Former President Barack Obama is concerned about the willingness of a majority of Republican party members to feed into Donald Trump's baseless theories that call into question the validity of the 2020 presidential election. In a snippet from his upcoming 60 Minutes interview, Obama insists that propping up Trump's efforts to delegitimize an election that he lost by practically the same margin that he won in 2016 could also have damaging effects on our democracy.
"They appear to be motivated, in part, because the president doesn't like to lose and never admits loss," Obama said. "I'm more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring him in this fashion. It is one more step in delegitimizing, not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally. And that's a dangerous path."
Regardless of whether his countless legal challenges succeed, Trump may have already planted a seed of doubt in the American people about the integrity of the electoral process. While we could believe that only his diehard base of supporters will be receptive to his outrageous claims, this perspective ignores the fact that nearly 73 million people voted for him. It should also be noted that he has 88.9 million followers on Twitter.
Obama is right that Trump is drawing out this process and creating fake narratives because he doesn't like to lose or admit defeat, but the byproduct of his selfish behavior with the help of complicit Republicans could create an air of distrust and cast doubt in the institutions of government for the foreseeable future.
Obama's latest book, A Promised Land, comes out Tuesday.