Americans go to the polls

    2198

    ‘A Democrat in the White House with significant control of both Houses of Congress can be expected to pry into allegations of human rights abuses called “EJK” if and when they take control of Washington DC come January 2021.’

    IN less than 48 hours, the United States of America will be electing the man who will lead it for the next four years. It could very well be the incumbent and 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. But it could also be the 47th Vice President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, who would then become America’s 46th POTUS.

    However the elections go, the results will mean a lot to the world.

    To the Philippines, too, in many significant ways.

    Traditionally, the Republican Party is known to be a party that believes in a strong and aggressive foreign policy, backed by a tough and strengthened military position. The collapse of the USSR was engineered by one Republican President, Ronald Reagan, whose policies are said to have bled the Soviet economy dry. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European “empire” in the mid to late 1980s is what made the Chinese Communist Party, in turn, overly sensitive to the democracy protests by students and professionals; this eventually led to the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989 when senior leaders worried that the fall of the Iron Curtain could similarly topple the Bamboo one.

    A Trump re-election, especially after the rhetoric of the campaign, may lead to a tougher US stance towards China and its perceived “expansionist” tendencies in the region. That will have some impact on the Philippines’ “balancing act,” that hasn’t been that too balanced in the eyes of critics of the Duterte administration.

    It is possible that under a second Trump term, the Philippines will be forced to take a tougher stance against China in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

    A victory by Joe Biden, on the other hand, brings with it its own implications. Historically, Democrats have been seen as human rights sensitive; Democrat Jimmy Carter when President pushed it hard, impacting the administration of Ferdinand Marcos. The late Edward Kennedy was a champion of anti-Marcos forces in the 1980s, and Democrats on the Senate and the House can be expected to continue that tradition.

    A Democrat in the White House with significant control of both Houses of Congress can be expected to pry into allegations of human rights abuses called “EJK” if and when they take control of Washington DC come January 2021.

    And so I await with some sense of excitement and foreboding what the results of this latest exercise in US democracy will be. Very few countries truly impact the rest of the world simply by going to the polls; the United States may be at the top of that short list.

    And that’s also why I will try my best to follow each and every announcement by CNN, NBC, CBS or ABC when they call out the different States of the United States as going either red for Trump or blue for Biden, until one or the other attain the magic number of 270 electoral votes.

    In 2016 I was heartbroken in a Washington DC hotel room on Election Night as America unexpectedly turned red. This time I am more excited at seeing the electoral process reach its climax after four years of a truly wild ride.

    But, yes, I hope America redeems itself and turns blue this time around!