When George Washington was asked how he would like to be addressed as the first president, he answered, “Mr. President.” There would be no “Your Excellency” or “Your Highness” in this new democracy. When the dwelling in which the President and his family would live was completed during John Adams’ term, it would be called The White House, not a palace nor royal residence. It was also called The People’s House for the simple reason that the People were the landlord and the President was the tenant. After F.D.R.’s presidency, the lease on The People’s House was officially good for only four or eight years. Then, the incumbent was out and the newly elected President was in.
America has always been considered the great experiment in governance. At the formation of our nation, other countries cynically said that this “idea” of democracy could never work. The “common man” could not govern himself and once an individual was in power, he wouldn’t let go of it. For well over 200 years, these cynics were proven wrong every four years.
To try to overturn or not accept the results of an election is perhaps the most undemocratic act a representative of the people can wage. When the southern states refused to recognize Abraham Lincoln as the newly elected President, they seceded from the Union and Americans fought their bloodiest war. Still, Lincoln in his 2nd Inaugural Address implored Americans to go forward “with malice toward none; with charity for all.”
The people have spoken in 2020, not only at the ballot box but also in the recounts and in the courts. These are our friends and neighbors, Republicans and Democrats, trained in election procedures, manning and monitoring the voting.
President George Washington would not even accept a second term because he was afraid of a personality cult arising around him. He wanted to show the new nation that no person was indispensable; the foundation and core value of the United States was democracy, not ever an individual.
When President Trump uses words like “election fraud” or suggest the use of force to overturn an election, he attacks our democratic way of life and he is acting like a dictator. His saying he won does not make it true. In the great history of the United States, there has never been an attempted COUP until now. I sincerely hope Trump accepts the results of this election and stands proudly on the podium on January 20 and wishes President Biden good luck.