Former US President Donald Trump’s denial of the results of the 2020 US presidential election has led to multiple disastrous effects
Trump’s denial and failure to accept that he lost and is no longer president has not only affected him personally, but the whole Republican Party, and perhaps the US. Under his leadership, Trumpism emerged focused on his cult of personality, anti-immigration, climate change denial and MAGA. Trumpism is still strong within the party, despite the perseverance of Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Congressman Adam Kinzinger to stray away from him. Therefore, this means that Republicans still support him and his election claim.
Figures from December 2021 by the University of Massachusetts Amherst show 25% of Republican respondents believe that Biden’s victory was probably not legitimate and 46% of Republican respondents believe that Biden’s victory was definitely not legitimate. This totals to 71% – a majority who believe Trump won. The Republican Party even officially censured Cheney and Kinzinger for serving on the committee investigating the January 6 Insurrection.
Why is this so dangerous?
This ‘Big Lie’ eventually climaxed with the insurrection on 6 January 2021. The Republicans’ failed to accept this as a horrific attack. Instead, they labelled it as “legitimate political discourse” and “a normal tourist visit”. This additionally paints a terrifying picture in the mind. This event seems to be the most impactful consequence of Trump’s denial. The reasons for this conclusion are that five people lost their lives and there is an estimated $1.5 million in damage.
The Trump presidency had a volatile atmosphere. Political violence and protests increased. One example is the neo-nazi protest (and subsequent counter protests) in Charlottesville that led to the death of an anti-racist in 2017. Another example is bombs were sent to CNN and notable Democrats in 2018.
What have US states done since the 2020 election?
Since the insurrection, 19 Republicans controlled states have passed restrictive voting legislation. Voter legitimacy and stopping voter fraud is their aim. The 2022 midterms will be the first nationwide election since the 2020 presidential election. One of the first effects of these laws occurred in Texas. The state recently flagged and sent back ballots for the March primary because they were in some small or big way incorrectly filled out.
These bills have also been passed because Trump and Republican voters believe that mail in ballots were the main issue in relation to voter fraud as to why Trump lost. Figures show 58% of Democrats voting by mail in 2020 largely due to COVID. This argument is flawed as Colorado has voted by mail since 2014, and it has largely been successful. Therefore, this poses a serious risk to voters whose vote depends on this system. They are either serving overseas in the army, clinically vulnerable, elderly or disabled.
Despite all the audits and recounts, Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election. Experts and local officials have confirmed this. Ultimately, it seems Republican states wish to suppress the vote, especially in big cities which often vote Democrat.
How does social media play a part in this?
Most social media platforms banned Trump in January 2021. However, a majority of the damage was done by then since he was only banned after the insurrection. He still has millions of loyal supporters who attend his rallies. Also, they follow his website and spread his message. Trump still regularly appears on conservative news media, such as Fox News, and websites, such as Breitbart. This shows his popularity and relevance in 2022, but he is not president so his support is slowly dwindling. Lastly, he is determined to let everyone know that he won the 2020 presidential election.