Every time a new president is sworn in, we celebrate the peaceful transition of power, the acceptance of a free and fair election and the turning over of office to another political party.
That’s how it was intended in the United States of America.
Article 1, Section 4 and Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution calls for “elections that enable the peaceful transition of power between factions.”
As legal scholar Lawrence Douglas points out in his book “Will He Go?” the Constitution doesn’t ensure a peaceful transfer of power, but assumes it. Clearly, the founding fathers meant for it to be.
Given the current political atmosphere, however, peaceful transition is in question. President Trump refuses to state he would accept the election results and has sewn seeds of doubt about the fairness and accuracy of the election, even though it hasn’t happened yet and little evidence of election fraud exists anywhere in the country.
That’s why lawmakers thought it necessary to pass a resolution to reaffirm a commitment to a peaceful transition of power. The Senate unanimously passed such a resolution last week and the House passed it this week by a vote of 397 to 5.
The five who voted “nay” were Republicans, includng Kentucky’s Thomas Massie.
The resolution states the House “intends that there should be no disruptions by the President of any person in power to overturn the will of the people of the United States.”
In a statement, Massie said, “This resolution was a disingenuous political statement meant to poke the President in the eye.” Then, he changes the subject: “Isn’t it interesting that speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and leader (Kevin) McCarthy didn’t have the time or political willpower to take a recorded vote on the $2 trillion bailout package that passed in March, but they’re now happy to vote on this tripe?”
In essence, Massie called lawmakers’ concerns for our democracy “tripe.” The fact is, the president has given cause for concern about his willingness to leave office peacefully should he lose the election.
Every lawmaker in this country should gladly support a peaceful transition resolution without hesitation and without regard to party affiliation. It’s a building block of democracy. Massie should be ashamed for opposing it in the name of politics and party loyalty.