The astonishing question that awaits American politics as we enter the last month before presidential elections is whether President Trump will accept electoral defeat. Trump has several times indicated that he may not accept the result of the November presidential election if he is defeated by his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.
On 26 September 2020, President Donald Trump announced his nomination of conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett for membership of the US Supreme Court to succeed the deceased liberal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, thus provoking a fierce battle in the Republican-majority Senate, in light of the strong opposition of Democrats to Trump’s nomination of a judge to fill the vacant position in the Court during the electoral process, considering that this right belongs to the winning president in the upcoming elections.
Nearly two decades after the start of U.S. war in Afghanistan, President Biden announced a full withdrawal from the region on April 14. In a speech from the official residence, he had initially set a deadline of September 11 to officially withdraw 2,000 troops and any remaining contractors. That deadline has since been moved up to August, with 90% of the withdrawal already completed to date, because of hastening Taliban gains and increased instability since May.
Insurgents have already captured 200 of Afghanistan’s 471 districts, including key trade routes and crossings along the Tajik and Turkmen borders. This faster than expected military advance of the Taliban will soon put pressure on the Biden administration to find face-saving formulas against accusations that it left Afghanistan at the hand of Islamist radicals after America has spent so much blood and treasure in the country in the last 20 years.
President Donald Trump’s order to assassinate Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, on January 3, 2020 has reignited debate between Congress and the President as to who should have the final say in the use of US military power abroad. The debate escalated when the Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives in the congressional mid-term elections on November 6, 2018, following which they have taken various steps, with the support of several Republican lawmakers, to restore the constitutional power of the legislature to declare war and to control the movement of US troops abroad.
The concept of the "October Surprise" constitutes an integral part of the US political vocabulary during the US presidential election years. This term usually refers to the occurrence of an internal or foreign policy event only weeks before Americans go to the polls in early November, which may affect the election result. The presidential elections in November 2020 entail higher risks in case of such an event, given the severe political polarisation in the US. The presence of a small number of undecided voters in swing states is likely to determine the final outcome of the election. It is also likely that the decision of those swing voters will come in response to their automatic reactions to last-minute developments.
The relentless efforts made by Donald Trump, the President seeking to win a second term in the presidential elections on 3 November 2020, to question the legitimacy of those elections, his repeated statements about the possibility of fraud, and the lead by his Democratic opponent Joe Biden against him in most national public opinion polls, raise the question about the scenarios of rejection by Trump of his loss in the November 2020 elections. This question has become the focus of attention of strategists in the Democratic Party and many legal experts after the President avoided providing explicit answers to this question until now, which leads to an unprecedented test of US democracy since the foundation of the United States.
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