Once again, Donald Trump is a fortunate man, despite his utter madness!
No law can hold him accountable for trampling on the decades-old US democratic convention of making a concession speech, and congratulating the winner of this high voltage presidential election.
Conceding defeat and congratulating the winner in the battle of ballots is precious decency, norm and most importantly, a convention of US democracy. It highlights the country's advancement.
Trump has brutally trampled on it by refusing to concede defeat. Moreover, he launched a legal battle to undermine the election. None of the losers among the presidential candidates over the past 200 years have done such an awful thing.
Yet, he has not committed any offence- be it civil or criminal. No law exists to make his wrongdoing an offence. Therefore, Trump cannot be legally held accountable for this.
So, Trump is enjoying an advantage, although at the cost of US democratic norms and values.
His behavior however has created uproar - a political storm, as this is yet another assault on US democracy by Trump.
Why? The reason is clear.
By refusing to accept the defeat, Trump expresses his no-confidence in the election administration and lack of respect towards the people's verdict. His behavior appears as a big threat to peaceful transition of power, which is an important indicator of a mature and functional democracy.
Only laws - regardless of how many or how harsh they are - cannot keep a democracy functional. Rather, a set of good practices make democracy functional and vibrant. Good practices are the lifeblood of a democracy. Their absence or deficiency leave democracies ailing and fragile. Democracy dies in darkness.
There are many examples of such ailing democracies. In those fragile democracies people continuously suffer from bad governance and struggle for their fundamental rights.
In an advance democracy, any violation or deviation from a democratic convention developed over the decades sparks criticism and results in political catastrophe. So, politicians fear it like anything. Any mistake is tantamount to committing political suicide.
Take the convention of UK, for example.
The Queen still holds almost the same extent of powers kings/queens enjoyed when they directly ruled over his/her empire. The Queen has powers to hire and fire the prime minister, dissolve the parliament, refuse to give assent to laws enacted by the parliament.
But the head of the monarchy—king or queen - has never exercised those powers on her own in the last 300 years after the restoration of democracy.
The king or queen exercises the powers on advice of the prime minister, who leads the cabinet to govern the country. And in case of selecting the prime minister, the king/queen chooses the political leader who commands the support of the majority in the parliament. This is the convention, known as constitutional convention of UK. There are many others conventions which cannot be enforced by the court, but it has enormous legal force in keeping democracies functional.
Any deviation of it will not constitute an offence. But it will bring political disaster, putting the country in chaos, crippling public and economic life. Such incidents undermine the country's image globally.
USA is now going through such a situation, thanks to its President Donald Trump who was elected four years ago by making a fool of the world.
Trump is neither a career politician nor does he fear criticism. So he placed himself above the democracy. He is enjoying an advantage at the cost of the US democracy. He has been labelled a mad king of USA.
His action is an ominous sign for US democracy. Trump is not alone, most of his party's senators are following him and refraining from congratulating Joe Biden for his election victory.
The world's most powerful upper chamber of the parliament, the US Senate, enjoys enormous powers to cripple the functions of the government. But the bipartisanship political convention in US politics keeps the system functional through ensuring checks and balances of state power.
But now all signs suggest that the convention is set to be undermined in the coming days of Biden's presidency. This may create difficulty for Biden's administration to work efficiently and quickly to fight the coronavirus and revive the pandemic-hit economy.
One thing for sure is that the US election is considered the greatest political event on earth. This election has surpassed all previous shows for its many dirty things, thanks to Trump.
The electoral politics that prevailed in the run-up to the election has been compared with some fragile democracies in developing and African countries. Unfortunately, Bangladesh has also been mentioned in that comparison, along with other countries such as Kenya and Afghanistan.
Yet, one lesson that can be learnt from this US election is that a political crisis cannot derail the country from its track if a good number of institutions of that country are able to function independently.
The US democracy has that strength to come out of the chaos and madness caused by Donald Trump, as it has a good number of strong institutions. The days of mad king Trump will be over today or tomorrow.