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The U.S. Election System Under Strain

Examining Challenges During the Trump and Putin Years

The United States has long been considered a bastion of democracy and a model for electoral processes worldwide. However, during the years of Donald Trump’s presidency and the global political landscape shaped by Vladimir Putin, the U.S. election system faced unprecedented challenges and strains. This article delves into the various factors that contributed to the stress on the U.S. election system during this tumultuous period.

  1. Russian Interference

One of the most significant challenges to the U.S. election system during the Trump years was Russian interference. U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia had engaged in a concerted effort to influence the 2016 presidential election. This interference included disinformation campaigns on social media, hacking and leaking of political organizations’ emails, and attempts to infiltrate state election systems. The lingering shadow of foreign interference continued to cast doubts on the integrity of subsequent elections.

  1. Polarization and Disinformation

The Trump era witnessed a sharp increase in political polarization within the United States. This division was exacerbated by the spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories. Social media platforms became breeding grounds for the dissemination of false information, and the lines between fact and fiction blurred. Such an environment not only eroded trust in the electoral process but also made it increasingly difficult for citizens to make informed decisions.

  1. Undermining Faith in Elections

Former President Donald Trump’s repeated claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election added considerable stress to the U.S. election system. These unfounded allegations culminated in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, by a mob of his supporters. The event not only undermined the peaceful transfer of power but also shook the very foundations of American democracy.

  1. Changes to Voting Laws

During the Trump years, several states introduced changes to voting laws that were viewed by some as attempts to suppress certain demographics’ votes. Measures such as strict voter ID requirements, reductions in early voting periods, and purges of voter rolls raised concerns about unequal access to the ballot box. Critics argued that these changes disproportionately affected minority communities.

  1. Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

The U.S. election system faced persistent cybersecurity threats during the Trump and Putin years. The attempted hacking of state and local election infrastructure exposed vulnerabilities that needed urgent attention. While steps were taken to improve cybersecurity measures, concerns remain about the potential for foreign or domestic actors to disrupt future elections.

  1. Erosion of Norms

The Trump administration challenged established norms and traditions, often flouting established protocols and norms of presidential conduct. This disregard for democratic norms had a trickle-down effect, contributing to a broader sense of institutional erosion. The erosion of norms could have long-term implications for the U.S. election system and its resilience.

The U.S. election system, a cornerstone of American democracy, faced extraordinary challenges during the Trump and Putin years. Russian interference, political polarization, disinformation, and the erosion of trust in institutions have collectively strained the electoral process. It is essential to address these issues to strengthen the resilience of the U.S. election system, restore faith in democracy, and ensure that the United States continues to serve as a model for free and fair elections around the world. Only through vigilance, bipartisan cooperation, and a commitment to democratic values can the U.S. election system navigate the challenges posed by the recent tumultuous years and emerge stronger for the future.

 

 

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About The Author

Patrick Zarrelli

Tech CEO, Aggressive Progressive, and Unrelenting Realist. @PJZNY Across the Web!!!

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