would not want Republicans to destroy Christmas and the economy, would we now?) we don’t live in a democracy if one political party does not believe in it and actively works to undermine it. Denying Obama a Supreme Court appointment and the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Court weeks before the election was one of the greatest acts of political violence in American history. The Republican Party told Democrats that they hate them, they are not citizens, and they will do anything to destroy them. The single greatest threat to American democracy is the Republican Party. And a threat to American democracy is a threat to world security. Remember weapons of mass destruction and the 500K Muslim lives we took trying to find them and they elected Donald Trump president (seriously), and many believe he was appointed by God. We don’t live in a democracy and we have a political party which is the single most destabilizing force to world security today.
newageblues (Maryland)
Yeah, if it wasn't for the very heavily rigged Senate (FAR more important than the House), the rigged electoral college and rigged gerrymandered state legislatures, we could be proud of our elections.
deedubs (PA)
The focus should be on the county and state officials that large made this happen. These are the unsung heroes of this election. Kudos certainly to the federal agencies tasked with thwarting foreign and domestic interference. Many young people volunteered to be at the polls this year - so many in fact that several municipalities had to turn volunteers away. The local politicians are largely removed from the partisan two party system - focusing on real problems rather than ideology. We owe our thanks to them and perhaps the national politicians should learn from their actions.
n1789 (savannah)
Well, thanks for your optimism and self-congratulations! Yes Biden won, but over 70 million Americans, the lowly, the uneducated and the bigoted, under the direction and propaganda of the very very rich, voted for Trump. Nothing here to be sanguine about. Many voted for lower taxes more tax breaks, more contempt for real Americans and their needs.
ejones (nyc)
@n1789 Yes democracy is a messy business. We have to live with those who disagree with us, just as they have to live with us...
katie (california)
I'm surprised that there was no mention of the fact that in-person voting is limited to one day, and a Tuesday at that. Voters would be more likely to cast in-person ballots if three days were set aside, including a weekend. This year, due to the pandemic, many precincts opened on October 31 to allow voters to vote prior to November 3. This makes sense!
William Burgess Leavenworth (Searsmont, Maine)
@katie: That's a good idea. When the original voting date was set, nearly all citizens could walk or ride a horse to their polls. Today that is not the case. We need to make the Presidential election a national holiday, and the two days following the first weekend in November would be reasonable.
Edward (Sherborn, MA)
What happened to the issue of Russian election meddling this year? It would seem that their opportunity to do so would have been larger (with a Trump administration having the incentive to allow it) this year than it was in 2016. However, there has been little or no media coverage nor, apparently, a claim by Democrats or Republicans that it happened in this election.
Concerned Citizen (North Carolina)
Why would the Russians need to be meddling in our presidential election when Putin has the Trump doing is work for him. Once again, we se Trump engaging in destructive activities that perfectly align with Putin’s goals. What better way to destroy a democracy than to have a puppet leader who will do it for you?
EdWatters (San Francisco)
Democracy isn’t limited to the act of voting - the US has always done that part well, turning it into a quadrennial extravaganza of repetitious media coverage. Where the US fails is representation of the will of the public. We’re told that poll-proven popular policies such as Medicare for All - even popular among Republican voters - are “politically impossible”, code for, the wealthy don’t want it, so forget about it. The more liberal of the two parties instead pushes the misnamed Affordable Care Act, legislation that got rid of a few of the abuses of the rapacious health insurance industry but left health care prohibitively expensive for many, and millions still uninsured. A party that refuses to tell its wealthy donors, “hey, there’s a pandemic raging, we have to give the people health care they can afford” isn’t a political party. It’s an advocacy group for the wealthy.
Robert (Out west)
It’s completely absurd to claim that this country has always handled voting well—ask pretty much anybody’s who’s black, or living on a reservation, for example. And their failure to follow your commands hardly means that Democrats have had nothing to say, or to do, about extending health coverage to all.
Marc (Rockland)
Although I highly concur with the premise that President Trump damaged the Office that he holds, our country and democracy as a whole, we need to hold our news and media sources (on both sides of the political spectrum) accountable as well.
Will (UK)
@Marc Yes - equality for 90% lies and 90% truth.
Leisa (VA)
The posturing is not over yet. If we are to do anything, we should find the holes in the bucket that is holding the water of democracy and plug them. Further, we need to look further at the bucket carriers. Their roughness of handling and intentional deceit are causing the water to slosh about and spillover. Our democracy depends on our leaders doing the right thing and embracing the basic tenets of our country's founding. We are seeing what happens when a giant "Trump Dump" is taken on those things. I would like to think that if my party were engaged in such measures, I would stand up and demand better action. (I'm confident I would). Is Trump the problem? Not really. The problem is that we have a citizenry (and peripheral sycophants) that tolerate, even worship, such antics. Their elected leaders (mute Replublicans) are merely reflecting their will. Perhaps all of "this" is our well-deserved comeuppance to show that all of our lofty ideals and values are but a mirage in the desert. We've been struck down at the knees, and the mirror has been held up to our face.
Michael Peglau (Drew University, Madison NJ)
In some polls 30% of GOP leaning citizens favor authoritarian rule by the GOP and in other polls 50 to 70% of GOP voters believe Trump's claims. Many of his supporters are spending much more time on the Newsmax app and thus in symbiosis with Trump than on FOX or on yet more fantasy ridden sites like Parley. While I join all other patriots in relief and gratitude to the vast array of GOP, Democratic, and Independent election officials who despite five long years of Trump ranting about fraud, ran an efficient and scrupulous election, we clearly have a serious problem when several tens of millions of our fellow citizens support the ravings of Trump over the assurances of sober and careful election officials.
ejones (nyc)
@Michael Peglau The technical name for the problem you describe is "democracy".
Jon (London)
(In 2014, a bipartisan commission said no one ought to have to wait more than 30 minutes to vote. Six years on, the country is nowhere close to that goal.) In the UK in over 40 years of voting, I've never had to wait ever. I simply walk in and vote. The turnout here is I think slightly higher over that period than in the US. There's no need to wait and vote it's simply down to the people and facilities deployed.
nolongeradoc (London, UK)
@Jon Maybe so. But the speed and efficiency with which the Tories (and their hard-Right enablers and Russian financiers) were able to brush aside, deny and whitewash the OBVIOUS and fraudulent manipulation of the Brexit vote isn't anything to be proud of.
Francis Walsingham (Tucson)
Well, with all the screaming that the election would be disrupted by Trump, apparently this says that the disruption didn't happen. What other dreadful predictions were wrong? And how did that influence the election? Here's my prediction - Trump will leave the White House on January 20, and Obama won't be looking for the Navy Seals. Will people call for an end to these terrifying predictions? No, they will still believe them. Oh, I predict that scores of thousands of Americans will die because the release of the vaccines was delayed in order to counteract the predictions that the vaccines wouldn't work because they were "rushed." More predictions that did not come true, except that people are dying, because the vaccines could have been released in November.
Thomas Renner (New York City)
This is something to be proud of although it speaks volume about the state of America that we even have to talk about this or that we are surprised. That said we had a record turnout and it seems all went well in spite of the fact the GOP and the President did all they could do to suppress voters that they felt would vote against them.
Quoth The Raven (Northern Michigan)
Gone are the days when presidential elections are regarded as expressions of candidates' policy and thoughtfully considered goals. Instead, we have become a nation saddled with a veritable plethora of outrageous claims that have no basis in fact, often used to divide the nation and distract voters' attention from serious, reality-based propositions, in favor of baseless charges that have no foundation in fact. Triggered by reality television shows that portray anything but reality, Americans have become receptive to misleading and patently false statements designed to distract their attention from the serious issues of the day. As a consequence, too many among us are susceptible to outrageous claims, preferring to accept them as truth when they are anything but. The damage to the nation is real. The downside is obvious, and when Americans swallow salacious soundbites whole and regurgitate them without thinking, our national dialogue becomes so detached from reality as to become meaningless. It is no small wonder that we have become an angst-ridden nation in a complex and conflict-filled world. When elections are routinely challenged as fraudulent, the odds are stacked against us as a nation. Whether we can ever recover a sufficient level of faith in our government remains to be seen, particularly when politicians are regarded as the worst offenders of all. It's no way to run a railroad, let alone a country.
Ro Moschella (Pittsburgh)
Thank you to all the people who worked tirelessly and held up our democracy at great personal cost. I am so grateful for you.
Blue Ridge (Blue Ridge Mountains)
Just a couple of thoughts. On More Money - Absolutely. In my little corner of the world, we voted for thirty years in an unheated, cramped storage area of an abandoned garage. Two years ago, when the garage was rented to a business, a local church volunteered its community space. Voting in the garage was no hardship for me, but for the poll volunteers relying on hats, coats, and a single space heater, it was a testament to their dedication. They deserve better. On Less Voter Suppression - This election was the awakening of a sleeping giant. In record numbers, Americans recognized that the vote is their Super Power. Now that we have found it, we must never let it go. On Thwart Disinformation - Stories are integral to the human condition. Not a single day passes that people do not engage in a story of some kind, be it a retelling of their day, an indulgence of gossip, watching or reading the news, etc., etc. We need to recognize that for many people the story is so much more interesting than facts. That is why conspiracy theories take hold. In the short term, social media needs to hold itself accountable or be held accountable by law. In the long term, we need to pump more money into the American education system and teach our kids to think.
NYT Aficionado (PA)
May I say one more thing? The Minority has a great option that doesn't amount to a coup, or robbing Americans of their vote and their representation in our government. If your vision has merit, has general appeal, then work to turn it into the vision of the Majority. That's exactly what our Founders hoped for and trusted us to do. For sure, forcing a minority view and a minority government onto the majority is destined to be unworkable and it will eventually fail.
Carl (Philadelphia)
Trump will never concede, and that fact will not change the outcome of the election. There is no law that requires the sitting President to concede. Trump’s personality will not allow him to admit defeat. He had acted in this manner his entire life and will not be changing his behavior anytime soon. Prior to the election Trump suffered from a narcissist personality disorder. After Trump became President, he became a megalomaniac. People with these types of disorders generally can be managed with therapy and medication. However by electing a person like Trump we have enabled these personality disorders. Hopefully when he leaves office on January 20th, he will seek medical assistance.
DC (Maine)
@Carl It's my understanding that prison offers some wonderful opportunities for addressing these issues. I believe New York is currently seeking a way to make sure these needs are addressed.
Old Dane (Denmark)
Meanwhile in a far away much older nation, but younger democracy, our election days are national celebrations. We have lot's of political disagreements, but no one discuss the right to vote of every citizen at 18 or above. We do not have elections for a president, but elections for national parliament usually attract 85% participation. Everyone eligible to vote is registered in advance, and receive a voter card by mail, well in advance. Telling you where and when to vote. If you for some weird reason do not receive your card, you can vote anyway, with proper identification. We can vote in advance and by mail too. We can even vote at every Danish embassy or consulate abroad. But running a safe and smooth election comes at a price. In Denmark we know who we are. Everyone is registered in a common system for general public service purposes. I am not saying it is impossible to survive in Denmark without this registration, but it is very difficult and simply isn't possible for any longer period, as it rules all and any public services plus collective rights and obligations. Such a registration is immensely beneficial for all real services, as the services knows most potential case loads well in advance on quite a few parameters. We know the potential load for nurseries, schools, universities, health care, hospitals, even jobs and businesses. During a pandemic a well organized society proves very beneficial. Denmark has yet to see any excess deaths in the current challenge.
Grant (Some_Latitude)
National Popular Vote Compact before 2024! Just a few more states needed. Also, Ranked Choice Voting. Then we'll have real democracy. In the interim, if the GOP loses the Senate before then (unlikely, but not impossible), enact laws to prevent the next wannabee dictator from dictating (let alone getting into office). (GOP will of course try to block all such laws).
gregdn (Los Angeles)
@Grant What legislation would you propose to 'prevent wannabee dictators from dictating'? I think we should rein in the use of Executive Orders which allowed Trump for example to divert defense money to build his wall. But let's not kid ourselves. The Democrats are eager to being using these orders as soon as Biden moves into the White House. We the people are the problem, because we do not insist that Congress do its job.
Grant (Some_Latitude)
@gregdn 1) mandatory financial disclosure for all candidates would be a good start. 2) Congress required to accept the slate of electors for each state that represents the popular vote of that state. 3) no felons eligible n (Trump always escapes felony charges ... but future wannabee dictators might well have a police record).
Kurt (Chicago)
The disinformation isn’t the problem: The eagerness to accept it is. Nearly half of our population feels antagonistic towards our nation’s founding principles, to logic, and to demonstrable facts. Why? They are people to whom those values, logic, and facts present a threat. They are people who, at their core, are insecure about their abilities to thrive as individuals. They reject the values of a merit-based society because they know they are ill-equipped to thrive in it. They crave the security of a tribe that will protect them in exchange for their allegiance, regardless of their merit otherwise. Tribalism is based on one value only: allegiance. There are no other concepts, such as universal justice, that one must comprehend or surrender to. Tribal identity can be based on race or religion, but it does not have to be. All that is required to define a tribe is opposition to an “Other”. This is how you get such out-sized hatred for a President like Barack Obama, who’s persona and policies are objectively anodyne. This is how a tan suit becomes a scandal. They are defining their “Other”, thereby defining their tribe, thereby garnering the feeling of security they crave. Our Nation needs to provide that sense of security from a young age. I suspect most Trump supporters reside on the left half of the bell-curve. That would be an unwelcome fact to learn when your ten years old. Couple that with our merit-based value system, and it’s a frightening prospect.
rtj (Massachusetts)
@Kurt "...President like Barack Obama, who’s persona and policies are objectively anodyne." Persona, sure. Policies, not so much. And that you're discounting the harm that many of them caused, by putting Wall St. over Main St. and discounting the genuine economic pain of the working class already devastated trade and globalization, is exactly what got you Trump.
TLMischler (Muskegon, MI)
Regarding the "one side of the political spectrum" that is responsible for the disinformation, that side is also responsible for worshiping an ancient system that was a compromise between wealthy white male land owners in the north and wealthy white male land & slave owners from the south in order to form the new union: the electoral college. This antiquated, arbitrary system has failed twice in the last two decades to reflect the will of the electorate, but Republicans cling to it as if it were holy scripture. The path to maintaining our democracy is not rocket science: first, get rid of the EC and replace it with direct election. Second, facilitate (fund!) a system for voting that is both secure and accessible by all Americans. Please don't tell me that with today's technology it's acceptable for anyone to stand in line for hours to vote. Third, get rid of gerrymandering. Anyone who thinks there is anything fair or just in a system like that isn't interested in democracy. And finally, we need to appoint a commission to begin looking at how other democracies conduct elections, and make some major adjustments in our system to reflect the century in which we live. One desperately needed change is proportional representation as opposed to the winner-take-all system we have now. There are many ways to improve the functioning of our democracy, and we are overdue for adjustment. Meanwhile, I join the Times' board in being grateful for those who make it work today.
Edward (Sherborn, MA)
@TLMischler I agree with your points, and have one question. At the time of the founding of the Electoral College, didn't every state that then constituted the United States have legalized slavery, with the sole exception of Vermont?
gregdn (Los Angeles)
@TLMischler If the EC owes its existence to slavery, then it would be easy to get rid of. The fact is, it had little or nothing to do with slavery, and everything to do with small states not wanting to cede all their power to the larger ones. Small states had little incentive to join a union in which states like New York (and now California) would routinely overrule them.
Chinh Dao (Houston, Texas)
A happy ending to all Americans. The 2020 election will be recorded as one of the most courageous and heroic triumphs of constitutional democracy and rule of law. But life goes on. The growth as a Super Power--a federal government over 50 states with full diversities and complexities in all aspects--will certainly bring about new pains and new threats. But the Americans have been already to overcome internal subversion and betrayal as well as foreign interferences, this biochemical warfare included. The outlaws shall be punished to contain the lawlessness within the frameworks of jurisprudence independence. Meanwhile, America will warm up foreign relationships and fairer interdependence in defending world peace. Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Especially, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, my home town. Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Philadelphia, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia have greatly contributed to this historic happy ending.
Branagh (NYC)
Inspirational call, inspirational read. Credit as well to many fine journalists, maybe top of the list, people at the NYT but there was great incisive and critical reporting throughout the USA. Even so, so monumental were the lies of Trump and his enablers, it's a close call whether Trump or the decent MSM won. It's a frightening conclusion but I think it was Trump and 74 million votes validate that conclusion.
NYT Aficionado (PA)
I acknowledge that, all along for the last 4 years, I've bored people by repeating "In a democratic republic, there's no power, not even money, greater than that of an informed and engaged Majority." Republicans, for many reasons, are the Minority. We've been "governed" the last 4 years by the Minority because the Majority slept through the '16 campaign and election. They were not engaged. This time, they were. I suggest that if democracy is "fragile," it's only because the Majority is asleep at the wheel. There's no auto-pilot for democracy.
Marcus Brant (Canada)
It wasn’t really a surprise to me that Biden won this election; I even got 20 bucks richer by betting an angry conservative colleague that he would - although I haven’t collected yet. There was always the nagging doubt that Trump would pull it off by hook or by literal crook, but, when one looks at his dereliction in office, it seemed clear that a rational America would inevitably return. That is not to say that the process has not been agonising and it is still yet to conclude. America is a democracy clearly enough, but it deserves a better one. The fact that it is subject to manipulation and legal challenges that could disenfranchise millions of voters means that it is vulnerable to partisan whims. The Gore/Bush coup proves that. Gerrymandering is an enormous issue which needs to be outlawed. The Electoral College needs either to be secured or scrapped: more emphasis needs to be placed on the popular vote, less on an institution that could theoretically be loaded with partisan votes. Americans should not have to wait for weeks or months before the result of an election is officially declared. Political appointees within an administration must be obligated to faithfully fulfil their duties on pain of prosecution. Those who cry fraudulent wolf should face similar penalty. The list goes on. America looks like a powder keg with hundreds of fuses either smouldering or waiting to be lit. In a land where guns pretty much outnumber people, the situation is terrifying.
NYT Aficionado (PA)
@Marcus Brant There's the law. Even Trump apptd. judges side with democracy. You make good valid points.
Good stuff. A reminder that when differing interests meet, they need not oppose, but only confront each other. Democracy requires this give and take to be integrated. My "opponent" is my co-creator, for he/she has something to give which I have not.
crewzzer (idaho)
While there is no question our democracy and country are experiencing the most overt and ghastly threat in our country's history, it seems we may survive it. The gift of the GOP's current seditious acts, is that we have witnessed, to our horror, the gaping loopholes in our voting laws, our assumptions regarding norms, and the lack of civic education over many generations.
NYT Aficionado (PA)
This is an awesome and uplifting editorial. Thank you. And thank you, fellow patriots! I've concluded that just about everything thing Donald Trump, William Barr, Mitch McConnell, Congressional Republicans, and The Trump Cult have done and continue to do amounts to stealing Americans' vote and representation in their government. How can constitution huggers and self-proclaimed haters of the Nanny State do that? They get laughed out of court by judges they appoint and, like petulant 3 years olds, they won't stop. And we're striving for a more perfect union? A little help from them rather than hindrance would go a long way.
alan (MA)
Yes, we had a great election. Largest turnout of voters ever. Lat's give President Trump some credit for this. Of course he gets credit for the wrong reason. His attacks on the voting process spurred many people who have never voted to do so for the very first time. I had one person that I know acknowledge that at Age 47 voted for the very first time. Hopefully he continues in the future to exercise his right to vote.
Mitch Lyle (Corvallis OR)
@alan Typically a person continues to vote after they started. It would be good if the states made it easier to vote, like more polling places, easier mail-in, more early voting, holidays on vote day...
jamie (usvi)
@alan Oh please! Democrats changed all the rules to allow mail-in votes, even with courts overstepping their roles and authorizing mail-in votes and even to allow votes to be mailed in days after the eletions. Do you really believe any of that was fair and in keeping with an honest election? https://thefederalist.com/2020/11/23/5-more-ways-joe-biden-magically-outperformed-election-norms/.
Allan Rydberg (Wakefield, Rhode Island)
The people that voted for Trump are not necessary Trump fans. Rather they are in opposition to the liberal philosophy that most of us believe in. We need to understand these people and work toward their understanding of us. Otherwise it will be more of the same.
Mister Ed (Maine)
Republicans need to realize that running the world's largest economy in a democracy is expensive - and worth paying for. Even the oligarchs' riches are dependent on well-functioning governments at all levels. The freedom that allowed them to get rich beyond imagination needs to operate effectively to preserve their economic opportunity. That they want to "starve the beast, in Reagan's words, makes no sense unless they plan to move to Switzerland (which depends in part on a strong US to preserve its independence). Republicans start paying for this great country!
Jim Anderson (Bethesda)
I am not optimistic. The fascistic forces in the United States, all on the republican side, are engaged in a concerted effort to overthrow democracy and wrest control of the country’s vast resources, wealth, and military power. When this happens—and I suspect it is when, not if, because the country seems incapable of abolishing the anti democratic electoral college and skewed representation of the Senate—the United States will quickly become unrecognizable and indeed a threat to the entire world. So I say to my fellow readers and to other countries: prepare your plan B. Use this respite to put in place a realistic plan to exit to a more stable democracy. And if you are a more stable democracy, align strongly with other stable democracies in bolstering your defenses against the United States when the time comes. The time will come. That’s what the past four years have taught us, unfortunately. Ignore the lesson at your own peril.
Koala (A Tree)
During this time of crisis, I reread Book 8 of the Republic, where Plato explains that Tyranny evolves from Democracy. What struck me was how he said this transformation would come from within the Democracy itself. I think this election has shown without a doubt which political Party would stand by and applaud as a tin-pot dictator overthrew the American Democracy. Plato also points out that it is the exclusive demand for "freedom" which turns a Democracy into a Tyranny. And here I was also struck by how much Republicans present themselves as defenders of "freedom". I don't agree with Plato that a Democracy necessarily has to devolve into a Tyranny. I think Plato ignored the possibility of a well-educated and well-informed electorate. But if the electorate is not well-educated and not well-informed, then he may be right.
John B (UK)
@Koala Indeed so. But Plato did cover education in another book of the Republic (can't remember which one - it's years since I read it), where he proposed that education should be designed to support the state - even to teach untruths so that the people accept their condition and back the state. So Plato ensured that even the well-educated were constrained in their freedom of thought with false information. This propensity also seems to be demonstrated by the Republicans (intelligent design, anyone?).
Koala (A Tree)
@John B Indeed, you are correct. Plato talks at length about education in Books 2 & 3 and elsewhere. However, his views on education, as in so many other topics, are complex. I certainly would not agree with Plato, where he seems to advocate telling the people the 'noble lie'. So, when I said Plato ignores the possibility of the people being well-educated and well-informed, I meant that he seems to ignore the possibility that true education - philosophic, or Socratic education - could be shared with the people at large. He seems to suggest that this can only be done with a few special people, at least in the Republic (see Meno for another view). Thank you for the objection.
WOID (New York and Vienna)
@Koala You mean the same Plato who was at pains (in Book Seven) to exculpate himself and his "well-informed and well-educated" pals from their own responsibility for the very real Tyranny of the Thirty that had abolished Athenian Democracy few years previous? Squirrels, much, Professor?
Koala (A Tree)
Yes, it's true. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all those amazing election workers! At the same time, it's important to acknowledge how close we came to losing our democracy, and how easy it would be to overthrow it. The only thing that has stopped Trump so far, is the essential decency of a few judges. What if Trump had four more years to install loyalist judges? What if he had four more years to tighten his grip on the Republican party, getting rid of the few remaining Republicans who value someone other than him? That's all it would take.
AlNewman (Connecticut)
And yet in Michigan, the state board of canvassers on Monday is not going to certify the results of an election that Biden won by 155,000 votes because Republicans have been thoroughly corrupted by the president. While Democrats will likely prevail, the enemies of free and fair elections will be emboldened. If Democrats don’t win the two Georgia Senate runoffs and if Biden can’t find a way to get Senators Romney, Murkowski and Collins to vote with Democrats on key legislation, we may be looking at another four years of GOP obstruction on pandemic relief, health care reform, infrastructure spending and climate policy. In this scenario, I’m not sure how much longer this country will be livable.
abj slant (Akron)
@AlNewman "...because Republicans have been thoroughly corrupted by the president." You aren't giving Republicans enough credit to own up to their own willing culpability.
Patrick (San Diego)
"Testing whether that nation or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure." Thanks for appreciating the thousands of poll and mail workers, who have been so badly insulted. Interesting that foreign hacking not the issue this time.
Andrew (NJ)
The outcome here has been solidified by a secure election system. I wouldn’t be doing any victory laps though as if it were only one state like it was during Bush/Gore (Florida), I shudder to think of how this would have played out. Hopefully the next populist President will possess some sort sense of decency - or an actual soul.
James (Virginia)
I was thinking about this, too, the other day. Despite the USPS fiasco, in which Trump's appointee started dismantling automatic letter sorting machines--seemingly in battle ground states... Despite a PANDEMIC, resulting in a record number of mail in ballots, overtaxing the already overtaxed USPS because of (see above)... Despite Russia's constant barrage of propaganda on social media... Despite the GOP's constant attempts to suppress the votes... Despite all this: More people voted than ever before. More people voted than ever before to stop Trump's profound corruption and mistreatment of the Government's power.
abj slant (Akron)
@James When the voter turnout is high, 'the people' really have spoken and the result is representation as envisioned by our founding fathers. My deepest wish is that every single one of those voters understands how critical the mid-terms will be, too. I vote in every election, both local and national. I would like to see that as the norm.
James (Virginia)
@abj slant Cannot agree more. It doesn't stop with the POTUS, people!
Hamid Varzi (Iranian Expat in Europe)
Absolutely. After the Trump Circus has left town the nation will realise the threats to democracy were Much Ado About Nothing. However, if you are to catch up with other democracies you will need at least a strong third party, more proportional representation, a total overhaul of the electoral college voting system and, not least, campaign finance reform. Democracies have to develop with the times, to avoid stagnation in a swamp of anachronistic laws. To 'drain the swamp' you first have to remove the pollution that creates it.
William (Michigan)
Trump continues to show the world his true nature. That the greatest election turnout in history, despite the many and varied voter suppression tactics employed by Repubs everywhere, despite voting during a global pandemic, and despite also unprecedented support for a would be autocrat, was overcome by determined citizens to remove a spreading disease at the head of our government.
Art Likely (Out in the Sunset)
Americans have just won a battle to secure their rights and liberty against totalitarian oppression. It is astounding that the enemy of democracy in 2020 was the president of the United States himself, but no other conclusion could be drawn against the backdrop of four years of sneering contempt and partisan disdain for the democratic process, and even America itself. But the American people stand strong and proud for democracy, and even unbridled attempts to stifle democratic values with threats of violence and attempts to find justification for mobilizing the military against the public could not dissuade them, not even in the midst of a pandemic. Never have I been prouder of the American people than this year. When push came to shove, not even those officials who are ideologically aligned with Donald Trump would let his unfounded accusations stand. Instead, they stood for America, and should be proud of their strength, as we are proud of their dedication. Every poll worker who brought this election off with so few problems deserves a hug and a handshake from all of us. We are eternally indebted to you. You are heroes. We thank you, and know that future historians will say that you kept the ship of state afloat when it seemed that it might founder. No thanks are enough, but know that we, a grateful nation, laud you and will never forget the service you provided. And finally, voters -- you spoke and were heard, and democracy still stands. Thank you all.
Selfishness is not a virtue (Upstate NY)
@Art Likely Absolutely! Or more appropriately, an air bump and virtual kiss, blown from that socially distant Zoom feet. I remember the heartfelt physical clapping, cheering, singing, and bell ringing for hospital and other frontline workers that happened at 7pm EST every day during the early days of the pandemic. Perhaps we need to schedule one for our democracy workers. It is one thing to say thanks in the NYT, it is another to hear thanks ring out in our neighborhoods. Ok, you youngsters, get flashcrowding it!
Ronald B. Duke (Oakbrook Terrace, Il.)
The real problem isn't that people suspect widespread cheating or organized fraud, it's that nobody feels totally confident about the reliability of computers and nobody thinks there is a foolproof way of checking on the results they produce. It was also a problem in this election that absentee voting (voting by mail) was a major factor for the first time which raised all sorts of issues never much considered before: signature verification, timely mail delivery, sacks of mail-in-ballots getting mislaid, disputes about postmarks and extended delivery dates, etc. Somehow these are issues that need to be addressed.
Mary Scott (NY)
"The United States needs members of both major political parties to support voting rights and access to the polls" We no longer have two viable political parties. More than anything else, the 2020 election has proven that there is only one political party dedicated to preserving the franchise for all Americans and that is the Democratic Party. The Republican Party could not have made it clearer that it wants to dramatically limit and in many instances abolish the right to vote for Americans who reject their embrace of autocratic rule. The GOP is no longer a viable political party. There is no longer any doubt that have become the true enemy of the America people, the destroyers of democracy in general and all democratic norms and values patriotic many Americans have died for and are still supported by a majority today. They are the Biden voters. The RNC deserves to be hated, loathed and despised for their despicable, relentless campaigns over the last 40 years to ensure autocratic rule through their constant attacks on the voting rights of Democratic voters. It is why they want to grab all levers of power, even it means through compulsive lying and cheating. They have lost the right to ask Americans for their vote and all Americans who profess to embrace democracy, including this editorial board, must be much stronger in their rejection of today's Republican Party.
jamie (usvi)
@Mary Scott Really, no longer a viable party? Trump got an additional at least 10 million votes and his coat tails allowed the GOP to win all of their contested House Seats and they beat quite a few Democrats and gained at least 12 House seats so far. Not to mention, they might win back the Senate after the runoff in Georgia. Trump had all the coattails and Biden had none, but somehow, we're to believe he won. Okay https://thefederalist.com/2020/11/23/5-more-ways-joe-biden-magically-outperformed-election-norms/
Rich (Canada)
One of the more pernicious and galling aspects of conspiracy theories is how they inevitably involve trashing the character of truly good and often heroic people. The Moon Landing Denier sitting in his bedroom tapping away on his computer, self-satisfied in seeing behind the veil, essentially takes one of the most astounding achievements of mankind, one often involving monumental dedication and bravery and professionalism, especially the astronauts, and just dumps all over everyone's reputation, casting them instead as sinister tricksters. The 9/11 "truthers" do the same in befouling any number of USA government employees, and turning the death of almost 3,000 innocent people in to their own little dungeons and dragon plaything. And, as this editorial supports, the conspiracy theorists regarding the election make villains out of the most patriotic and dedicated citizens in the country. Worse is the level of cynicism behind the knowing lie-factory of Trump's legal team willing to throw the success of hard workers under the bus, sacrificed for Trump's ego, abetted by Republicans who stand by watching good people put under suspicion, while undermining of the election process. Trump's vainglorious ambition is like a violent ocean storm, testing the hull of the USA's democracy, battering every rivet and seam, testing for weakness. Thank goodness the structure seems to be holding up!
Joseph Amato Nov. 23, 2020 (NYC)
For the love of the  Election empowerment do we the people demonstrate the true meanings of our living Democracy - as such we come to equality and ownernship to our family status rights to protect and enforce / for of course what is the sharing ours common good family sense that rules justice in kind writ indeeds of hope in actions by every vote in action.
Richard Dixon (Canada)
Thank you, American heroes, from a grateful Canadian. On the day after the election, I sat down at my piano and played "The Star Spangled Banner" as best I could, thinking all the while of all of you who've put aside all else, and stepped up with such determined hearts, to defend decency, honesty, justice, and American democracy. Once again, you've given proof through the night that your flag is still there.
citizen vox (san francisco)
Good editorial. I had not realized how much work was put in to get this fair election. In SF, I did notice the voice at the Registrar of Voters was extra helpful and attentive and the huge outdoor tents for early voting was well staffed. Still, the voting process was per usual. Voting by mail is routine here and I've never experienced or read of voter suppression here. But then, we're not a swing state. But do we have our democracy back? No, not with Trump at large, salting the earth for Biden, planning on another run in 2024 and still able to sow discord, hatred and to keep his base loyal to him, not the nation via. Until Trump is incapacitated (how about behind bars), he will remain dangerous to our nation.
Benjamin Teral (San Francisco, CA)
Heroic is the word. Americans on both sides of this election can be proud that they voted in record numbers, and that the people counting the votes did their jobs despite enormous pressure from actors foreign and domestic to disrupt the process.
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
@Benjamin Teral Though one of the groups should not be proud of voting for a self-confessed groper who has sold out to Russia. The right is wonderful at expounding straw men and false equivalences. The Dems did not want to disrupt the process since they were not the people who tampered with the postal service. 250 000 + American deaths was OK with one side but not with the other.
David (Australia)
If the US had independent, professional election commissions at state and federal level like most other countries - eg UK, Australia, Canada and most Commonwealth countries - rather than having it run by state politicians, it wouldn’t have this scope for claims of fraud or calls for legislators or Governors to intervene. Though no doubt we would have claims of “deep state” malfeasance from the Trumpists, and there is some virtue in at least having a lot of republican state secretaries and the like affirming the results are Ok this time. The beauty of independent electoral commissions is that they can set district boundaries on a fair basis without gerrymandering by politicians, and can be a mechanism to avoid voter suppression. Not that the Republicans would let that happen.
Real Observer (Ca)
It has been a great election effort no doubt with election workers and voters alike putting their own safety on the line to vote,and to count votes. voting and elections are how people express their opinion about government and select their representatives. every vote is equal and must be counted. no one should be disenfranchised. Given all of this, Trump is plotting to steal the election after losing convincingly and comprehensively. He lost the popular vote by 6 million votes. Biden has won 306 electoral votes and Trump has only 232 well short of the 270 needed. In 2016, Trump was awarded 304 electoral votes and claimed it was a landslide. By Trump's own measure, Biden has won by a landslide. Trump is plotting to steal the election by falsely claiming massive fraud.There is no fraud, and none that could have changed the result-an emphatic Biden victory. Biden has earned nearly 80 million popular votes, the greatest in US history. Trump's supporters are angry, frustrated and disappointed they lost. They identify themselves as christian, white and are mostly rural voters. Their support for Trump's false claim about massive fraud is based on identity, not on fact. Trump, his campaign, supporters in the senate,congress,legislatures and the RNC are all claiming, or supporting a totally false claim of fraud. A few republican officials in swing states are failing in their job as election officials.They have refused to certify the votes with no evidence to justify it.Trump lost.
WJG (Canada)
The one thing that stands out for me in this election is that the threat to a fair and democratic election did not come from voting fraud or falsification of the election record. It came from weaknesses in the institutional bodies that were susceptible to subversion by people attempting to put into place a government that was not elected by the people of the US. The infiltration of various government boards and bodies by loyalists to one party have led to lies being promulgated and decision making in the certification process that are untethered to reality, all in the cause of trying to obtain a court-sanctioned coup to keep Donald Trump in power. This attempt appears to be failing, but largely due to the naked incompetence of the people attempting to run this scam. It would behoove the people of America to update the election-administering organizations to make them less susceptible to propagandists and con men. If Trump and his henchmen had been more competent, this election be ending very badly. The fact that it is not is largely to the credit of people from both parties who placed honor and love of country above personal interest and party loyalty. That aspect of the election system urgently needs strengthening.
Paul2 (Atlantic)
@WJG The sad thing is that this probably will not happen. To acknowledge that the greatest country on earth has a cracked system is simple un-american. The republicans like it the way it is and will do anything to stop any improvements. Furthermore, what we have in place now is a blueprint to stage a coup. In the future a less incompetent bunch will try again. This aint over.
Aaron (Orange County, CA)
"Then help make sure they don’t have to do it by themselves again." Is this some sort of joke? I want them to do it by themselves again! Every poll worker volunteered his or her time to ensure a safe and fair election and the system worked. It was the media who made the system daunting. Bi-partisan volunteers worked +18 hour days while Trump and FOX NEWS unscrupulously blasted them around clock- accusing them of committing voter fraud on a massive scale. The sad part is- we haven't seen the last of it! Do you think Trump voters are going to "change" and become civil during the Georgia runoffs or Presidential election in 2024? The GOP/RNC is already planning another wave of voter disinformation and I hope and pray nobody gets shot or killed next time. Trumpsters are angry and no amount of reason, logic or truth will convince them otherwise. That being said, I don't just blame Trump and the GOP- but I also hold the Democratic leaders accountable for this fiasco as well. For 5 years the Democrats have belittled and ostracized Trump voters because their social and political beliefs don't align with theirs. Our politics shouldn't be viewed as "Whole Foods vrs. Walmart".. In the end, both are stores that sell things people need. Our Democratic leaders lost sight of that simple fact and there are +70 million Trump voters out there that prove it.
MeOregon (OR)
@Aaron -- You write "For 5 years the Democrats have belittled and ostracized Trump voters because their social and political beliefs don't align with theirs." In normal circumstances, you would be right that any party is wrong to ostracize the voters of the other party. But there are some thing so vile, and so cruel, and so evil, that decent people cannot disagree about them. Trump is guilty of many of those, but I will use just one example. All decent people agree that kidnapping children is one of the worst imaginable crimes, for the harm it does to the children and for the unspeakable anguish it causes the bereaved parents. The Trump administration kidnapped thousands of children by forcibly separating them from their parents at the border, and it was so indifferent to record keeping that it cannot now locate the parents of over 500 children. More than FIVE HUNDRED children who have been separated permanently from their parents -- more than FIVE HUNDRED sets of parents who will never know what happened to their children, and who came to this country because they trusted us and believed our promise of hearing asylum claims. Anyone who voted for Trump supported this atrocity. They deserve ostracization. They have removed themselves from decent and moral society. This is not a matter about which anyone with a moral compass can disagree. It is horrifying that so many of our citizens have so disastrously lost their way, but that does not change the facts.
God sense (United States)
@Aaron The evidence is in plain sight. It was not hyperbole when Joe Biden said that this election was a fight for the soul of America. Exhibit 1: There is only one political party that seeks to prevent people from voting. Do you need more evidence? Exhibit 2: There is only one political party that promotes the baseless idea that election fraud is rampant. Experts, including Benjamin L. Ginsberg, a Republican elections lawyer for 38 years, says that election fraud is practically nonexistent. Aaron, are you aware that about 37% of your fellow Americans would prefer an authoritarian government with a leader who shouldn't have to work with a Congress of representatives of the People? According to the World Values Survey - which examines views in around 50 countries worldwide - that is up from 23% in 1990. Let that sink in. 37% ... That is very alarming. The emergency lights are flashing. I, for one, want to continue living in a democracy. We did the right thing, fighting like mad over the last four years to keep it that way.
Robert (Seattle)
@Aaron You claim "the media made the system daunting." Can you give us any evidence for that? You blame the Democratic leaders for Trump falsely claiming the vote was fraudulent and trying to steal the election. You blame them because they "belittled and ostracized Trump voters because their social and political beliefs don't align with theirs." You had better explain yourself. Otherwise we might come away with the conclusion that you think it's Ok to steal elections if folks have criticized your fellow.
Northernd (Toronto)
Congratulations America. But it still boggles the mind that a person like Trump received over 73 million votes - truly unbelievable! So yes democracy won in spite of Trump and his enablers but skin of the teeth close. Watch and regulate social media and call out the lies. Russian influence could have still been a factor. But the lesson is that true and fair elections take work and thank God America was up to the task.
Robert (Seattle)
@Northernd Too close, to be sure. But Biden and Harris will have at least 6,000,000 more votes than what's-his-name when all is said and done.
Citizen-of-the-World (Atlanta)
In Georgia, many people have worked very hard over the past several years to make sure that we now have a paper trail for votes cast in polling places instead of—poof—an electronic tally. That, combined with paper mail in ballots, which reduced the inconvenience factor imposed on so many minority districts in particular, gave me more confidence that the process was on the up-and-up than I have had in years. And although Trump has stained the entire Republican Party with his unsupported claims of voter fraud, I have to believe that many Republicans, such as Raffensperger, value democratic principles more than they do power and would not cheat to win. It feels almost strange to say that, because the Republicans have engaged in so much voter suppression over the years and so many seem willing to disenfranchise voters on the most flimsy of pretexts (looking at you, Lindsey Graham), but I refuse to be so cynical that I no longer believe in integrity.
fed up (las pulgas)
The Board has Long standing values and uses skewed rhetoric to induce common people, who watch entirely too much television Programming to believe that we live in something other than a Plutocracy. Then again Marshall McLuhan's tome The Medium is the Message stands true.
Alex (LA)
No, the take home election was the least legitimate in modern history since Kennedy. If it were anything else, you wouldn't have felt the need to publish this article. In every swing state, from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania to Michigan to Georgia, we saw the count stop in the evening and resume in the very early hours of the morning. After that pause, in every instance, a deluge of Biden votes overcame a seemingly mathematically unbeatable Trump lead. If the ballot counting had just continued normally, and the deluge of Biden votes hadn't followed a delay of several hours, if they hadn't all been submitted in the wee hours of the morning, I would not be skeptical about such a large number of votes for one candidate all coming in at once. Because of the delay, I am. The mail in ballots from Philadelphia, Detroit, and Atlanta, even if they had to be counted separately, should have been counted simultaneously. One party wanted a take home election, one party benefited from the take home voting, one party didn't care about the ambiguity it would introduce, and has. I objected to this take home election from the beginning. Now it seems clear that under normal circumstances, Trump probably would have won. It was that close. If Democrats feel they've earned this outcome legitimately, that's fine, but I will never agree with this in the absence of a full audit of Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, and I'll never be ashamed of my skepticism.
MeOregon (OR)
@Alex -- You are very deeply confused about the process. In PA, for instance, by law absentee ballots could not be processed AT ALL -- not taken out of their envelopes, no verification of signatures -- until election day itself. So of course, those votes did not start appearing in the totals until many hours after the polls had closed. In most states that have voted by mail only for years, signatures can be verified and ballots can be removed from envelopes as they come in, although they cannot be tallied until election day. So in, eg, WA and OR, there was no marked delay because the pre-processing had already been done, as it always is. In states that normally vote mainly in person, and that have laws saying no pre-processing of mail-in ballots can even begin until election day, OF COURSE there was a delay. There is nothing mysterious or nefarious about this. Absentee votes always take a few days to count; the difference this year was that, because of the pandemic, there were far, far more absentee ballots than normal. Everyone who was paying any attention in the weeks before the election knew that there would be a "red mirage" on election night because Trump had strongly discouraged his supporters from voting by mail. That meant that most mail-in votes were for Biden. So the in-person votes that could be counted quickly skewed for Trump, and Biden's leads only became apparent when the mail-in votes were counted. Again, there is nothing mysterious or underhanded here.
God sense (United States)
@Alex My "take home election" contained a ballot with a barcode unique to one voter - me - that was mailed to my unique home address, and had to be returned with my signature, which the election board has an image of, as well as a copy of a valid government ID attached to the ballot envelope. What else do you want? My DNA?
Barbara Snider (California)
Thank you for this excellent explanation. Our confused friend probably won’t read it, however others may. The election went smoothly, states had various laws on how votes could be handled and each counted ballots within the framework of their laws. Also, voters need to be thanked for their patience, patriotism and stick-to-it-ness in spite of long lines. I voted by mail - here in California vote by mail has been around for a long time and is seamless. I really admired the determination and patience of voters who showed up in person ensuring their votes were counted before mine was.
cl (ny)
If there was truly voter fraud or any other type of impropriety, how do the Republicans explain the gains they made in this election cycle? Maybe Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham really lost. Maybe they should concede.
samuel (charlotte)
@cl What you say, is one of the circumstancial evidences of fraud. The manipulation was primarily limited to the Presidential election. Anything more widespread would have made the improprieties much more easy to detect and expose.
David (Oak Lawn)
America survived one of its greatest threats. I'm proud to be from the same country as the tireless poll workers, volunteers and election officials who feel a sense of duty to the history of democracy here. Also, the voters who turned out in droves. It's a good place here when we want it to be. The Greeks pioneered the first inchoate version of democracy. It wasn't perfect, just like ours wasn't when it started and won't be probably ever. Steady incremental change, and the occasional giant leap, seem to keep happening for us. We went backward for a few years, but we can let go of that past.
SMB (Savannah)
Georgia had a new voting system which made paper ballots possible, a champion of voting rights in Stacey Abrams, and a Republican Secretary of State who put his faith in numbers and in dedicated election workers. Postal workers were working harder than ever with the sabotage of having the high volume sorting machines removed (11 in Georgia), and all were working during a pandemic. My postal carrier lost her father to Covid a few weeks before the election and wasn’t allowed to be near him when he passed. This was a triumph of voting over voter suppression efforts. And Lindsay Graham should focus on his side of Savannah River. King George set that boundary between colonies, and the Founding Fathers made Democratic elections the basis for our government.
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
@SMB What's the bet that if the GOP holds the senate that they will obstruct Puerto Rico from their aspiration of statehood. Lindsey and the others would need plenty of tissues, not for tossing but for snivelling and whining if Puerto Rico gets statehood.
Carl Cox (Riverdale, Ga.)
The republican politicians and their sheep, in and out of government, want to destroy democracy; have been at it since LBJ defeated Goldwater in 1964. They don't believe in the constitution or the rule of law. They want a banana republic where all the power belongs to wealthiest (top 1% in wealth) Americans. The top 1% in wealth and mega corporations (from all over the world) already have the power to make the laws they want made to govern America. They want to finish off democracy in America. Their followers (mostly racist/homophobic/corrupt/greedy/ignorant/Christian fundamentalist ) are willing to start a civil war to make it possible to turn America into a banana republic (democracy in name only).
Robert (Out west)
Nice post. Thanks.
anupam (Seattle, WA)
Tried of all this drama which could have been entirely avoided by Online Voting. Secure technology to implement is present. People who wants to cast their ballot by mail or standing in the line should still be allowed. By web-base voting also should be made an option for everyone who establishes a fully verified profile with the federal government. People already trust their entire financial fate on Web and so voting online should be no-brainer. No downside to this. Anybody filing vote online should get instant credit of $50. The voter participation will increase dramatically.
John B (UK)
@anupam Whilst wonderful in theory, sadly the state of computer technology today cannot secure on-line voting reliably. No disinterested IT security expert would advocate such a move. In fact, even the security of systems not online is problematic: the evidence for this lies in the fact that statistically everyone in the world whose data has been computerized has had some or all of their details stolen - at least twice.
SMB (Savannah)
@anupam I doubt it although you propose a reasonable solution. On this comment board alone, elaborate conspiracy theories are posted trying to explain away the 6 million vote lead Biden received. Some people need tangible old-fashioned evidence, and even then will refuse to “believe” it if their cult god tells them not to.
Dominic (Texas)
Counting votes, one by one, is a mastery of the mundane. However lacking in excitement, it is plentiful in authority. We answer to the voice of the people, and may they be freely heard. This re-engineering of voter suppression claims illegitimacy, undermines elections with inadequate funding, and then files frivolous, baseless lawsuits. It is an enemy to our democracy on multiple fronts. Those who use its tactics are contemporary and domestic threats to our freedom.
God sense (United States)
Thank you fellow gold medal citizens, all 79,843,207 (and counting) who voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The silver goes to Chris Krebs, former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (recently fired by Donald Trump). The bronze goes to all election officials and workers around the country who ran fair elections no matter what stripes each of them had nailed to their masts.
L osservatore (In fair Verona, where we lay our scene)
@God sense - - - How much cash are you really willing to bet that 79 million human beings actually voted for Biden after his hardly campaigning or even taking questions at all? Or even 65 million? Or even 50 million?
God sense (United States)
@L osservatore Thanks for reaching out. Soon enough it will be over 80 million. L osservatore, I listen to election officials, secretaries of states, and judges, not conspiracy theories, and not unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. I have a background in science and mathematics. Living in opposition to truth by marinating in conspiracy theories and social media rabbit holes isn't my idea of good civics. I believe passionately in the tenets of democracy. Be well.
rd (dallas, tx)
Now is not the time to celebrate democracy but to sound the alarm. Not only is Trump attempting to overturn the will of the people but the Republican Party is complicit in this assault on our democracy. We see what he is doing in Michigan and the GOP is going along with it. The media must start sounding an alarm and quit assuming that right will prevail. What if Biden had led the electoral college by only one GOP controlled state? We would likely be having a Trump second term and the GOP would be fine with that. Do not celebrate, sound the alarm.
Uncle Ron (Cleveland OH)
@rd You are absolutely right. This fight is not over yet by a long shot. Trump's lawyers will appeal many of the adverse court rulings until one or more controversies reaches the US Supreme Court. Will the Electoral College be able to function? Will the election be thrown from that body to the Republican controlled state legislatures? There are many hurdles ahead before this election can be celebrated with certainty.
Richard Cox (Piedmont. AL)
@Uncle Ron IF Trump somehow convinces state legislators to ignore the will of their voters, can we trust Congress to do the right thing? I certainly don’t trust them. They would subvert our democracy to stay in power. In that case, the “grand experiment” of our form of government will have failed. Can you imagine what the consequence of an illegitimate presidency would be? Could we depend on a free press to continue to criticize government affairs? Those who make critical comments here might have to fear for their freedom and safety. Perhaps I am being irrational in my fears, but I never thought that this could occur in my lifetime of 69 years. Do I need to find another country to live in? I wonder.... If Trump subverts our democracy, then 80,000,000 people need to take to the streets. We cannot allow this to happen!
John B (UK)
@Uncle Ron Fortunately, it seems unlikely that SCOTUS will take any cases unless forced to (by, say, country-wide mass rioting). The have nothing to gain - they have their conservative majority - everything to lose reputationally (people have not forgotten the shabby 2000 decision), and have much bigger fish to fry, like Roe v Wade. The exit of Trump would be an acceptable collateral loss.
larry bennett (Cooperstown, NY)
Yes. Tens of thousands of American citizens of all stripes worked to make this election as fair, just, and equitable as possible. Yet those same tens of thousands had to work against the massive money of big corporations, PACs, and wealthy individuals who want to smash fairness, justice and equitability, all in the name of acquiring even more big money. They are not even remotely interested in Democracy. Kleptocracy is their preferred political system.
Dean Fiora (Mansfield Center, CT)
In the minds of Trump supporters, that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud simply means the conspiracy is deeper than they thought.
Bruce1253 (San Diego)
Trump has now crossed over into election interference, he must be stopped. I believe there is a way; the various State Attorney Generals must issue a warrant for his arrest on election interference. This will accomplish several things: It will put Trump on notice that there are lines even he cannot cross. If his is busy defending himself he will have less time to cause trouble with elections. Lastly it will test the legal theory that the President is immune from any legal suit for any action he takes while in office. Trump is not really trying to win, he is trying to cause as much destruction as possible in the time he has left. It is time we pushed back and pushed back hard.
Bruce1253 (San Diego)
@Bruce1253 Another way of pushing back against Trump. There are reports that the Michigan lawmakers who were invited to a meeting at the White House in order to get them to overturn the election, stayed at the Trump Hotel and had a very expensive dinner. If the lodging, food and booze was comped on Trump's orders, then that could be attempted bribery of a State Official in addition to Election Interference. Since Trump never sold his company or put it into a blind trust, he was acting not as President, he was acting at the CEO of Trump Corp in attempting to bribe a government official. If this is true it exposes him to legal liability. At a minimum this should be investigated to find out what exactly happened and who paid for the lodging, meals and booze.
Ed (WI)
@Bruce1253 Looks like an excellent idea to me. What do the lawyers have to say about its merits?
RjW (Chicago)
While there’s much to be admired in the nuts and bolts/ grass roots stability of our election system, all of it might still be trumped by the dark force of money. As moral virtues of every type become more and more scarce, the foundations of democracy become eroded and undermined.
Life Traveler (AH)
I'd say there is no better doument anywhere on earth that sets out the fundamental truth of humanity so elegantly and so beatifully in that all humans are created equal, like the US Declaration of Independence. The question is how that self-evident truth reconciles with the fact that some voters had waited for 11 hours to cast a vote in last election. While it might be accepted as unavoidable in perhaps a third world country of early last century, it's really an INSULT to even imagine that it happens in the same country that has the technology and knowledge to remotely control a probe on a planet millions miles away from Earth. The alternative answer is DELIBERATE voter suppression. Pure and simple.
Ski bum (Colorado)
The nation pushed the envelope this election in terms of mail-in balloting and early voting. Both strategies were so successful they left trump flat-footed and at a loss on how to effectively attack their results. These two wins dear editors are the pinnacle successes of this election. Yes turn out was high, folks voted and the majority was heard but these are not monumental results. This country has achieved success like this many times in previous elections. The challenge now is how best to franchise every potential voter through mail-in and early balloting, and overcome the inevitable attacks by the Republicans over the next two years to suppress these wins from the 2020 election.
expat.de (germany)
In any western country EXCEPT the U.S. a voter turnout of only 2/3 rds would be taken as a sign that something is seriously wrong with the System.
Sgt Schulz (Oz)
“ Professional sports teams offered up their empty arenas so voters could safely cast ballots in person.” That’s nice of them, but aren’t most sports arenas some kinda local boondoggle, where the taxpayer chips in for construction, land grants, tax holidays etc all based on some cooked up business case to show the great financial benefits to the community? I would have thought it’s the least the teams could do.
Twg (NV)
57 years ago today, John F. Kennedy was brutally assassinated in Texas while making essentially a campaign swing through the South with LBJ's support and urging. I will never forget that day. I lived in Dallas at the time and I well remember the fear and horror that catapulted thru the city when news of the shooting spread like wildfire thru the city. I was only a child but I will never forget the ashen pallor of my teacher's face when she solemnly addressed our primary class to inform us of the tragedy. Fear dominated every aspect of that day, much like 9/11. My father, who voted for NIxon, was shocked. His first expression that I remeber was, "Oh my god!" It truly rattled him. My mother, who voted for Kennedy was devastated. I was so young, but I could sense from both parents that they feared American democracy was under attack. I bring this up because the Kennedy/Nixon election was the first time I was awakened to the process of voting: the 1st time I ever entered a voting booth. My mom took me with her to vote. I mention it too because I want people to remember that although our nation had divisions and racial strife, we came together as a nation and managed to pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act. LBJ was able to get Congress to respond. Country came before partisanship. We need representatives who are willing to work across the aisle in the same manner today. Trump is not that sort of leader, and it's past time for the GOP to recognize it.
Regulareater (San Francisco)
@Twg We also seen a Supreme Court who will not step in and gut sound legislation intended to protect voters and our democracy.
Long-Term Observer (Boston)
Trump appears to be trying to get through legislators what he has failed thus far to get through the courts. The taxpayer-paid junket to Washington on Friday evening by republican Michigan legislators is apparently part of his strategy.
Kristin (Houston, TX)
"The United States needs members of both major political parties to support voting rights and access to the polls . . . " Both political parties? I used to believe the Democratic party was truly interested in voters' rights and achieving free and equal elections but now I know they just want to bend the rules their way so they can win. Ds and Rs actively thwart democracy by blocking third party ballot access. Third parties are are supposedly "spoilers" because Ds are "owed votes." Their input and competition is not welcomed. After the Bernie fiasco and the DNC shoving Joe Biden through at all costs when half the Democratic candidates magically dropped out just before Super Tuesday, leaving him the only guy standing, I harbor no illusions of either party truly being interested in democracy. It's about winning, not morality.
SMB (Savannah)
@Kristin It’s not just Trump who needs to take a step back and realize that millions of voters have expressed their will through their votes. As to the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party, it was instrumental in changing the party platform. The Republican Party decided not to publish a platform at all since it is now owned by Trump. There is an enormous difference between the parties. But basically, be like Bernie and support Biden if you don’t want Trumpian destruction to continue. That’s what responsible voters have done.
Dean Fiora (Mansfield Center, CT)
@Kristin: "It's about winning, not morality." All the morality in the world won't mean a thing if you lose the election.
The election seemed insurmountable, between concerns about Covid, voter disenfranchisement efforts, and Trump’s ceaseless lies about fraud. Now, we have the daunting task of finding ways to be united citizens when tens of millions of Trump’s supporters don’t even trust the election outcome or the integrity of our system.
Glenn Appell (Oakland CA)
Thank you for remembering that it was true American patriots of all political persuasions that made this election a remarkable success! If you have any doubt about the results of the election remember that our current president, who's days are dwindling, fired his own election security official, Chris Krebs, who's job was to monitor the safey and integrity of the election. I guess as far as our soon to be ex president was concerned, he did his job too well. Its time for Mr Trump to admit that he too IS FIRED!
Howard (California)
The editorial is accurate. Yet from an electoral college standpoint it was a close call. To close for comfort. As long as Trump is free man, he will continue to be a threat to our democracy, whether in or out of office and cast a dark shadow over the country. He has a sixth sense for sensing what appeals to people's basest instincts and no inhibitions about exploiting whatever issues advance his personal agenda. Hopefully, the ongoing investigations in New York and any future investigations into his affairs, will result in his being thoroughly discredited and removed from the stage. This next chapter should be pursued as aggressively as possible. He has earned it.
Robert (Out west)
Trump’s an idiot, and this election was won by the good guys because the good guys prioritized. First, throw that...person out the door. Literally. Preferably in a high, ballistic arc. I recommend a trebuchet but that’s just me. Get that straightened out, and then work on other stuff. Because then, other stuff is primary: Trumpy’s sad fate is tertiary at best, as are the childishnesses of revenge.
EaglesPDX (Portland)
"The United States needs members of both major political parties to support voting rights and access to the polls — not just because they believe it helps democracy, but because they believe it helps them." No! Just because it helps democracy. That's it. That's what all elected officials owe the country. It may well hurt them but then that's what it takes for honest and fair elections.
P Foltz (NC)
I am so grateful for these people who worked so hard to hold a safe, secure election during a global pandemic. Thank you!
Bob (Hudson Valley)
One downside of the election results was Republicans did well in state legislature races which means in 2021 there will be a lot of gerrymandering just as there was in 2011. In future votes for the House Republicans will again have the opportunity to choose their voters rather then the other way around. In general this will result in blacks having less representation in the House then would have if voter districts were drawn faairy. There will be efforts by Democrats to prevent this gerrymandering but it will be a difficult task in a number of states where the Republicans control the legislature.
Jersey John (New Jersey)
I am VERY proud of our election, and I'm deeply gratified that it was an election that caused our regime change. Impeachment -- deserved though it may have been, and constitutional though it may be -- remains a slightly extra-democratic process, and does not have the righteous weight or impact of 90 million Americans saying, "enough!" I'm worried but not discouraged at the outrageous behavior of Trump, Giuliani, Graham et al. After all, we knew or should have known this was coming. But what I did not know until now was that the heart of democracy beat in Republicans like Raffensperger in Georgia and Al Schmidt in Philadelphia, who came to the aid of their country when it mattered most. I was wrong to give up on everyone on the other side of the aisle. I will never to do it again. This miracle has made me proud to be an American again.
Dashue (Pittsburgh)
@Jersey John You are right to give an honorable Republican a second chance and even kudos when deserved. Just don't ever vote for one. Ever. Not in this lifetime.
Mary Jane Timmerman (Richmond, Virginia)
Kudos to all of the poll workers. And kudos to the postal workers; the USPS. They were openly attacked by the Trump administration and never deviated from their duty. At this time of year, I send my thoughts of gratitude to all of you. Happy Thanksgiving
The election was fundamentally flawed by candidate suppression by Democrats. By mobilizing to wipe out the Green Party in every battleground state they could, they deprived voters of choice. Meanwhile, votes for Libertarians were the difference between a Biden win and a Trump loss. It's important to call out Democrats for their own suppression game, whether it be targeting third party candidates or promoting suppression polls with their friends in the media. The distortions in polls promoted by the leftwing media sought to sap the energy of Trump supporters. After the fact, they proved wildly inaccurate, but the damage had already been done at that point. Nevertheless, President Trump gained 11 million votes versus his 2016 election, unlike Obama who lost 4 million votes from his initial election.
Taiyi (San Francisco, CA)
@TL Exactly. The NYT and other Dem cheerleaders will never talk about how the Democratic Party used legal trickery to take off Green Party from ballots in a dozen different states.m And you are correct, the votes for Libertarian Party in many states are often greater than the margin between Trump and Biden. Basically, if the Republicans suppressed Libertarians like the Dems suppressed Greens, they could have possibly won the Electoral College.
Robert (Out west)
The fact that your approach to all this, and your lust for power, are essentially the same as Trump’s really ought to bother you.
Robert (Out west)
Thanks. Now that you’ve sneered at our first black President, I can put you and the Greens in the drawer marked, “Useless jeremy whoosits knockoffs,” and go looking for honest folks. May Paul Wellstone have mercy on your soul.
Lonnie Anixt (NYC)
Future historian will marvel at this great American accomplishment , it was common everyday Americans who saved democracy nearly 80 million of them. It was Lincoln who said it best, in the tradition of great American Presidents who through the years advanced the cause and helped define democracy, these men of personal decency with the gift of foresight who understood how vitally importance the dream of democracy was too the world. Democracy has always been that shining light visible from every corner of the earth which puts hope in every human heart where ever they may be : “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Lincoln write those words knowing that one day a man like Trump would find a way into the seat he then held and such a man could destroy democracy . His words still live as does democracy . Well done everybody.
Alberto Abrizzi (Bay Area)
We didn’t “save” democracy. We “did” democracy. Trump, maybe, left unchecked, would prefer dictatorship. But besides our anxiety, I don’t believe it was ever a threat. Now, we need one GOP Georgia senator to keep the morally-inspired progressives in check.
ManhattanWilliam (New York City)
While the LOGISTICS of the recent election seemed to go very smoothly, I can nevertheless not look at it as anything other than a bittersweet exercise in democracy. YES, Trump was beaten and Biden received more than 6 million votes than the criminal-gangster BUT control of the Senate seems like a dream not about to come true. One has to ask that IF Democrats, even after all the smut of the Trump and Co. years was unable to achieve a Democratic majority then WHEN WILL THEY EVER? NO, it's not because the Democrats fielded bad candidates but rather because 47% of the country's electorate approved of the assault on freedom and justice that the GOP inflicted these past years. So I am not heartened by the idea that this country has a good future ahead. Rather, I think we are doomed to gridlock where few to none of the necessary laws will get passed and our continued decline will only continue, albeit at a slower pace with Biden than it would have with another term under "that other candidate". So the results are certainly bittersweet. GREAT? Hardly.
Pheasantfriend (Michigan)
@ManhattanWilliam I feel the republicans do a better job of selling that they are better job creators and they gave the 1200$check when it was all the work of Republicans their adds are much more hard hitting imho
John (Southeast)
I consider myself a Republican, although I did vote for Joe. I think he’s what the country needs right now, and his steady hand can guide us in the short term through the pandemic and the long term through the immense division in this country. That said, I am increasingly terrified for what Trump has done to the country. His election misinformation and lies should relegate him to the doldrums of American publicity along with Giuliani and his enablers. I think within the next week we will see major Republican leaders voice their support for a timely and orderly transition.
Uncle Ron (Cleveland OH)
@John I sincerely hope you are right about the Republican leaders supporting an orderly transition. Unfortunately, that will have little or no effect on Trump continuing to move forward with his bid to throw the election into chaos. He will never, ever concede that he lost this election.
Kevin (CO)
@John Hopefully....
Grove (California)
@John Too little too late for those Republicans. If the Trump coup would have gained steam, they would have all been on board. They all chose Trump over America, the Constitution, and the rule of law during the impeachment trial. They sold out the country. Don’t ever trust them again !!! They are not patriots, they are opportunistic grifters. https://youtu.be/-vZp3FAQZvU
Frank Roseavelt (New Jersey)
A great accomplishment given the forces trying to disrupt a fair election, but sadly also only a small step in once again making public policy the purview of serious people.
CK (Christchurch NZ)
All of Trumps enablers are just as bad as Trump. People died for the right to vote and for Democracy. It is very easy to tear down a building and it's foundations like Trump is trying to do to our Democratic Constitution; and takes a lot more blood, sweat, and tears to build a truly democratic nation where the person who didn't win the election concedes graciously.
jules (California)
It's true. It was a great election, against all odds. That the work paid off in a clean election was actually a shock to me. Despite DeJoy at the postal service, despite Trump constantly throwing shade on the process prior to Nov 3rd, despite the pandemic and despite using mail-in ballots. Turnout on both sides was historic. Bravo to the American voters. It's too bad the President is such a sore loser and it's sad he cannot thank the hard working poll employees and volunteers.
A Dot (Universe)
@jules - Trump’s refusal to leave office is the sign of someone far worse than just a sore loser. It’s the sign of a dictator who will do anything to retain governmental power.
Imperato (NYC)
@A Dot precisely....way beyond a sore loser...this is a dictator trying to overturn a fair election ousting him from power.
That's What She Said, Or He Said (The West)
This American Democracy works like the electricity in our 100 year old home growing up. You couldn't toast bread and run the washing machine at the same time. As long as Electoral College is intact, we hold our breath the toaster won't explode every election. Rescind the Electoral College and restart the House of Representatives actually adding more Representative to accurately reflect growing state populations. America needs to pop the hood and recharge Democracy.
AnotherCitizen (St. Paul)
This Editorial is both premature and naive. The election isn't over until the legal winner takes office. There are many formal--legal and administrative--steps that need to happen for that to occur consistent with what most people consider the legitimate, accurate outcome--Biden won. The naivete is additionally demonstrated in the focus on the popular vote. Presidents are elected by the Electoral College, and they have not voted yet. Biden winning the Electoral College, that win being certified by Congress, and him being sworn-in on January 20, 2021 is when the work is done; that’s when the small-d democratic payoff is delivered. Unfortunately, we are still in a period of tremendous uncertainty about whether our democracy really did work this time.
AnotherCitizen (St. Paul)
@Mark You misread. I wrote and meant nothing about popular votes and recounts. To repeat myself: It's not a success of democracy until Biden is sworn in. Unfortunately, for that to occur there are multiple things that need to happen first--Electoral College voting, Congressional certification, etc. Trump and the Republicans can still prevent this election from being a democratic success. This Editorial overlooks all of that, hence, prematurely celebrating a victory that is not certain until Biden takes office in January 2021.
AnotherCitizen (St. Paul)
@J Richardson You've misconstrued my point. I'm not talking about fraud in the popular vote--there is none. But unfortunately, the popular vote is just one step in the democratic process of electing a US president. I'm concerned about formal things that Trump and Republicans can try to do to prevent Biden from taking office. The Editorial is counting a chicken before it's hatched: The real election of the US president happens by voting in the Electoral College. We don’t know that the final election result—who takes office—is legitimate and truly democratic until Biden is sworn in.
Mark (MA)
@AnotherCitizen I didn't misread anything. I clearly said there is no feasible path to change the outcome of the election. I didn't say there were going to be fewer steps. President Trump won't be able to prove any meaningful fraud so all his legal challenges will be shot down. There is no way any meaningful number of electors will switch sides. People need to stop imagining he's got "hidden" powers to change things. He doesn't.
nzierler (New Hartford NY)
I was proud to observe our community's team of volunteer poll workers who left their political opinions and preferences at the door, rolled up their sleeves, and completed their tasks with alacrity. That dedication is what made this, as Director of CSIS Krebs stated, the most secure election in our nation's history, and all those volunteers who devoted many hours of their time to ensure the process was carried out honestly and fairly deserve our thanks and highest praise.
H Pearle (Rochester, NY)
"Democracy is hard work. That work paid off." Let me suggest the "Democracy" song, of Leonard Cohen: "Democracy is coming to the USA" Let me also suggest that Donald Trump is helping democracy! Yes, I think he is helping by finding weaknesses, we must fix. It's Murphy's Law, for democracy: If anything can go wrong with democracy, it will. With Biden, we can start the work strengthening democracy. "Democracy is coming to the USA" Can the NY Times use the "Democracy" song to explain things? "Democracy is coming to the USA"
vishmael (madison, wi)
@H Pearle - L.Cohen, who departed election eve 2016, also left us "Everybody Knows" - lest in current elation one forgets the chronically potential dark side of any political coin or realm.
Indy970 (NYC)
This well-executed election is over and Biden/Harris won. It's time for all righteous people, democrats, republicans, independents, and libertarians, to call/write to their representatives and demand an end to this charade. The current White House resident and his keystone cop enablers are staging a coup of sorts; and, were it not for thousands of Americans dying daily from the awful mismanagement of Covid-19, this would be amusing. Unfortunately, their efforts to block transition activities border on negligence and are contrary to saving the lives they have sworn to protect. What's lost in all the political hyperbole are the immediate needs of the people - economic assistance, effective vaccination rollout, and a quiet Twitter period.
Karen Lee (Washington, DC area)
@Indy970, unfortunately, almost no Republican leaders will stand up to Donald Trump. It’s incredible that such an unqualified man has somehow convinced the vast majority of Republicans to support him, no matter what the heck he does. And apparently, what he does currently is to play golf and tweet his idiocy, even more than he did before the election. Presumably he still watches many hours of television each day, as well.
Juvenal451 (USA)
It would be nice of all US political parties would agree that facts are there to be checked and ballots are there to be counted.
Sledge (Worcester)
You seem oblivious to the damage Trump is doing with his baseless legal challenges and the refusal of the Republican Party to stop him. It seems to me that there is still a realistic possibility that these lawsuits will prevent certification in enough states so that the House of Representatives will end up choosing our next President. Each state gets one vote. 26 states have a a majority of Representatives who are Republican. Guess what?
hen3ry (Westchester, NY)
The results may not be in doubt but if Trump continues to attempt to subvert the will of the people and succeeds what does this editorial board think will happen? And given the lack of affirmation from senior GOP members of the House and Senate, it's anyone's guess. McConnell, Grassley, Graham, and others who are in power have not come out and said that Biden is the president elect, that Biden must, of necessity now, have access to everything the current president does, and that they will do the will of the people instead of what they wish the will of the people was. We voted on November 3. The election was called for Biden on November 7 or 8th. Trump has spent the last 2 weeks refusing to concede, to push for the release of the funds needed to pay for the transition, and filing frivolous lawsuits designed to overturn an election he lost in the Electoral College and by popular vote. Trump is guilty of sedition. He may even be guilty of treason. But he is, as of now, far more guilty of trying to subvert a fair and free election. If this had been Obama the GOP would have had him arrested, charged, and jailed. Trump gets a pass. This GOP ought to be ashamed of itself for not standing up for the people.
Kathy (SF)
@hen3ry With their support of the manifestly unfit aberration in the Oval Office, the Republicans proved they have no interest in the well-being of the American people. Again, they said, "Americans don't deserve a competent president." They saw in him their biggest opportunity to lie, cheat and steal as never before, and that has all they've done. They've done nothing to solve our many challenges, instead, they've made everything worse. Lastly, they have no shame. That's why they're Republicans.
David Jacobson (San Francisco)
@hen3ry Completely correct. Why doesn't the media admit that trump is guilty of sedition? Why doesn't the NYT have articles about that? If trump gets away with this criminal onslaught without being charged this country has become a joke.
Phil (Las Vegas)
@hen3ry You can't shame republicans.
David Veale (Three River, MI)
Yes, democracy IS hard work. Too bad we don't actually have one (we have an oligarchy, according to the seminal Princeton study on our country's government). When the will of the people is continually ignored in favor of the top 1%, there's absolutely no way to keep a straight face while calling the US a democracy.
RCS (Princeton, New Jersey)
This is my Cri de Coeur! We are ECSTATIC that the Biden-Harris team will lead our Democracy from January 20 and Trump’s tyranny is over. My wife and I voted by dropping off our ballots in the local ballot collection box as we didn’t want to take a chance with the postal service. Both of us feel a sense of accomplishment as we followed the advice of John Lewis as VOTING is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have. Currently, we feel HELPLESS as our country is hopelessly adrift, without any leadership, in the midst of this deadly pandemic, economic devastation, wildfires and heartbreaking racial strife. Like most Americans, we are despairing as the divisive and despotic demagogue in the White House is denying the election results in an effort to destroy our democracy into a dysfunctional dystopia. Trump’s nightmarish Presidency and GOP’s “Faustian Bargain” with Trump will live in infamy for ever.
Metalmom (NJ)
@RCS Yes, Faust does occur to one, but to my mind it’s more like the portrait of Dorian Gray. The ugliness on the inside makes them look uglier and uglier on the outside, specially that one. (I will never use his name again; may it be obliterated by history.)
Christine A Roux (Northwest)
@RCS Thank you. Defeating the tyrant from the inside is comparable to defeating the tyrant overseas. But we are not done yet. Democracy may claim victory for now, but until the Republicans are defeated on every front, Democracy cannot rest. When Hitler shot himself, the Germans could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Then the trials began of all those who enabled him. Some were executed and some spent their lives in prison. Such is justice. Methodical and precise. The Germans now are good people, devoted to freedom and justice for all. We are not there yet. But yes, for now, we can celebrate.
Jim Brokaw (California)
The election itself was conducted with great skill and dedication, by people who really take their oaths of office and the rule of law seriously. They have conducted themselves, and the election, with integrity and careful attention to following the rules and the law as intended. One candidate, having done what he could to soil in advance the public's perception of fairness and trust in the election results, is now engaging in baseless, evidence-less challenges, entirely designed to overturn the election, designed to invalidate the honest and factual results. Instead Trump, intends to discard the careful professionalism of the election officials, and the honest actual results, and recast the election in his favor, despite his actual loss. That he is destroying the basis of our democracy means nothing to him. Further, the Republican party, with dozens of it's major political figures, are going along with Trump's travesty, Trump's perversion of our democracy and democratic precepts. Trump and his Republican enablers would discard the basic foundations of our democracy to insure their continued primacy in power. This is fundamentally disqualifying. Republicans, by their complicity with Trump's illegitimate, unfounded efforts to overturn the outcome of our carefully-conducted, honestly counted, professionally executed election, are forfeiting their party's legitimacy, and it's right to continued political existence. Vote Them All Out. Forever.
rtj (Massachusetts)
@Jim Brokaw You have your work cut out, especially as you're dictating to the choir here. Despite the proclamations of the great oracles of the Ed Board (remember RIP GOP?), they don't seem to be going anywhere. In fact, they picked up seats in their own state.
DC (Maine)
@Jim Brokaw I have maintained from the beginning that the biggest terrorist in the world has taken residence in the White House. With their still deafening silence around his attempted hijacking of our election, the Republican Party has forfeited their right to participate further in the democratic process. A pox on them! What they are doing - still - is subversion and not so subtle at that. Democrats need to move forward forcefully and push progressive policies through with full force - and no pity for the enemies of our democratic system.
Guitar Man (New York, NY)
Sad that Trump has been carrying on like a spoiled three-year-old unwilling to accept his or her punishment. Not sad that we all get to see him lose a second time, when the electoral college votes are finally certified, and possibly a third, when he is forcefully evicted from President-Elect Biden’s future residence. Trump should know a lot about eviction. Except this time, he’ll be on the other side. I smell a reality TV show with upwards of three billion viewers worldwide...
fwfulton (Iowa)
@Guitar Man I can picture him lying on the floor stomping his feet and holding his breath; just like Opie, from that episode of Andy Griffith. I feel sorry for the Secret Service Agents that have to continue to protect him.
Hopeful Citizen (NJ)
The silver lining of this horrendous pandemic was that 100 million people voted on hand marked paper ballots, which are not hackable. I suspect that the fix, via Russian “meddling” that was in the e-voting machines in 2016 was deterred by both an awakened and determined IC in 2020, and buttressed by the mountain of unhackable paper ballots. Our democracy rests on a solid foundation of our elections. We should definitely continue to use hand marked paper ballots in all future elections.
SMS (Dallas TX)
Against all odds? - with the first pandemic in 102 years and mail-in ballots, I’d say the odds were always stacked in Joe’s favor. Had the virus never hit and the situation that prevailed in January remained – which saw Trump’s economic approval rating rise to levels not seen by any president for two decades – there can be little doubt that he would have flattened the hapless Biden on his road to a second term. But alas fate stepped in. . .
Bolshevik Pamphleteer (Victoria, Canada)
@SMS First of all, the author didn’t state that Biden won “ against all odds” , he said that it was a well run election. And it wasn’t the pandemic that cost Trump, it was his incompetent response to it, exacerbated by his mendacity on practically every other issue and his lack of character in general. He wasn’t just a bad leader for a president, he was a bad leader for a human being. This is continuing to be demonstrated every day since November 3.
jay (MA)
@SMS Yes Trump was able to take the take the stock market to the highest it had ever been. Just like Obama, Bush and Clinton. Trump lost this election because Americans did not like the way he handled Covid - 19.
Dean Fiora (Mansfield Center, CT)
@SMS: "Had the virus never hit and the situation that prevailed in January remained," etc. But the virus did hit. And instead of a proactive federal response, Trump called it "a Democrat hoax." Even after he could no longer deny Covid's existence, Trump's handling of the crisis ranged from bungling to malignant. Disease experts believe that under competent leadership, considerably fewer Americans would be dead than the 250,000 whose lives Covid has claimed. For that reason alone, Donald Trump deserves to be a one-term president.
Mom (Desert Southwest)
Nicely written. Imagine how smoothly well funded elections would go if both major parties did everything they could to make sure there were no barriers to vote.
jay (MA)
@Mom But if there were no barriers to voting the Conservatives would lose most every time. It was not just Covid 19 that lost Trump the election, a bigger factor was voter turnout.
Ann (California)
@Mom-The majority Democrat-led U.S. House "For the People, Anti-Corruption" Bill (2019) protections include: Make Election Day a federal holiday and require states to provide same-day registration and at least 15 days of early voting. Enable citizens to register online or automatically via driver's licenses or other government sources. Limit efforts to remove voters from rolls and prevent them from casting ballots. Require federal elections to use paper ballots to prevent computer tampering. Prohibit state election officials from getting involved in federal campaigns. Revive anti-discrimination provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Invalidate failing to vote as grounds to deny a person's voter registration. Expand laws regulating foreign & domestic lobbying and prohibitions on foreign political money. Mandate the disclosure of big donors behind politically active 501(c)(4) "social welfare" orgs. Require FB, Google (etc.) to set up public databases of political ad purchase requests of $500 or more and create measures to block ad buys by foreign nationals. Require the Pres & VP to release tax returns, file financial disclosures within 30 days of taking office, etc. Sadly it and 400+ other bills are stalled in Mitch McConnell's "legislative graveyard". https://www.npr.org/2019/01/05/682286587/house-democrats-introduce-anti-corruption-bill-as-symbolic-first-act
Juvenal451 (USA)
@Mom And agree that fact-checking is a good thing.
ChristineMcM (Massachusetts)
I wish I could be as sanguine as the Board about this election being as successful as it was. But an election is only as successful as the people believe it to be. Sure, things went more smoothly than I ever dreamed possible, with very little violence in the streets or at polling stations. Now, three weeks later, the nation is in chaos over that very same election, with lies sown by the president taking root so much so that a majority of his party believe the vote was fraudulent. Given that downballot Republican candidates did far better than the president himself, it's illogical to say votes against Trump were fraudulent while downballot Republican winners were legit. I can't see the post-election strife being a sign of having had a successful election. The only way for that to happen is that if most if not all Americans believe it to be.
Dean Fiora (Mansfield Center, CT)
@ChristineMcM: You can thank Donald Trump and the right-wing propaganda mill for those Americans who believe the election was fraudulent.
Bill W (VT)
Americans rely on the defeated president's goodwill to transition in an honest manner. That understanding and decency has been shattered by Trump. The new president should be able to start his or her presidency within a few days after the election, and the electoral college should be able to vote within that time period.
HapinOregon (Southwest Corner of Oregon)
An informed, thinking, participating populace is not required to maintain an authoritarian government. A democratic republic needs educated, knowledgeable and participating citizens in order to function optimally. Maintaining and governing a democratic republic is hard work.
Alberto Abrizzi (Bay Area)
That’s right. Education and intelligence of your breed will assure us all that our realization of a morally correct, fair and more perfect union is in your grasp. After all, mere plebes couldn’t figure out what’s in their own interests. The super-duper liberal Howard Zinn used to wince at how politics here have become so technical and brainy that mere citizens couldn’t be qualified to vote their own interests. These pages and comments (lots of ‘em) like these turn the page on traditional liberalism and have made it an elite, arrogant endeavor. I actually think Bernie gets this more than others.
Sophia (Upstate NY)
Thank you for giving well-deserved praise and thanks to the many brave and dedicated election workers and officials who made and continue to make an imperiled election happen. Brad Raffensperger and the many others who are upholding the laws of America are heroes.
nzierler (New Hartford NY)
As great as this election was, that's how reprehensible it is for Trump and those who support him to try to overturn the election results. Trump sees he failed in his legal exercises to overturn the election results and now he is desperately playing for time by ranting wild conspiracy theories. It is time for the Republican party to stand up and say the election is over and demand that Trump put an end to blocking the transition of power. Until they do that, the entire party is destroying what's left of its reputation by looking out for Donald Trump and not for the good of the country.
jazz one (wi)
From the article: "Same story in Michigan. “We have not seen any evidence of fraud or foul play in the actual administration of the election,’’ said a spokesman for the Democratic secretary of state there. “What we have seen is that it was smooth, transparent, secure and accurate.” Yet -- looks like Trump got to the local canvassing R members, and it also looks like they will deadlock and NOT certify the vote. Then what? I watch Wisconsin in much the same horror, unraveling in real time amidst a very disruptive and disturbing 'recount,' a very selective recount at that, knowing full well 'my' legislators will pick Trump rather than honor my vote. Yes, it was a great election in terms of amazing performance by all people acting in good faith. And still, it is teetering so closely on being tossed away. So, as a democracy, we are a failed state.
RamS (New York)
@jazz one Huh? The local R members have already certified and they cannot take it back. At the state level, there's no indication they will and the law is not on their side. What Trump is doing is wrong but it is up to the new justice department to hold him accountable or we should pass new laws constraining the future actions of the POTUS. Who would've thought we'd have a president like this. And 75 million Americans supported this man. I would guess about half are okay with our country being a dictatorship.
A Dot (Universe)
@RamS - Half of the electorate is not only okay with our country being a dictatorship, they are actively seeking to have it be a dictatorship, one in which we have no freedom of or from their fundamentalist Christian religion and all that will bring us.
Julioantonio (Los Angeles)
Trump is still refusing to accept the fact that he lost and lost the popular vote by six million. He still wants to stage a coup through the Electoral College and find a way, whatever it is, to overturn this election's results. I hope those electors are faithful to the voters' will. I know they say he can't do that, but I will only feel confident once that vote takes place and Biden is officially proclaimed president elect.
michjas (Phoenix)
True, there was no pandemic in 2016. And there was less turnout. But in the face of fear of tampering, Democrats didn’t even bother making challenges. 2016 was a comparably clean election at the polls whatever may have happened on Facebook. The point is that election officials were similarly successful. But there was no Board editorial celebrating that fact. It is obvious why the Board thinks this was a great election. Who do they think they are kidding?
RamS (New York)
@michjas 2016 had some minor issues like I guess with 2020 also but perhaps the number was a bit lower in 2020 - I think greater care was taken in 2020 BUT people accepted the 2016 decision at the polls regardless. HRC conceded, Obama invited Trump, etc. and there was a smooth transition (whatever happened on Facebook or in the justice department). 2020 was even better because of the volume and the increased challenges. Sure Biden winning makes this easier to see but I think if Trump had won by the same margins, we'd have seen challenges but a lot more democrats would've accepted it.
Jesse Wegman (New York, NY)
@michjas Hi, The board has made no secret of its feelings about the incumbent for the last four years, and certainly we took a clear stance on the choice Americans faced in 2020. We were as happy as at least 80 million other citizens at the outcome. Here, however, we are celebrating not the result of the vote, but the functioning of the election itself under extraordinary circumstances: a once-in-a-century pandemic, a sitting president who did all he could to undermine the process and Americans' confidence in it, and who continues to refuse to acknowledge the outcome. You're right, though: poll workers, elections officials and regular Americans deserve our thanks every election. In fact, nothing was stopping President Trump or his supporters from expressing that gratitude in 2016. Perhaps Mr. Trump forgot because he was busy laughing over "liberal tears" and declaring the election fraudulent ... even though he won it. In response to those baseless charges, this board did in fact defend the integrity of the vote, even though the candidate we supported lost the election.
Dean Fiora (Mansfield Center, CT)
@michjas: I must have missed that part of the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton refused to concede, screamed "voter fraud," and filed tons of frivolous lawsuits that were all thrown out of court for lack of evidence. I also must have missed the part where President Obama refused to invite Donald Trump to the White House to help ensure a smooth and orderly transfer of power. And I clearly missed the part where prominent Democratic politicians spoke out in support of Mrs. Clinton's toxic, persistent efforts to subvert the election results.
Twg (NV)
There is no doubt that groups and individuals who turned out and volunteered during a pandemic to ensure our elections were conducted as safely as possible and with professionalism do deserve high praise and recognition. Where I voted in person (choosing to do so despite a highly successful mail-in ballot program in our state)voters were thanking the volunteers running the polls after they finished voting. Recognizing this however, I agree with the NYT and others who realize that we need more funding and some stronger reforms to both guarantee our access to vote and to speed up the vote counting. We also need some tougher laws written to deal with a president intent on trying to sabotage the outcome of an election. In the eyes of the rest of the world who waited with baited breath on the outcome, the United States in many corners lost most of its stature as a stable democracy due to Trump's deranged accusations of fraud and his puerile attempts to overturn the election results. The statements I read by foreign correspondents and former officials who've been covering our election truly gave me pause. We are no longer a shining beacon, but a country no longer entitled to champion how democratic elections ought to be run. Trump's "vandal diplomacy" (quoting former Ambassador Sarukhan)made clear how much the US has bewildered the world by falling victim to Trump's malefaction. Biden has his work cut out to rebuild our alliances and stature. So too do Americans themselves.
Peter King (New zealand)
@Twg "In the eyes of the rest of the world who waited with baited breath on the outcome, the United States in many corners lost most of its stature as a stable democracy due to Trump's deranged accusations of fraud and his puerile attempts to overturn the election results." No. You have to replace "Trump's deranged accusations" with "75 million American voters' deranged accusations" to understand the reaction of the rest of the world. Trump is a symptom, as are his elected enablers, not the disease. The 75 million voters who support them are the disease.
A Dot (Universe)
@Twg - Long before Trump, people in many other countries have long considered the States to be filled with ignorant, stupid, violence-prone people. Many of us here in this country have felt the same about our fellow citizens. That 70,000 of us voted to keep as our leader a man as vile, vicious and destructive as Trump won’t change minds about the low level of much of our populace.
Twg (NV)
@Peter King The rise of authoritarianism isn't only occurring in the US. It's happening in Europe too. Yes, it's disturbing that so many Americans voted for Trump. Trump republicanism is a cult, with the developed media structures to elevate disinformation and propaganda. Having said that, it's also true that there has always been a segment of American society that are White nationalist with racist attitudes at its core. But not everyone who voted for Trump is a White nationalist, however that does not excuse their denial of that rot at the center of Trump's rhetoric. Fear mongering works unfortunately. And I will remind you of two things: Trump would have lost the election in 2016 except for the very broken,18th century Electoral College (which we must pass an amendment to permanently undo). As far as 2020, over 80 million Americans voted for Biden/Harris – a number larger than many country's total population. Biden will win with a 51% margin and a 7 million vote margin in the popular vote. That's historic. So don't count that part of America out. We also realize we have a lot of work to do, and reforms to implement.
Long-Term Observer (Boston)
It may be too early to declare success. Trump is still in power and refuses to accept defeat. Stay vigilant.
GordonW (Olympia, WA)
"That the meltdown didn’t materialize was thanks to months of hard work and selfless commitment by tens of thousands of Americans across the country: state and local elections officials, volunteer poll workers, overburdened postal carriers, helpful neighbors and generous philanthropists." Right. And you should have mentioned that seventeen million more people voted in 2016 than in 2020. 17,000,000. That is a lot. It looks to me like American democracy is a lot stronger than some people think (both on the left and on the Trump end of the political spectrum). A lot stronger. And that is because hundreds of millions of people run it and believe in it. And because even the most powerful man who ever lived (Pres. Trump) is really very weak compared to those millions. Thank God.
Dean Fiora (Mansfield Center, CT)
@GordonW: "And you should have mentioned that seventeen million more people voted in 2016 than in 2020." Not so. Voter turnout in 2016 was 138,000,000. In 2020, it was 161,000,000.
Andrew (Philadelphia)
"The United States needs members of both major political parties to support voting rights and access to the polls — not just because they believe it helps democracy, but because they believe it helps them." And the above (which I support) will happen how? Next, since the first Obama administration began in 2009, the GOP, while never the party of fairness, has gotten a lot worse. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, negative ads, outrageous accusations, and frivolous lawsuits have become more and more common. And Trump and McConnell are the main culprits. How and when will offenders be held accountable? Congressional rule changes, while optimal, seem unlikely, especially if the GOP retains control of the Senate. Short of rule changes, will morality ensure that the GOP does the right thing. Seems unlikely. If we get to a point when people who break the rules have to face the consequences of their actions, then things can get better? Unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath.
william hayes (houston)
Please don't overlook the massive voter turnout. It is a wonderful indication of what America wants. No President Trump, but a middle of the road government.
Dean Fiora (Mansfield Center, CT)
@william hayes: Most of the Democrats who lost their House seats opposed Medicare For All; most of the Democrats who were re-elected support it. So, does America really want a middle-of-the-road government?
CommonSense (Arizona)
@william hayes McConnell, Lindsay and the rest (to say nothing or our new Qanon appointees) are about as middle of the road as Alex Jones.
Clare (Northwest)
It comes down to local election officials, who have shined. Democracy with a little “d” is alive and well among local officials charged with running elections. The postal service did good too, despite efforts to hobble them.
EB (Seattle)
The election workers who pulled off this clean election under such difficult circumstances truly deserve our praise and thanks. Your hard work helps bolster my faith in elections (despite the worst efforts of Trump and Republicans). Maybe our democracy is not quite on life support yet.
Mama Bear (Baja Arizona)
@EB you’re welcome. I told our county recorder, when she came to our ballot processing center to thank the workers, that I felt it was a privilege to be part of the team working to make sure verified ballots would be counted. Otherwise, I would be disloyal to the memory of my father who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was a POW in Germany and went to law school on the GI Bill to make sure our freedoms were protected.
Londoner (London)
@EB Yes, election workers and officials deserve thanks, but as @Jim Anderson says here, it's dangerously complacent to let this election pass into history without a proper response to how close things have come to going awry - how they could yet go awry. This should be a wake up call to the desperate need for reform of much of the electoral process, in particular the electoral college system, the time that everything takes, and the lack of uniform federal regulation of voting.
Andy Hain (Carmel, CA)
@EB Heroes, every one of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You each saved millions of lives. Never forget that fact!
M Ford (USA)
As a person that voted for Trump, I think the best thing about the election is that the hoaxes and apocalyptic conspiracy theories promoted by the left did not come true. We had the hoax where the Post Office needed $25 billion to avoid bankruptcy and deliver the election mail on time. They didn't get the money, didn't go bankrupt and delivered the mail on time. We had the same hoax where states needed money in the last failed stimulus bill to run the elections properly. We had the hoax about how the police, long gun owners and white supremacists were going to intimidate Black people and Hispanics at the polls. We had the hoax about how Trump was going to sabotage the election through his perceived control of the Post Office. After surviving all of those hoaxes, we will get through the post election hoaxes about Trump refusing to leave office, using the military or private militias to overthrow the government and debates over the validity of certain court challenges.
James Mathis (Reading PA)
@M Ford You seem to be forgetting the hoax where an American President spends 5 years telling the American People that the only way he can lose an election is via massive cheating by the other side. When he then loses a freely and fairly managed election decisively, he tries to get his fellow citizens to believe in the "I can never lose fair and square" fantasy world he has taken such pains to create. Unfortunately, democracy depends on all of us having a little faith in our system of elections. Undermining that trust, in the absence of any real evidence, is the lasting legacy of harm that Donald Trump will have inflicted on his country
Blanche White (South Carolina)
@M Ford Trump was trying to.control the USPS. Do you not recall during Hearing in the House, DeJoy said he would stop the changes he was making until after the election. Remember those blue boxes on the trucks? Remember those counting machines that he dismantled during a year when the most mail in ballots ever were expected? ...and Judge Sullivan told him to put those back together and cease any more removals.? Remember when a mysterious order came down that elimated security for certain routes? It's good to get the facts readily available before calling hoax. What happened I expect this year is that a lot of people, recognizing the lay of the land, filled the breach. If Trump had had a little more time to get more of his cronies in power positions, like Emily Murphy at GSA, who should be signing off on the document that allows the President Elect to start the transition, then we would be in the midst of a Whitehouse hijacking.
RamS (New York)
@M Ford The post office still is behind by 150K ballots that were not delivered - that's an outstanding issue which wasn't needed thanks to Biden's victory but for all you know, those ballots could hold the key to Trump's victory. Though it is doubtful. The PO's operations did amount to "voter supression" as did other actions. Because there is resistance, no party gets to do 100% of what it wants. You're missing the fact that Trump is actively being resisted, which should NOT be the case. It's like the CFCs and the ozone hole. The "hole" has become a less serious problem. Why? People acted. Same with the Y2K. It wasn't catastrophic because people worked to fix it. In the case of our election, we don't need Trump taking pot shots at our democracy. Though I can see a silver lining to this (stress test) I think he is still a massive danger to this country.
Steven of the Rockies (Colorado)
Mr. Trump has been struggling with significant mental health issues for decades. Mr. Trump is going to require some medical attention in the very near future, if America is going to allow our Elected future president to have a full throated transition to prepare for 01/20/2021. Senator Mitch McConnell should testify under oath before a Congressional Oversight Committee why he, Lindsey Graham, and Emily Murphy denied the American people National Security & effective responses to the worst Pandemic in American history.
H Pearle (Rochester, NY)
@Steven of the Rockies It's not just about Trump... "Democracy is hard work. That work paid off." Let me suggest the "Democracy" song, of Leonard Cohen: "Democracy is coming to the USA" Let me suggest that Donald Trump is helping democracy! I think he is helping by finding weaknesses, we must fix. It's Murphy's Law, for democracy: "If anything can go wrong with democracy, it will." Now, Biden, can start the work strengthening democracy. "Democracy is coming to the USA" Can the Times use the "Democracy" song to explain this? "Democracy is coming to the USA"
CV Danes (Upstate NY)
@Steven of the Rockies: And Lindsey Graham needs to be investigated for election interference.
John Brown (Washington D.C.)
@Steven of the Rockies The contrast between liberal reaction to elections in 2016 and 2020 is priceless. Nothing to see here folks, great job, great election. We all know that if 80,000 votes had swung the other way in key states and Trump has won, you'd be crying Russia. Now will we all shut up and handout stimulus checks please?
Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 (Boston)
In spite of the maelstrom that surrounds the president's refusal to accept his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, we need, as a country, to take a deserved victory lap. The threat of authoritarian rule became real this year, not just a rumor throughout four years of Donald Trump's tenure. Way back in 2016, when the candidate-who-would-be-president told interviewers that he might not accept the results of a "rigged election," thereby freeing genie threat of a new kind of president from the bottle, we were warned that, if Donald Trump succeeded in beating Hillary Clinton, we could never return to a relaxed and careless assumption that previous elections' results were prologue to an expected peaceful transfer of power. Even as we speak, the president, cornered and angry, denies his defeat. He is summoning every argument, absurd or non-existent, to his command. He is obviously attempting to disenfranchise voters and to discourage citizen participation and the acceptance of election results. We have seen how dangerous this can be; enough of us were frightened or hardened to a patriotic resolve to turn out an unworthy president who harbored unworthy responses to the will of the electorate. So, yes, we did our jobs and the various certifying boards will tell us (or have already told us) that Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be our next president. It wasn't easy. Millions of voters were mobilized by an existential threat to what constitutes the American Way. Take a bow, citizens!
DaDa (Chicago)
Thank you poll workers and all who worked so hard to make democracy work this time. But in preparation of the next election, didn't Trump take an oath to defend the constitution? Doesn't his attack on the voting system constitute treason that he, and his Republican enablers, should be held accountable for?
Londoner (London)
@DaDa I think the answer as regards whether Trump's actions are treasonous is No - not yet. He's come very close in the pressure he's applied to election officials, but not yet quite crossed the line. If the certification process is allowed to run its course without undue intimidation in the remaining battleground states and the electoral college vote runs smoothly then that will still be OK. If the current delegate count remains the same - which it should - through that vote and Trump then starts participating in the transition process without further delay, then he's still in the clear. There are places where his actions could tip over the line though and he should be made aware of that. And while his actions maybe aren't yet treasonous, they are shameful. That so many of the GOP hierarchy are supporting him this far is truly disgraceful and deeply damages the party's reputation and the country's reputation overseas.
mother of two (IL)
@DaDa I think Trump has crossed over and is a traitor who stands in violation of our election laws. He brings in the GOP leaders of the State of Michigan and they leave saying that they basically discussed Covid. Does anyone believe it? Of course he was strong-arming these state officials. Trump is consumed with only ONE thing and that is reversing the election, broadcasting his intentions and strategies in tweets rather than paying attention at the G20. Golf is more important. Get this treasonous man out of office--what is he doing that is any different from the foreign interference we were warned about except that it comes from the head of our executive branch? He isn't working any more; he just calculates his retribution for the "Russia hoax" of 2016. He's been waiting four years for this. Let Biden come in the week after Thanksgiving. He is at least interested in the job and won't tweet from the loo and golf rather than address the pressing concerns of the economy, the virus, and the survival of the democracy. Benjamin Franklin's words have a searing relevance to today when asked what kind of government we would have, he replied, "a republic, if you can keep it". We are still close to losing it so don't exhale yet. January 20th can't come soon enough!
See also