US president Donald Trump departs after placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider as he attends a Veterans Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, the US, November 11 2020. Picture: REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA
US president Donald Trump departs after placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider as he attends a Veterans Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, the US, November 11 2020. Picture: REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA

Two days after the election President Donald Trump stood in the White House saying he was cheated out of victory. “It’s a corrupt system,” he told the nation. “We have so much evidence.” Two weeks later it’s reasonable for Americans to ask: where is it?

The obvious answer is that the evidence does not exist. There is no proof of widespread voter fraud, and surely not enough to overturn the results in a single state, much less the three or more states Trump would need to reverse the outcome.

The president's dogged refusal to concede and his refusal to allow transition processes for president-elect Joe Biden, as required by law, is tarnishing America’s image as the world’s leading democracy.

Statewide recounts rarely change more than a few hundred votes, and the Trump campaign’s “evidence” of voting fraud or irregularities has been thin gruel.

In fact, the entire thread of Trump’s case for keeping the presidency makes zero sense. Why would Democrats conjure up a scheme that helped their presidential candidate but cost them seats in the House of Representatives and potentially ruined any chance of controlling the Senate? 

In reality, the balloting was remarkably smooth, given the constraints of record turnout in the middle of a pandemic. A homeland security agency declared it the most secure in history with “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised”. International observers gave it high marks. No state election officials reported voter fraud. Nearly 80% of Americans, including half of Republicans, recognise Biden as the winner.

Some of the latest reporting suggests Trump will grudgingly exit office on January 20, even as he continues to insist the election was stolen and talks about running again in 2024. Already, there are hints of sensible softening within Republican ranks of support.

Trump was a sore winner when he prevailed in 2016, alleging falsely that Hillary Clinton benefited from millions of fraudulent voters, and he’s proving a sore loser in 2020. Republican leaders have a responsibility to make it clear to Trump that if he doesn’t have the evidence to show that voting irregularities or fraud cost him the election, the nation needs to move on. /McLean, November 12

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