This election has put the basic tenets of our democracy at stake. The vote will place unprecedented stresses on our system of electing a president. Whether the system will be able to withstand these pressures is another matter. American history suggests that our system is vulnerable to periodic breakdowns. Ordinarily the risk of breakdown is quite small; yet the upcoming presidential vote promises, in a manner not seen since 1876, to present the combination of stresses that could lead to catastrophic failure.
Unlike past elections, mutual good faith between the parties and trust in the process will not suffice to ensure a fair outcome. Leaders at all levels of government, as well as the public, must prepare for a high stakes battle to defend our constitutional government from political, legal, and administrative attack.