The Daily Gamecock

Head to head: Trump has the right to question the election

Despite all the backlash and usual detestation geared toward him, President Trump has every right to challenge the results of key battleground states in court and call for recounts.

Several days after election night, many key states such as Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania were called for Joe Biden, pushing his electoral votes to over 270. Many Democrats celebrated this and cited the president as being a sore loser following his announcement that his legal team would challenge the results of the race.

However, if one were to think back to the 2016 election and Democrats’ reaction to President Trump defeating Hillary Clinton, it becomes clear that this statement is hypocritical. Before ultimately losing, Clinton had asserted that Trump refusing to accept the results of the election was a “direct threat to our democracy.” However, protests erupted across major cities and college campuses for weeks following the results, where some groups even incited violence by breaking windows, setting fire to objects such as cop cars and American flags, assaulting police officers and blocking interstates. 

This kind of rhetoric and violence carried into Trump being sworn into office that following January. Democrats pushed then-Green Party candidate Jill Stein to call for recounts in states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan to find out if Clinton had actually been edged out by Trump in counties that had previously been blue. However, the recounts actually increased Trump’s lead. During this same time period, many went after the Electoral College because Clinton had won the popular vote. This escalated to pressuring Republican voters in the Electoral College not to vote for Trump through means of celebrity-studded commercials and even methods as extreme as death threats.

With Trump actually taking office in January 2017, Democrat politicians especially pursued various efforts to undo the results of the presidential election and to be rid of Trump. For example, many media outlets and liberals cited the 25th Amendment — which states that a president could be replaced by the vice president if he were to be found as mentally unfit or disabled for a given amount of time — as a way to remove Trump as early as 2017.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation — an effort to claim that the president colluded with Russia to manipulate the results of the election — cost nearly $32 million and found that President Trump hadn’t been involved in such collusion. There were several attempts at impeachment before the Democratic House of Representatives was able to do so in January 2020 with the accusation of a quid pro quo, in which the president asked the Ukrainian government to investigate corruption within the Biden family. Liberals rejoiced in this, failing to recall Biden boasting of withholding foreign aid from Ukraine unless a prosecutor was fired while he was vice president. This prosecutor happened to be investigating his son, Hunter Biden.

Granted, 2016 was a normal election. Add in the coronavirus pandemic, even more political polarization, hatred for each candidate and an influx of mail-in voting, and we are presented with this past 2020 Election that should rightfully warrant concern over inaccuracy. 

Michigan’s Antrim County was found to have a computer software glitch that flipped 6,000 votes for Trump to Biden before officials fixed it. Additionally, some observes on both sides of politics were denied access into Detroit’s TCF Center, where ballots were being counted, and an executive order from the governor of Pennsylvania allowed ballots to be counted even if they didn't have a postmark, so long as there was no concrete evidence that they had been mailed after the extended deadline of Nov. 6. 

People generally want this election cycle to be over. And while some cases of fraud have been found to be inaccurate, the nature of this election was so chaotic and unprecedented that the results should be reexamined regardless of its winner. After all, Biden’s legal teams were also prepared to challenge the results if Trump was found to have been the winner. 

Given the nature of this past election, it is extremely hypocritical for Democrats to label President Trump as being a sore loser for wanting there to be recounts of states because of their own reaction to the 2016 election.