The great American country has always prided itself as the High Priest of democracy and even prescribed it as its major export commodity to the world. We all know how very many dictators and other leaders have risen and fallen; thanks to coups, uprisings and political interregna that have been fuelled in distant lands by this great nation- all in the name of democracy. But is America democratic? Has America ever been democratic? If democracy is government by the people, for the people and of the people, then America in the strictest sense of the word has never been democratic. American democracy is the biggest fallacy open to mankind.
Donald Trump took tenancy of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2016. Among many other firsts, it will be remembered as one of the elections where the candidate with the majority vote, Hillary Clinton was the loser; thanks to the Electoral College. It will also be remembered as the election during which the right of Americans to choose their leaders became a PLC and was sublet to foreign interference. What this shows us is the paradox of American democracy; with its inherent translation of its Independence. The 2016 was also marked as the year that the pollsters got it wrong. No. The pollsters did not get it wrong. It was the fallacy of American democracy that was exposed. Hillary Clinton was correctly predicted to win. She won the majority but a “few good men” (Electoral College) chose the winner and President.
When America fought for, and gained independence from the British in 1776, their freedom was from a foreign government. It was not the freedom of the majority to choose its own leaders in the White House. The Founding Fathers who were slave and land owners saw the threat of giving absolute freedom to the populace. In doing so, it meant that these land and slave owners will run the risk of losing full control over the affairs of the country. It is the fear of that risk, among others that gave birth to the Electoral College; which implicitly gave the American citizen the right to vote, but left the right to choose who becomes the President in the hands of a “few good men” called the Electoral College. It was like giving someone a goat and holding on to the tether. A child will never know the real owner of his pet goat until the day its fate is decided. And you want me to believe that the American political system is democratic; my foot.
But Trump’s presidency has among other issues revealed the dark underbelly of the American system. Judging by what is going on in the run up to the elections on November 3rd, you would be forgiven to think that you are talking about the usual suspects; election in an African country. People like the late Robert Mugabe would have successfully sued Trump for infringing on his patent rights on how to rig an election. I guess he would be smiling in his grave now. Far from jokes, there is a potential damage being caused to the political psyche of the average American citizen. It is one thing to believe that your electoral process is rigged or flawed. But it is an entirely different thing to believe that your political process is not only determined by a foreign source, but also at risk of such interference. Most Americans will have to live with the belief that the destiny of their country is now in the hands of a foreign choosing.
In 2016, Donald Trump openly invited Russia to meddle in the electoral process; asking them to release emails that were believed to be illegally obtained from his opponent. We have all heard about how Trump’s lieutenants and hatchet men like former Mayor Giuliani, and Steve Bannon have been in bed with suspicious individuals, believed to be disinformation merchants. Such information have not only been outsourced but now on the verge of being crowdsourced.
But that is where the irony is glaringly obvious. Trump perfected the idea of labelling every undesirable news item as “fake news”. There is a purported email trail allegedly being peddled as originating from Hunter Biden; believed to be containing damaging information. Many people have concluded that this was the “October Surprise” that Trump promised. Unfortunately for Trump, Twitter and Facebook deleted them from their sites. The conclusion is that, this could have been part of the “Disinformation process by foreign sources”.
For all we know, those emails could be genuine, but thanks to Trump’s unending castigation of the press as “fake news” merchants, people have taken his word and learnt not to believe what they read. The October Surprise is fast becoming an appendage of foreign interference. What could have been a James Comey election bombshell has fallen flat. As if that was enough, Trump has consistently cast doubts on the whole American election process. He has cast doubts on the age-old absentee and mail in voting process; and by so doing tarnishing the whole integrity of the American political system. In the meantime, election observers have started descending into the country. I always thought that this was the monopoly of African countries.
Irrespective of who wins the election, the damage has been done. America is now more divided than even during the confederate era. The divisions in confederate era were largely regional/geographical. These days, they are within households. For an American President to be asked about peaceful transfer of power, and for that President to refuse to commit to that, says all you need to know about how bankrupt the system has become. Is America about to disintegrate?
President Putin has never and will never forgive the West and especially America for machinating the breakup of his beloved USSR; thanks to Perestroika/Glasnost. It is not surprising that an attack on the American political system has become the most desirable way to seek revenge than a nuclear war. And this is not limited to only America. In America today, everything and anything for which the likes of Mugabe, Mobutu, Idi Amin and many others were vilified for is being played out in digitized slow motion.
So, who will win the November 3rd elections? The polls overwhelmingly predict a Biden-Harris win. We have been here before. But remember that Trump did not have a record to defend or campaign on in 2016. The political menus he has been dishing out seem more palatable to only his base. There is no doubt that Trump has lost and gained voters. But which one is in the majority? Has he lost some of those who flocked towards him in 2016; just to fancy a change? Unlike previous years, will the pumped-up democrats turn up to vote more than ever this time?
Trump has always banked on project fear. Instead of telling the voters how he will change the current situation and about his policies, he has spent all his time vilifying opponents. He has embarked on the fear factor; is that working? Trump had a James Comey moment in 2016. This time, he has Amy Coney Barrett, and only Trump knows how her hasty appointment will play out with the electorate. We have just seen the thousands protesting his supreme court pick over the weekend. And what happens after November 3rd? Is the great American society that we have come to see and believe in, just about to blow up in its face? The damage done will remain for generations to come.
Has Trump finally been found out? Trump is your proverbial axe. “The forest was shrinking. But the trees kept voting for the axe. The axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them”. Is Trump one on the trees in the shrinking forest?
Politics is too important to take seriously.
Don’t forget to turn the lights off, when you leave the room.