What a whirlwind of happenings! Too much to keep track of? It’s a lot, I agree, but maybe we can briefly organize it in our minds so we don’t just give up and ignore the whole mess—since I’m afraid that would be bad to do. There’s much significance for us all, lurking hidden in these events, the consequences of which will face us very soon and for years to come. So, let’s lay it out in terms of control in order to simplify it all.
1) On the one side is President Trump who is trying to control the election results so he stays in office. That’s all his efforts are about. It has nothing to do with anything for the American public—just about him and staying in office and in control of his destiny, regardless of what he and supporters might say otherwise.
On the other side is President-Elect Biden who is trying to get into office as president. He is having to control preparations for the job ahead and be patient in letting the proceedings of law, which control how this transition takes place, follow their course.
OK. That’s the most obvious layer of control efforts. Below these are persons and organizations which support both candidates in their efforts.
2) For Trump, these are the various persons he appointed to cabinet jobs, private and public lawyers, media persons, family members and friends, and elected Republican congress members. These entities are focused on helping him stay in office and influencing public opinion (besides having their personal control interests).
For Biden, there are advisors and potential cabinet appointees from past presidential administrations, private lawyers, fundraising organizations, media persons, friends, and elected Democratic congress members. These entities are focused on helping him maintain the results of the election by letting the laws do their job, planning for the transition to office, and influencing public opinion (and also having their personal control interests).
So, both sides are using similar persons and organizations for control but for different purposes. On Trump’s side, it’s publicly rather confusing how these are used since it doesn’t seem coordinated and has a weak basis in law. On Biden’s side, there isn’t too much publicly available since his intent is to wait and rely on the rules of the election process and is still gathering transition personnel and input.
3) Which brings us to the last level involved, you and me—the citizens of this nation—and the control issues this mess presents us.
The first issue is how do we control all the influence that is being focused on us, wanting support for one side or the other. Both sides have a lot of media and other organizations trying to influence public opinion, and this is where you can just ignore it all, or you can pay attention to it, selectively, if you wish. (This is something I’ve previously discussed at some length.)
In a way, you just could look at it as entertainment regardless of what you decide, since this level of effort will shortly disappear or transform anyway, and we’ll be left with the results of what happens at the top level. And that’s where we should pay attention because of the significance of the result.
So, the second issue of control we all face is what are the underlying effects of this dispute, and how do we personally deal with them. It all boils down to our trust in the fundamental basis of this country’s functioning: the rule of law as laid down by our Constitution. Our democracy is based on the belief and trust of the populace that our government at all levels will at least try to serve all persons equally.
Moreover, our democracy is also based on the common understandings of people regarding how we treat each other in view of those laws. If we don’t trust or believe in either the laws or respectful treatment of each other based on common citizenship, then our whole system of democracy starts to break down. The Constitution and derived laws can’t specifically address all aspects of life—and shouldn’t—so we have to rely on belief and trust of law and how we treat each other, as the glue that makes our system and nation work.
Yet, when we have a president who refuses to obey the law for reasons of personal control, then the message to all of the citizens who follow and voted for him is that they too can refuse to believe in the validity of law and trust of fellow citizens. Unfortunately, this attempt to control the election results seems to be the culmination of that very message which he has been sending by words and deeds throughout his presidency, and those millions who voted for him have affirmed that message, unwittingly or not. An unfortunate conclusion to have to make.
Accordingly, this is the pivotal consequence of this whole election whirlwind and is what we need to focus on and try to repair, as others have repeatedly emphasized for some time. What we do after the winner is all settled is crucial for the nation and each of us personally. The details of what is now happening during the daily contention for control pales in comparison with the job ahead.
Hopefully, this clarifies things a little.