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It Took a Strong America to Survive 2020
The U.S. Capitol in preparation for Joe Biden's inauguration, Jan. 17.
Associated Press

It Took a Strong America to Survive 2020

Walter Russell Mead

Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Ali Khamenei, Nicolás Maduro and Kim Jong Un doubtless were gleefully munching their popcorn as the violent fringe of a large pro-Trump demonstration stormed the halls of Congress earlier this month. The rioting in Washington and the militarization of the capital for this week’s inauguration telegraph American instability and weakness—something that cheered every U.S. adversary and alarmed every friend around the world.

That said, the national and global doom-mongering is overdone. President Trump’s false claims and incendiary rhetoric ignited an ugly incident, not a constitutional crisis. Mr. Trump is too weak and American democracy too strong for any other result. Fundamental U.S. constitutional structures were never in peril. Up and down the line, state election officials from both parties followed the appropriate procedures, at times in the face of bullying and threats.

Distinguished lawyers of impeccable Republican and conservative credentials declined to lend their reputations to the weak claims that the president’s campaign sought to litigate. And when those cases came up for judicial scrutiny, courts filled with Trump appointees decided them according to the law. Even those representatives and senators who failed in their duty by echoing the president’s unfounded, inflammatory claims did so secure in the knowledge that their cynical grandstanding wouldn’t overturn the legal process. The American military’s commitment to constitutional order never wavered.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal

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