On December 11, 2020 the United States Supreme Court rejected Donald Trump’s attempted coup d’ etat.
The Texas lawsuit basically argued that because of mail-in-voting, the results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were rife with fraud and should be overturned, thereby giving the election to Trump. The lawsuit wanted the High Court to allow Texas to interfere with election procedures in four other states. In our democracy, each state has the constitutionally protected right to determine how it runs its own elections. All four states checked and re-checked their election procedures and vote counts for fraud substantial enough to change the election. They found none.
All 50 states certified their election results. More than 50 lawsuits attempting to overturn the election were thrown out of courts across the country. If the Supreme Court had agreed with the Texas lawsuit, it would have created a complete transformation of our democracy into an authoritarian state by a “small group”, i.e., a coup.
While it was not surprising that Donald Trump attempted to over throw our constitutional democracy, it was a wakeup call that 18 Republican attorneys general and 126 congressional Republicans supported the attempted coup. It should also not be surprising that half of the 18 states (if you count Arizona, which fought on the Confederate side) were members of the Confederacy.
Our Civil War rages on. Race continues to be its driving factor. The Civil War was unequivocally about the “Southern” states wanting to keep and maintain a slave economy. If one examines the underpinnings of the Texas lawsuit, it becomes obvious that this too was all about subjugating African Americans. The lawsuit was aimed at targeting the counties in the four states that are predominantly made up of African-American voters. It was an attempt to disenfranchise black voters, just as the Civil War attempted to subjugate African Americans.
All 18 attorneys general are lawyers, as are a substantial number of the Republican congressmembers who signed on to the lawsuit. They all knew they were both committing sedition and involving themselves in an attempted coup to replace democracy with an authoritarian state. This is the country President Biden will inherit on January 20, 2021.
President-elect Biden has called for healing, which we desperately need. Healing, however, cannot begin until this insurrection is confronted. Not all of the people in the 18 states, or the constituents the 126 members of Congress represent, supported the attempted coup; nor are they racist. President Biden can, and will, do a lot from the “Bully Pulpit” to heal our national divide. However, the racism and breakdown of democratic norms that occurred under the Trump administration will not disappear after January 20, 2021. They are crises that threaten the very fabric which binds our country together.
President Obama delegated important national initiatives to Vice President Biden. Biden, in turn, should create a commission on racism and democratic norms and place Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in charge of it. She, a Black woman, having been the Attorney General of the second largest Department of Justice in the U.S., has the credentials to lead such a commission aimed at connecting democratic norms to the healing of America’s racial divide. While not all of our citizens, fighting in this modern-day version of the Civil War, will respond, enough to make a difference will.
The attack on our democracy we are living through is as important to combat as the attack from the COVID-19 virus we are living through. President Biden should confront both in his first 100 days.