Ballot key in redefining America’s significance
I am writing this opinion on election day in the US. But my deadline being Tuesday evening, I have little choice but to deliver, even though some of this information might be overtaken by events in the interim.
It is an event that will go down in history as one that redefined the essence of America as the self-proclaimed leader of the so called free world.
Indeed, what moral authority would the US have to continue pontificating to other countries about the rule of law and order, in the eventuality of an unfortunate event of a protracted and violent election?
It is a US that few would have predicted they would live to see, barely five years ago when former President Barrack Obama left office.
Perchance, incumbent Donald Trump’s presidency has exposed America’s injustices under the veneer of democracy. His four-year tenure has brought out raw emotions.
Undeniably, things are ominous right now. In a rather uncanny similarity with the movie “V for Vendetta,” a 2006 release directed by James McTeigue, America risks a second civil war - if the movie’s plot unfolds into reality.
The movie, which was set in the year 2020, talks about the “St Mary’s virus” unleashing a pandemic on the world, crippling the US and sending it on a path to economic devastation and civil war.
Assuming that St Mary’s virus is Covid-19, these predictions are already underway in the US. Racial tension has reached a crescendo, with the Black Lives Matter movement sustaining months-long protests against the killing of African Americans by white police officers.
Further, the prospect of post-electoral violence makes civil war a looming nightmare.
Economically, the US is undergoing its worst economic recession since World War II.
In another example that portrays a rather eerie reversal of roles, a CNN television report by Ben Wedeman aired on October 30 revealed that an increasing number of “US citizens are now seeking Italian citizenship in pursuit of free healthcare, affordable university education and a less frenetic lifestyle.”
According to the report, this action has been stirred by coronavirus and the rising political tension in the last few years.
Ironically, whichever the outcome of the elections, the country stands a high risk of turning chaotic.
If Biden wins, there are fears that Trump could reject the results and push his luck to its logical conclusion through both legal and extra-legal contestations.
There is also widespread speculation that the President might declare a premature victory at the slightest whim of a lead over Biden. The fact that Trump has millions of diehard supporters cannot be ignored.
Those who put their faith in the constitutional safeguards of the electoral system might be in for a shock if Trump lives up to his billing of trashing legal offices and institutions.
In an opinion published in The Guardian on Saturday titled “Red mirage: The ‘insidious’ scenario if Trump declares an early victory”, Tom McCarthy warns of dangerous scenarios of an election disaster in the US which include “lawsuits, lost ballots, armed insurrection and other potential crises in thousands of local jurisdictions.”
If Trump wins, well, it will be another four years of drama galore, driving the country further into the escalating socio-economic and political doldrums.
To juxtapose recent comments on Covid-19 by the long serving director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci, on the precipice which the US is currently standing, “We are in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation.
All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.” — The writer is a communications expert and public policy analyst