After the results of the recent 2020 election between incumbent President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, many Republicans are echoing the same fears about voter fraud that their Democratic counterparts had four years ago.
Democrats thought that Russia intervened by hacking voting systems to favor Trump and also spread misinformation on online websites such as Facebook. Now, Republicans are talking about how the Dominion Voting System was used in Venezuela and involved with China as well.
Republicans are determined to show that Trump, in fact, won the recent election, while Democrats are insisting that Biden won.
But what effect will these investigations by Republicans have on the unity of our country? It is very likely that Trump and the Republicans’ attempts to overturn the results of the election will only cause more division in an already divided country. Not only will our politicians be even even less likely to work together, but the American people will be more divided than ever before.
According to a NPR poll released in early December, only 25% of Republicans accept the election results. This is undoubtedly due to major Republicans like Donald Trump continuing to insist that the election was rigged. However, according to the same poll, 95% of Democrats accept the results of the recent election.
Donald Trump is doing something very similar with his numerous tweets and occasional press conferences.
Trump has expressed concerns over the security of mail-in ballots because he feared that they could be thrown out if cast for Republicans. Trump has also expressed fear over signature matching allowing some people to vote twice, thus cheating the election system. There has also been concern over the possibility of Democrats using dead citizens to vote for them.
If Trump and the Republicans didn’t constantly push the election fraud idea, then most Republicans wouldn’t also be denying the results.
The denial from the Republican side will only worsen the division in our country. According to a June 2020 study done by Brown University, studies suggest that polarization among people in the United States is higher than it ever was before.
Regardless of the outcome of the Republican’s attempts to overturn the election results, people will be more divided because of these wild attempts. If Trump stays, then Democrats will think that their fellow citizens who are Republicans support a party that is anti-democracy. If Biden wins, then Republicans will think Democrat citizens support a party that cheated.
This will make it virtually impossible for people of different political backgrounds to get along, and things won’t be any better in government. If Trump stays then Democrats will likely try to do something like impeach him instead of work with their Republican counterparts to get things done, and this will be especially true if the Democrats control both the house and senate.
Similarly, since so much Republican support is tied to support of Trump, Republicans will likely be unwilling to work with a Biden administration. Republicans might instead try to impeach or stop Biden’s administration similar to Democrats back in Trump’s term.
Many Loyola faculty and staff who are involved in political clubs on campus or who have knowledge of government have different views on this voter fraud situation.
President of the Young Conservatives’ Club John Soza said, “There are certainly some irregularities that merit scrutiny. Investigating vote irregularities are not solely about Trump; instead, these investigations are meant to preserve the integrity of the voting process for elections to come.”
Conservative students and staff believe that it is only fair to allow an investigation of potential voter fraud after four years of Democrats investing Trump for ties to Russia.
Soza adds, “I am quite amazed that some politicians are unwilling to allow a simple audit of the votes cast. After spending the majority of the last four years investigating the baseless Russian collusion hoax, the least politicians could do is allow the votes to be audited and examined.”
On the other hand, however, liberal students and staff see the Republicans’ investigations as a foolish attempt to overturn democracy.
Member of the Young Democrats’ Club Senior Marco Gacina states, “The Trump Team’s efforts to overturn the results of the election are completely deplorable and moronic, and every Republican politician playing along is complacent in an outright attack on our democracy.”
Many people in the Loyola community also fear the previously mentioned divide in government and among citizens that could be caused by the Republicans’ investigations.
Social sciences teacher Paige Burkholder states, “Trump’s administration has always understood its role when it comes to the continuous division of the country along political lines. This division has been happening for decades before Trump, but dividing the country further was an important move to ensure his presidency.”
This divide is even evident among Loyola students with clubs like the Young Democrats Club and Young Conservatives Club, and the increase in political polarization as mentioned earlier.
Burkholder continues to say that, “The allegations of voter fraud by Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani are yet another addition to their plan of playing on tribalist tropes and, quite frankly, is expected.”
One thing is for certain: whatever the end result of the Republicans’ investigation, the American people and government will only end up being more divided and polarized than before.