One of the things that I most dislike about President Donald Trump is his authoritarian tendencies and his lack of respect for American democratic traditions and democratic norms. Over the past few months, I’ve been appalled at President Trump’s attempts to cast aspersions to mail-in voting, cut funding of the Post Office to weaken mail-in voting, his attempts to undermine the 2020 elections with baseless conspiracy theories,, and his unwillingness in the first Presidential debate to commit to honoring the results of the Presidential elections.
President Trump often talks about making America great again. What makes America great are its democratic values, The peaceful transfer of power is one of the great democratic norms that has kept our democratic republic healthy. George Washington, our first President, wanted his willingness to give up power and defer to elected civil authority to set an example for future Presidents. Washington saw his greatest duty as protecting the principles of our American democratic republic. This is the duty of all American Presidents.
Here is Hillary Clinton’s concession speech of 2016:
“Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country.
I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I’m sorry we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country…
…We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.
We don’t just respect that. We cherish it. It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.
Let me add: Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear…
…I count my blessings every single day that I am an American, and I still believe, as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strengthen our convictions, and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.
Because, you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that. You know, scripture tells us, let us not grow weary of doing good, for in good season we shall reap. My friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.
I am incredibly honored and grateful to have had this chance to represent all of you in this consequential election. May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.”