‘Trump has chosen to take the path no other defeated candidate has taken in generations (except in the Philippines!): instead of calling upon his voters to put partisanship aside in the interest of America, he chooses to peddle half-lies and conspiracy theories, putting partisan interests above America’s.’
MY sympathies should be clear by now: I am happy that Donald Trump will be a one-term President. In 2016 I was rooting for Hillary Clinton whom I considered – and still do – as one of the best prepared to be President of the United States, irrespective of gender. But I suspect that the Clinton campaign in particular and Democrats in general were lulled by a succession of opinion polls showing that hers was going to be a coronation, not a nail-biter of an election. And so many Democrats stayed home, including African-Americans who didn’t come out in droves to vote for her as they did for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
And so she lost when she lost key states by a few thousand votes.
States, by the way, that Trump has lost by 10 times more.
While I personally rejoice at the defeat of Trump, I am afraid of the damage he is inflicting on America. Inflicting in part because he still refuses to accept the popular verdict and has chosen to be an even greater “Divider-in-Chief” in the waning days of his presidency.
Trump has chosen to take the path no other defeated candidate has taken in generations (except in the Philippines!): instead of calling upon his voters to put partisanship aside in the interest of America, he chooses to peddle half-lies and conspiracy theories, putting partisan interests above America’s.
And damaging America even more in the process.
It is unbelievable what stories the Trump base peddles, or what are peddled to them – from servers seized “by the army” that shows Trump “winning” with over 400 electoral college votes – with a map showing even California and Hawaii as Republican red (!!!), to Trump’s 70 million strong popular vote being votes of real people versus the nearly 80 million votes for Biden which came from dead voters. Yup, a contemporary from UP who is now an American citizen insists that while every one of the 70 million are alive and true Trump voters, every single one of the Biden voters are dead Americans.
Do I still need to mention the nightly tweets from The White House that go “I won!” as if American presidential elections are decided by self-proclamation?
If not for the fact that millions believe these to be the gospel truth, all of these would be laughable. But serious students (American or not) of politics who are closely watching events unfold in the Divided States of America should not laugh. Instead they should take notes – because what is happening in America contains lessons for everyone everywhere else.
The last-ditch attempts to nullify the results, pitting Trump against Republican state election officials (as in Georgia), or Republican state election officials against the voters (as in Detroit, Michigan) are just as worrisome for the damage they are causing to the long-hallowed traditions of the electoral exercise that the world sees as the bedrock of democracy in the United States. Now we are being told that elections in America are no different from the elections in banana republics where Washington DC oftentimes interferes.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: democracy to remain healthy requires the dedicated effort of citizens – from public officials to the ordinary voter. It is a dedicated effort to always look out for the health and well-being of the system and its processes, which should be honored and respected to reflect the greater interest. When the system and processes are hijacked – by special interests during policy-making, for example, or by partisan interests even long after the last vote has been cast and counted – then democracy is put at risk; its weaknesses can then be easily exploited by the disaffected, its survival wittingly or unwittingly ending up like a chicken’s neck on the chopping block.
And that’s why America is unraveling, right before our very eyes.