Here are 6 'fundamentals' that enabled the 'guardrails' of democracy to prevail in 2020: journalist

Here are 6 'fundamentals' that enabled the 'guardrails' of democracy to prevail in 2020: journalist
President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, senior White House advisors and senior military personnel, delivers remarks during a national televised address Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, from the Cross Hall of the White House, responding to the retaliatory missile strikes against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq on Tuesday by the Islamic Republic of Iran. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Although President Donald Trump and his legal team have been aggressively fighting the election results in six battleground states that President-elect Joe Biden won, the former vice president's victory has been certified in all of those states — from Pennsylvania to Georgia to Arizona. Journalist Eliza Newlin Carney, in an article published by The Fulcrum on December 1, argues that democracy's "guardrails" have held up in the U.S. despite Trump's efforts to overturn the election results. And she lays out some reasons why.

"The nation's brush with autocracy was troublingly close, and the damage to public confidence in elections could be lasting," Carney writes. "Still, it's worth acknowledging the guardrails that have held fast against the nation's severe democracy stress test, and against Trump's specious and ongoing fraud allegations. There's no guarantee these railings would hold against a more sophisticated adversary…. but the fundamentals of American democracy appear to have prevailed."

According to Carney, those "fundamentals" prevailed because of six "key institutions that upheld the law and relied on the facts" — and the institutions that Carney cites include "the military," "the states" and "the courts" as well as "the media," "the hardware" and "the voters."

Carney praises Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for declaring that the military would play "no role" in post-election arguments — and she also praises "the long list of judges who rejected Trump's election challenges," including "several conservatives nominated by Trump and his GOP predecessor…. who debunked the president's legal claims as baseless in the extreme."

Carney speaks highly of the "GOP secretaries of state who rejected Trump's false fraud allegations" as well as the media outlets that "choked the Trump campaign's Russia-style firehose of campaign disinformation with relentless fact checks." According to Carney, voting equipment also functioned as a "guardrail' of democracy, as did the millions of Americans who went out of their way to vote.

Carney explains, "The success of these and other democracy guardrails may be small consolation, given the extent of Trump's assault on the rule of law, the peaceful transfer of power and the basic right to vote. Trump has created a playbook for some future would-be autocrat to follow, election law experts warn…. But for the moment, at least, the system's guardrails have held."

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