It's becoming more evident by the day that partisan politics is rotting the republic.
Partisan divisions tug at the threads woven into the fabric of democracy. A failure to find common ground — or even agree to well-established and provable facts — from which a conversation can begin threatens to undo much of what's been done "in order to form a more perfect union."
Given President Donald J. Trump's propensity to mislead and deceive it is no surprise that he continues to rant about unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud. The Washington Post's Fact Checker estimated the commander-in-chief would log 25,000 false claims by Nov. 3 based on the average rate of 50 a day tallied during the final months of his 2020 campaign.
It was not shocking the president would continue to whine about a "rigged" and "stolen" election on social media while lawyers admitted to judges in courtrooms across America that no credible evidence exists to support these allegations. Election officials in every state, U.S. Department of Justice lawyers, and the Department of Homeland Security's cyber experts declared the general election secure and successful, yet the Trump administration continues to deny access to President-elect Joe Biden's transition team.
It is no surprise the president still refuses to concede his loss to Biden by an Electoral College margin Trump described as "a landslide" when he landed 306 electors four years ago. It is, however, stunning to see how many of his congressional cronies continue to abide by his antics.
Their willingness to coddle the president's fragile ego, justify his abhorrent behavior, or facilitate his feeble attempts to undermine the will of nearly 80 million voters works a grave injustice for all Americans.
The 9/11 Commission acknowledged the importance of an immediate and seamless transition to national security after President George W. Bush's transition was delayed by a protracted ballot count in Florida. That delay, according to The 9/11 Commission Report, impeded efforts to establish a national security team that might have been better prepared for the terrorist attacks launched by Al Qaeda.
The largely unabated assault of the novel coronavirus on American lives and livelihoods makes the need for an immediate and seamless transition even more imperative. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have taken steps to prepare for crises they will face on Jan. 20, but anything they do without access traditionally granted to incoming administrations will fall short of what is necessary to protect to protect American lives.
America's enemies feast on its chaos and confusion. There is little doubt of the delight they will reap from what Trump and his sycophants have sown.
D.E. Smoot covers city/county government for the Phoenix.