For centuries, the peaceful transfer of power from one President of the United States to the next has been imperative to the preservation of American democracy. Unlike monarchs or dictators, a President whose time is up—be it through term limits or an election—works with the incoming President to coordinate a transition, then steps down at noon on January 20th.
President Donald Trump's refusal to accept defeat from President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 election has Americans across the country fearing that this sacrament is under attack. In addition to false claims from Trump and his team that widespread voter fraud tipped the election to Biden, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joked that there would be a peaceful transition of power to a "second Trump administration."
General Services Administration (GSA) leader Emily Murphy is refusing to sign the necessary documents allocating resources like funds and office space for President-elect Biden to coordinate a transition.
Trump's, his administration's, and his campaign's refusal to accept the reality of defeat is a break with decades upon decades of American norms.
Whoopi Goldberg, American actor and co-host of The View, addressed the legions of Trump supporters claiming that the 2020 election is illegitimate:
"I want to say to all those people who don't believe that Americans actually got out and voted. Let me say this to you. When you-know-who was elected four years ago, Hillary Clinton didn't say, 'Hey wait a minute, this doesn't feel right. Stop the count. She didn't say any of that, so all of you, suck it up! Suck it up like we sucked it up."
According to Fox News contributor Howard Kurtz, the GSA's refusal to certify the transition of power and Goldberg's tough words on a daytime talk show are equal threats in "the politics of payback."
Kurtz expressed the sentiment in a tweet.
Kurtz's tweet linked to a column of his, in which he gives a play-by-play of the discord between the left and the right in the aftermath of the election.
His piece doesn't acknowledge that the right—from Pompeo's words to Murphy's refusal—is lobbing attacks from governmental positions of power, a far cry from the limited power wielded by daytime talk show hosts and even Presidents-elect.
People excoriated Kurtz for equating the two sides' reactions.
Some people sarcastically agreed with him.
Kurtz has since accused his followers of not reading the whole piece.