Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Due to the different nature of this year’s general election, it was expected that many would show initial skepticism towards the validity of the projected results. Hence, the Trump campaign, with the support of the majority of the Republican Party, challenged the results in battleground states called for President-Elect Joe Biden, many of which, such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada, were critical in determining the winner. However, the claims were presented with little to no evidence of fraud widespread enough to overturn any state. Several authority figures in President Trump’s administration, including outgoing Attorney General William Barr and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency Director Chris Krebs, both Republicans and both have either resigned or been fired by an unimpressed president, have also acknowledged that no voter fraud to the degree that President Trump is suggesting actually occurred.
Most retired Republicans were quick to acknowledge President-Elect Biden. Former President George W. Bush, who incidentally didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 or this year’s presidential elections, congratulated President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris almost immediately after various networks declared the presidential election results.
Furthermore, several incumbent Republican elected officials have begun accepting the election results and beginning their transition to a post-Trump Republican party. However, the times at which such Republicans had accepted Trump’s defeat have varied, mostly based on how they associate themselves with the president.
Among the first prominent incumbent Republicans to acknowledge the election results was Utah Senator and former Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney. Appearing in various interviews since the election, Romney has criticized the Trump administration’s attempts to overturn the election while still affirming that the president has the right to conduct recounts to ensure the results’ integrity. In an interview with Shepard Smith of CNBC, Romney recalled his defeat against former President Barack Obama, saying that he “didn’t call fraud” afterward. Romney has been one of the few Republicans in Congress to challenge the president and was the only Republican Senator who voted to convict Trump during the impeachment trials towards the beginning of this year.
Moreover, Republican Governor of Maryland, which is traditionally considered a “safe” Democratic state, Larry Hogan — another Trump critic — has repeatedly stated in recent weeks that the incumbent’s determination to alter the results of the election have been an “embarrassment” to the GOP. In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Hogan said that Trump’s behavior is “bad for the [Republican] party, bad for the country, and weakens [America’s] position in the world.”
Hogan has been a long-time critic of Trump, particularly regarding his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has faced much backlash from the president on his signature social media outlet of Twitter recently.
However, most Republicans were silent on Trump’s challenges towards the election results. Although many stayed out of the issue (foreshadowing the transition towards a post-Trump era), Trump loyalists, including 126 GOP Congressmen, quickly came to the President’s defense. They supported this week’s highly publicized Texas lawsuit, denounced by several Republicans, including former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, to overturn the election results in other states.
However, after Monday’s electoral college vote, some Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer, have openly acknowledged the election results — though many have been acknowledging the results with reservations. That being said, several Republicans, including Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, are still yet to accept the election results and continue to come to the president’s defense.
Whether the post-Trump Republican party would return to the pre-Trump GOP’s traditional nature or continue with the Trump era’s wild nature is still yet to be determined. Some say that the Republican candidates for the 2024 election will not be unlike Trump, while others insist that the GOP would return to its traditional conservative style.
The president’s diminishing influence is also evidently likely to mark a transition back to normalcy for the Republican party, including about Trump’s false claims of a “stolen election.” In an interview with CBS Comedy host Stephen Colbert, President-Elect Biden disclosed that several incumbent Republicans requested him to “give [them] some time” in acknowledging the election results, considering the legitimate fear of attacks from Trump’s side, which have proven to be rather brutal in many prior cases.
As the Biden-Harris inaugural approaches, only speculations can be made concerning the future state of the Republican party and the political encounters likely to occur between a liberal presidential administration and influential members of the GOP.
Through Teen Lenses: What are your thoughts on today’s Republican Party compared to the pre-Trump GOP? What is your response to the refusal by some Republicans to acknowledge President-Elect Biden’s victory and the Republicans who have congratulated him?
“I think that today’s Republican Party is more hateful towards others who don’t agree with them which I don’t think was the case pre-Trump. As far as the Republicans who refuse to acknowledge Joe Biden as president, I somewhat understand why they won’t outright congratulate Joe Biden as president out of fear of losing Trump supporters which they need for re-election, but I think it shows a lack of leadership on their part and it is a danger to our democracy for them to humor trump in the way that they have. I don’t think that Republicans who have already congratulated Biden should be given any special treatment because that’s what they were supposed to be doing in the first place.” Amber Sadiq, 16, Rockville, Md.
Today’s GOP is mostly a cult. There are ‘decent’ Republicans here and there (like Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, etc.), but they are considered ‘decent’ because they are morally good, are not crazy and have a spine (which is a very low bar for the leaders of America). The Pre-Trump Republican party also is not good. They elected Tea Party members whose goal was to block and not compromise, even though the whole point of Congress was to compromise. To the Republicans who congratulated Biden, I think that’s good! Even though it was late (in usual elections, the ‘congratulations’ occur closer to the election day), I think it showed some level of morale and decency (but again that’s a very low bar for American leaders). To the Republicans who haven’t congratulated Biden, [I’m shocked]. Like, if those people are ‘leaders’ and ‘lawmakers’, then clearly we still have a problem. When Democrats lose and talk about voter suppression tactics (which are very much persistent/real), Republicans lambast Dems for being ‘sore losers’. It’s been almost 2 months, the electoral college voted and Biden is the 46th POTUS. To the Republicans who haven’t acknowledged Biden’s win, grow a pair and do it already. Surya Perla, 18, Lafayette, Ind.
I believe that the Republicans party has changed drastically after trump. Before Trump, the party was in disarray and Trump seemed like an outcast amongst the Republicans. However, as the presidency went on, the Republican Party essentially became the trump party. I believe that the refusal to acknowledge Biden’s victory is in large part due to the spread of misinformation started by trump. However, I do not believe it will stop even after Biden is sworn in. I believe that the republicans who congratulated were trying to move forward from the Trump reign. However, I believe many of them did it so that they could get re-elected by their constituents. Dylan Safai, 17, Rockville, Md.