US Election 2020Six Things to Bear in Mind
Garrett Graff shares his recommendations for six must-read articles ahead of the results of election day in America
Here are 10 principles I co-wrote with my Aspen Institute colleague Vivian Schiller for the Columbia Journalism Review that media organisations should follow as they report the US election results – including the need to use use precise language, reporting numbers in context, making clear that a ‘slow count is a good count’, and not announcing premature claims of victory.
I spoke to national security officials about what cyber threats they are concerned about in this election for Wired. It is, as Facebook’s head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher, has said about “perception hacks”.
While the chances that hackers can actually change the election results are fairly small, the chances that they will pretend they did and try to convince people that the vote was therefore illegitimate are quite high.
After Polls Close
There are a lot of fears about what might unfold after polls close on Tuesday night. Here is an hour-by-hour, day-by-day guide by Politico of what to look out for in the minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months afterwards. It is important to note that it is completely normal for results to take days or even weeks to settle and be reported.
Lame Duck Trump
If Donald Trump loses the election, he will have 77 days as a lame duck President. This is normally the period in which presidents take their most controversial actions. If Trump loses: buckle up. Here is a take on this from Politico.
‘The Former President’
If Trump loses, there are a lot of concerns already about what kind of ‘former President’ he might be – think channelling Secret Service funds to his own properties, buddying up with authoritarians overseas to undermine US interests, and opening a Trumpland theme park in Florida. In this Politico piece, experts imagine what he might get up to.
The Core of America
This election matters deeply. Trump is undermining the very core of the United States – collectively waging a personal war against every citizen who has ever believed in the idea of America; in the radical notion that we are governed by laws, not men, and that inherent in the promise of the country is that we collectively work to leave our nation better than we found it. This is all America truly is: a loose assembly of people bound together by words and ideas.
Unlike almost every other country in the world, we were not founded on an ethnicity or religion. Instead, it is our collective optimism, desire for freedom, and our promise, E Pluribus Unum – out of many, one – that we have to gift future generations; the knowledge that our institutions, as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, stand as “the lengthened shadow of one man” ready to be passed on. I wrote about this here for Wired.
Garrett Graff is a US-based journalist and a director at the Aspen Institute’s Cybersecurity Programme
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