Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement on Friday urging President Donald Trump to put the country ahead of his own ego, accept his defeat to President-Elect Joe Biden, and cooperate with the transition into Biden’s incoming administration.
Alexander, 80, announced in 2018 that he would not seek reelection in 2020. His Senate seat will be filled by Republican Bill Hagerty.
The most pressing matter Biden will face as commander in chief will be overseeing the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, which are expected to receive emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks.
“If there is any chance whatsoever that Joe Biden will be the next president, and it looks like he has a very good chance, the Trump Administration should provide the Biden team with all transition materials, resources, and meetings necessary to ensure a smooth transition so that both sides are ready on day one,” Alexander said. “That especially should be true, for example, on vaccine distribution.”
Nearly 12 million Americans have become infected with the virus and at least 250,000 have died – 2,000 lost their lives on Thursday alone.
Continuing on, Alexander pleaded with Trump to face reality and abandon his efforts to overturn the results of the election. Biden beat Trump 306-232 in the Electoral College and whalloped him in the national popular vote by six million.
“Recounting votes and resolving disputes after a close election is not unprecedented and should reassure Americans that election results are valid,” said Alexander, alluding to the messy presidential election in 2000 in which former Vice President Al Gore, a Democrat, won the national popular vote but lost the Electoral College to Governor George W. Bush, the Republican governor of Texas.
The conservative-leaning Supreme Court infamously ordered a stop to a hand recount in Miami-Dade County, Florida, leaving 10,000 ballots untallied that would likely have been votes for Gore. Bush was ahead by 537 votes when the Court intervened, which handed him Florida’s 25 Electoral College votes, and, therefore, the presidency. The final margin in the Electoral College was 271-266.
“Al Gore finally conceded 37 days after the 2000 election, and then made the best speech of his life accepting the result,” wrote Alexander. “My hope is that the loser of this presidential election will follow Al Gore’s example, put the country first, congratulate the winner and help him to a good beginning of the new term.”
Peaceful transfers of power, Alexander concluded, are an essential component of a functioning democracy.
“The prompt and orderly transfer or reaffirmation of immense power after a presidential election is the most enduring symbol of our democracy,” Alexander wrote.
Sixty-one days until the inauguration.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.