A historian of Latin America is warning that President Donald Trump's refusal to concede the 2020 presidential election is much more dangerous than a mere temper tantrum.
Writing in the Washington Post, Argentinian-born historian Federico Finchelstein of the The New School for Social Research argues that Trump's defiance over the 2020 election results are reminiscent of actions taken by past Latin American leaders who stayed in office despite having lost elections.
"Trump’s refusal to concede is an attack on the state and democratic government," he writes. "While his actions may be dismissed as merely tantrums, the history of dictators in Latin America over the past century suggests the need to take this dangerous moment seriously."
Finchelstein then walks through the histories of coups in several Latin American countries, including Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela, in which authoritarians refused to respect the will of voters to take total power over their countries.
However, he says that Americans should also look at ways that citizens of these countries stopped coups from succeeding, which was how citizens of Argentina foiled a coup attempt in the 1980s.
"Massive peaceful protests denied attempts to overthrow democracy," he writes. "Spontaneously, hundreds of thousands of citizens took to the streets to support democracy and, in Buenos Aires more than 200,000 marched to the House of Government, the Pink House, to support the elected leaders."