The winner of the 2020 Presidential election is still up in the air. Regardless of who emerges victorious, it’s important to understand how the transition of power takes place and why it’s crucial to the democratic process.
What is it?
The Transition of Power is how one administration works towards transferring their power and information to the new President. According to center-forward.org, “The Presidential transition process refers to the “changing of the guard”- the move from one Administration to the next. Sometimes this occurs when Presidents are from the same Party, while other times it is not. Either way, it entails change of policy and personnel. That is why the government and outside organizations advocate for a streamlined process to ensure a seamless transfer of power. This is not only important to make sure basic services and functions are carried on for the American people, but also to show the rest of the world that the United States is stable and able to handle a proper succession of power.”
Many people assume the transition of power starts in November, but it actually starts much earlier than that. It takes many months to brief an incoming administration on important information. From national security to foreign affairs, it’s crucial to ensure all incoming parties have the intel they need. The above mentioned article also states, “Leading candidates from both parties begin an informal transition process as early as spring of the election year. While many may view this as work done in vain, in the big picture this is vital for a potential Administration to be ready on Inauguration Day to deal with anything that comes their way, particularly with regard to national security and major economic concerns.” The transition of power also allows government agencies to identify any concerns they may have working with a new administration. Once identified, they can come together with the help of transition liaisons. Working as a team to talk about concerns and overcome differences helps make the process of change a smooth one.
For a transition to be successful, it must also be peaceful. This policy is one that has been part of our democratic process since it was formed. For more than 200 years, since the very first transition of power from Washington to Adams, this process has been done peacefully. As previously mentioned, it sets a precedent for the rest of the world. It helps demonstrate the success of our democratic process. Additionally, it sets a precedent for all Americans. It sends the message that no matter who wins the election, whether you voted for them or not, you can peacefully accept the results as well. This transition proves that opposing sides can come together in order to do what’s best for the nation and its’ people.
When leaders respect the act of peacefully transitioning the power and leadership of our country, it shows a tremendous amount of love for our great nation.