Brevity, they say, is the soul of wit. So rather than a lengthy discourse, I thought I'd sum up the basic media consensus on our democratic electoral process as presented over the last couple decades, based on each major presidential election year:
2000: Our process is on the brink, corruption is everywhere, Bush, the GOP, the SCOTUS have all stolen the election, Bush is an illegitimate president, our very democracy stands on the brink. This consensus lasted until we forced Muslim terrorists to attack us on 9/11.
2004: Especially in Ohio, corruption is everywhere, months of investigations and charges of voter fraud, suppression and corruption. Our process is on the brink, corruption is everywhere, our very democracy stands on the brink. This seemed to be less a national assessment as much as it was here, but the scuttlebutt remained the same.
2008: Everything is just peachy.
2012: Everything is just peachy (though whispers of potential voter suppression and discrimination did circulate in various media outlets leading up to the election).
2016: Russia is on the verge of destroying our democracy; Trump and Putin have colluded to undermine our rights and freedoms, corruption is everywhere, voter fraud, suppression and manipulation has undermined our very national fabric. Dishonesty is everywhere, our very democracy stands on the brink.
2020: One week before the election: Intelligence officials are warning federal legislators that Russia is on the move, it is hacking and intruding on our electoral process even as we speak, foreign powers could be undermining our very democracy, the results of the election may be compromised.
2020: One week after the election: All is right with the world, we've seen the most secure election in history, by even suggesting there are problems with the election President Trump is undermining our democracy, our freedoms, and our faith in our democratic process.
Hope this helps. Sometimes it's easy to forget, and delving into long, complex screeds trying to make sense of things can bog you down in our STEM driven world. So a nice little recap to remind us of the strange and bizarre timing involved when our democratic process is at one time a disgrace that stands on the brink of oblivion, and when it is the bestest system in history. I'm sure there's a trend there, and with more time, I might be able to figure what the common factors behind the differences are.