From reporting from London via CNN Politics, Donald Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the 2020 election, and perhaps grip to the Oval Office regardless of its outcome, couldn’t come at a more tumultuous time for global democracy. According to Nic Cheeseman, professor of democracy at the University of Birmingham, “The problem isn’t just Trump failing to endorse democratic process, it’s that he uses the same strategies as undemocratic leaders to undermine the democratic process.”
“Leaders around the world really do look at the international climate to see what they can get away with. If you see that Trump is unwilling to promote democracy in other countries then backs that up by undermining democracy in his own country, the risk at play for you, say, rigging your own election is significantly lowered.”
Cheeseman makes an interesting point: if the disinfo that we illuminate on a daily basis is so easily gotten away with in America, could it not also go unpunished in other, less regulated countries? Trump and America both have an international microscope upon them at all times, yet such scrutiny doesn’t seem to hinder the President’s ability to lie and get away with nearly every day.
Another voice featured in the CNN piece, Dr. Jennifer Cassidy, a diplomatic scholar at Oxford University, states, “The truth is, that is where real soft power lies and he has done a lot of damage over his four years in office,” Cassidy said. “And while America’s allies might welcome a Biden presidency, seeing it as a return to something more normal, America’s enemies may arguably be much slower to view the Trump presidency as an outlier. If Trump happened once, then why would Iran or China believe someone like him won’t happen again?”
Concerns that Trump may legitimize or outright reject the results of the November election have been growing for some time, and they now seem to be growing more legitimate. The implications of his actions and how they are dealt with will have far reaching consequences. You can read the full piece and on the growing concerns here.