The transition period in the United States between the presidential election and the inauguration of a new head of state has traditionally been a time for concern about the country's stability and protection from external threats.
But never before, apparently, the level of fear has been so high.
Joe Biden is preparing for a new position. He is already congratulated on his victory by world leaders, including Ukrainian ones.
But there is one problem: President Donald Trump does not admit defeat.
The illusion of victory
Why is Trump behaving this way? What are his tactics and strategy?
First of all, it is possible that he himself believes that he won this election, and the Democrats are trying to steal his victory.
Trump exists in a space of almost adoration on the part of his supporters, he has gathered around him "yes men" (yes men) who are simply not able to bring him bad news, he listens only to those TV channels that support him.
For Trump, his social base is crucial. In fact, throughout his presidency, he did not rule the country as much as he was in touch with his base.
He is only interested in the level of support in this segment of the population, ratings and mobilization of supporters.
Trump has created a true cult of personality, which no predecessor has done.
For supporters, Trump is always right, he is a fighter against the system, the establishment, injustice. He's a kind of superman who just can't be wrong. Therefore, to admit defeat for him is not only unnatural, but also politically dangerous.
Remaining in the White House and not determining defeat, he proves his relevance, shows that power is still in his hands.
Through this prism, in particular, one can see the recent dismissals of Pentagon leaders.
Trump is trying not to be what in America is called a "lame duck" (lame duck), that is, a man who formally remains in power, but is already losing power.
Another argument in favor of non-recognition is that the longer Trump does not admit defeat, the longer he can raise money for his support.
Formally, the money is collected in the legal protection fund to refute "violations" in the election.
However, most of this money will remain at the disposal of Trump's election campaign, which, in particular, will be able to use it to pay huge debts, including those that accumulated during the 2016 election campaign.
Finally, non-recognition of the election results is important in the context of the delegitimization of power, the mandate of President-elect Biden.
This will help his opponents in the fight against the new president. In fact, Trump has been preparing for this for a long time.
The state apparatus is held hostage
The longer it takes to admit Trump's defeat, the later the normal process of preparing for the new administration will begin. Therefore, if the Democrat-president does not show quick positive results, he can be criticized for it.
Currently, Trump is using all possible levers that remain at his disposal.
An unprecedented "administrative resource" for the United States is being used.
The incumbent is putting intense pressure on members of the administration and the Republican Party to publicly side with him when he alleges election irregularities.
Leaders of the republican factions in the Senate and the House of Representatives have already made appropriate statements.
And while Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a more cautious statement and with some delay, some senators actively sided with Trump, including Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham.
They are motivated not only by the president's anger, but also by Trump's electoral base, which will remain after he resigns.
They simply have no other electoral base - the Republican Party has become Trump's party in recent years.
That's why insulting the president, looking disloyal, a traitor is something most Republicans can't afford, at least in public.
Pressure from the White House has prompted statements by certain heads of federal agencies. They also initially paused, but still took steps to support the president.
A cautious bureaucrat, Attorney General Bill Barr has released an unprecedented memorandum urging all subordinates to join in the search for election irregularities. This is quite unprecedented.
He was joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said the administration was ready for a smooth transition to Trump's second term. And at the same time he smiled broadly, giving everyone a reason to wonder if he was serious.
Meanwhile, Trump is cleaning up federal agencies, getting rid of less loyal people and replacing them with more loyal ones.
This has already affected various agencies, but the most attention was drawn to the dismissal of Pentagon chief Mark Esper, who has long been on Trump's "black list".
At one time, Esper disagreed with the idea of using force against peaceful protesters. He also supported the renaming of U.S. military bases, many of which were once named after Confederate generals in the southern states, and demanded a ban on the use of the Confederate flag on military sites.
Finally, Esper was not thrilled by the president's hasty and unexpected decisions to withdraw some American troops from Germany and now from Afghanistan.
It is rumored that the same fate may soon befall FBI leaders Christopher Ray and CIA Gina Gaspel.
The way to the White House
The normal period of transfer of power is quite important. One team is closing cases, the other is preparing to take them over.
It is a giant bureaucratic system. For this, in fact, this "window" was created in time for almost three months.
This is especially important in the field of national security. For example, Joe Biden should already be receiving so-called daily presidential briefings, but he is not receiving it yet.
In this context, the decision of the head of the General Services Administration (something like the Federal Administration of Affairs) Emily Murphy not to unblock the process of gradual transfer of power to Biden's team, citing the fact that she did not have such a team from the White House.
However, Democrats were well prepared for Trump's tactics, as they anticipated that he could behave in this way. There are plans, scenarios and even money raised for appropriate actions in court.
Biden radiates confidence and endurance.
The gap in votes in his favor is only growing, both in key states and in the country as a whole - here he has already exceeded 5 million.
In addition, the courts reject all claims of Trump's campaign for so-called violations.
Joe Biden himself has already announced a clear program of action, the president's team is being formed, in particular, the first appointment has been announced - Biden's old acquaintance Ron Klein will become the head of the White House staff.
Despite the fact that America is in a somewhat unusual state, the process of change of government is underway and must end in the victory of democratic principles.
Author: Vladimir Dubovik,
Director of the Center for International Studies,
Associate Professor of International Relations, Mechnikov Odessa National University
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