The peaceful transfer of power from one President of the United States to the next is imperative for the preservation of American democracy. Unlike monarchs or dictators, a President whose time is up—whether through term limits or the voice of the American people—works with the incoming President to ensure a seamless transition then gracefully steps down on January 20th.
President-elect Joe Biden, as of now, has secured 290 electoral votes—a number which is expected to grow once results in Georgia are finalized.
But President Donald Trump and his administration are refusing to concede defeat, claiming the election is far from over. They've falsely said that widespread voter fraud tipped the election to Biden and that Trump could still secure a second term of the presidency.
Trump's insistence on undermining the legitimacy of the electoral process instead of adhering to the results of the election has many of his critics alarmed at what's to come.
Those fears weren't allayed by remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a press briefing on Tuesday.
Pompeo told reporters:
"There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. We're ready. The world is watching what's taking place ... The world should have every confidence that the transition necessary to make sure that the State Department is functional today, successful today, and successful with the President who's in office on January 20th, a minute after noon will also be successful."
While the Secretary's chuckling indicated that he was joking, people were disturbed by his statement and the levity with which he made it.
There are growing concerns that the Trump administration is—however clumsily—trying to stage a coup.
Regardless of what Trump or his defenders say, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are fully expected to take the Oath of Office on January 20th.