We could be close. It’s important for us to understand how a crisis could unfold and what we can do.
This TED Talk was recorded three days ago with CNN political Commentator Van Jones.
“If the 2020 US presidential election is close, the race could drag on in the courts and halls of Congress long after ballots are cast, says lawyer and political commentator Van Jones. Explaining why the customary concession speech is one of the most important safeguards for democracy, Jones exposes shocking legal loopholes that could enable a candidate to grab power even if they lose both the popular vote and the electoral college — and shares what ordinary citizens can do if there’s no peaceful transfer of power.”
It is truly remarkable how are elections are foundational to norms and behaviors, not necessarily names in the Constitution. A very real concern could be the ‘private armed militia’ Jones draws reference to. To learn more about a growing militia group featured on a recent episode of Fresh Air, follow this link:
‘Atlantic’ writer Mike Giglio profiles the Oath Keepers, a pro-Trump militia group, in a new article. They have recruited thousands of police, soldiers and veterans. We talk about what they might do on Election Day and after. “We, as Americans, are so comfortable with the idea of sending people out into foreign wars. And now [these militia groups are] starting to look at America itself as a part of that battle space.” Giglio also shares insights from covering civil wars overseas.
Another podcast I listened to recently…Radiolab…explains Constitutional crisis following ‘what if’ scenarios with a group of experts and political operatives who play these types of ‘war games.’
There’s plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he’d do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa’s Transition Integrity Project doesn’t give us any predictions, and it isn’t a referendum on Trump. Instead, it’s a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution.
This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music.
This talk was presented at TED back in 2012, and now seems particularly poignant in light of the violence, riots and emerging protests across our country in the face of police brutality/death, poverty, and mass incarceration where inmates are unproportionately black. Human rights lawyer and activist Bryan Stevenson speaks with a quiet passion in this brilliant 20 minute talk.