Trump or Biden will face an unprecedented set of crises
No newly elected or re-elected president has simultaneously faced so many urgent problems
In January, the United States may inaugurate a new or re-elected president amid a deep political crisis that will compound a deathly public health crisis, a self-induced economic coma and a nation-wide racial justice reckoning.
In a new study, David Marchick of the Center for Presidential Transition and I examined 10 previous crises that presidents have had to manage during a transition. Five were political crises, where the victor of the election faced questions about the legitimacy of the outcome. Five were economic crises since 1900, where Americans’ livelihoods were at risk.
No newly elected or re-elected president has simultaneously faced so many crises at once.
The coming political crisis is critical because it is so unique and troubling, and affects all of the others. Whether the new president is Donald Trump or Joe Biden, a great many Americans may not accept the election’s outcome.
Already, for the first time in American history, a sitting president is questioning our electoral integrity, which in turn has Democrats, Republicans, business and civic leaders deeply worried.
History may provide lessons for how to move forward.